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USL Super League hires Amanda Vandervort as president – Equalizer Soccer

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The United Soccer League on Tuesday announced Amanda Vandervort as the first president of the USL Super League, a proposed second-division women’s professional league scheduled to begin play in 2023. Vandervort’s appointment brings instant credibility to a league filling an ongoing void in professional playing opportunities for women in the United States.

Vandervort most recently served as chief women’s football officer of the global players’ association, FIFPRO, and she previously served in several executive roles at MLS. She was also involved in the 2009 launch of Women’s Professional Soccer, the first-division league which folded in early 2012 and preceded the National Women’s Soccer League. She was also president of United Soccer Coaches in 2016.

“It’s such an exciting privilege to be in this position,” Vandervort said in a statement. “Together we’ll build a competitive environment for elite women players, coaches and referees at the professional level. We’ll create opportunities for fans to experience the women’s game in their local communities and provide value to those investing in this high-growth platform. I’m excited to be helping the USL realize the Super League’s potential and drive the women’s game forward.”

The Super League “expects to double the number of professional women’s soccer teams in the United States” when it launches in 2023, which would mean roughly a dozen teams. USL is expected to apply for second-division sanctioning from U.S. Soccer in the coming months. There has never previously been a fully professional women’s league below the top flight; the NWSL expects to field 12 teams in 2022.

Per a USL press release, Vandervort “will lead all aspects of USL’s distinct youth-to-professional women’s soccer pathway” to build a financially sustainable operation “featuring top domestic and international players.”


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‘This is a democracy’ – Equalizer Soccer

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Photo Copyright Hannah di Lorenzo

FIFA’s technical advisory group for the future of women’s soccer was announced on Monday, and while the 21-person group comprised of current and former players, coaches and executives, have been meeting about the holistic future of the sport, the future of the World Cup remains the most pressing global topic.

FIFA is exploring the possibility of a biennial World Cup for the men’s and women’s competitions. On Tuesday, reports emerged that the world governing body informed federations that it will move forward with plans for a Men’s World Cup every two years, following 2026. The future of the women’s game is being handled separately, with two-time World Cup-winning coach Jill Ellis leading the group. FIFA president Gianni Infantino spoke in the group’s first meeting, according to United States forward Alex Morgan, who is one of the 21 members being led by Ellis, her former coach.

Ellis said on Monday that no decision has been made yet regarding the future of the World Cup, refuting the idea that a biennial event is a foregone conclusion.

“This has been an education process for me,” Ellis said. “I think I’ve really tried to take the position of listening to everybody and finding out solutions, but to reinforce, this is a democracy. This is going to go to a vote, ultimately.”

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Amanda Vandervort brings wealth of experience to USL Super League – Equalizer Soccer

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Amanda Vandervort knew what she needed to do from the first phone call. It was summer, and Jake Papadakis, the COO of the United Soccer League, was on the other end of the phone with news. The USL was starting a second-division women’s professional league, and they were interested in having Vandervort shape its future.

Vandervort, a longtime soccer executive across various leagues and roles, had recently departed her role as chief women’s football officer at global players’ association FIFPRO, and she was thinking about the next step in her career. She previously worked in MLS for nine years, eventually advancing to vice president of fan engagement. Last week, she was announced as the president of the USL Super League, a women’s professional league which is scheduled to begin play in 2023.

“I was in the women’s game for a long time, helped launch WPS [in 2009],” Vandervort told The Equalizer. “When I left that league and went to men’s soccer, I always knew — I kept working in the women’s game concurrently — but I always knew there was the opportunity to learn as much as I could in the men’s game and ultimately, I knew I would bring that back to the women’s game in my career.”

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Three teams are in – Equalizer Soccer

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Washington Spirit players raise their arms in celebration after scoring a goal in North Carolina


Photo Copyright Lewis Gettier for The Equalizer

Claire Watkins and John Halloran break down where each team stands heading into the final games of the regular season. The Thorns have clinched the Shield, and will be joined in the playoffs by OL Reign and the Spirit. The Red Stars, Gotham FC, Dash, and Courage are fighting for the remaining three spots.

Listen to this pod on:  Apple  |  Spotify  |  Google Podcasts  |  Stitcher  |  Anchor  |  PodBean  |  Pocket Casts  |  Breaker  |  Overcast  |  RadioPublic

LISTEN NOW: The Equalizer has a second podcast vertical called “Kickin’ Back.” Jeff Kassouf hosts this interview-based podcast series which will feature casual conversations with some of the game’s biggest names, looking back at some of the biggest moments in their careers. Click here to subscribe on your favorite platform.

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