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The Equalizer Podcast: Mailbag – Equalizer Soccer

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Mallory Pugh and three U.S. women's national team teammates celebrate a goal.


Photo credit: Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch/USA TODAY NETWORK

Jeff Kassouf answers your burning questions about the U.S. women’s national team, next year’s World Cup, NWSL free agency, NWSL expansion, and more.

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

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NWSL newcomers: Adriana – Equalizer Soccer

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Adriana dribbles the ball with a defender a few steps behind her.


(Photo copyright Richard Callis/SPP)

Before the 2023 National Women’s Soccer League season kicks off, we at The Equalizer will be providing insight into the league’s newest stars. We started with Mimmi Larsson of the Kansas City Current, and we continue with Adriana, a Brazilian attacker who recently signed with the Orlando Pride.

The basics

  • Name: Adriana Leal da Silva
  • Age: 26
  • Position: Forward/attacking midfielder
  • National team: Brazil
  • Club: Orlando Pride

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Each at $50M – Equalizer Soccer

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Photo credit: Taylor Vincent

In December of last year, NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman confirmed that the NWSL’s search into expansion teams had been narrowed down to three cities: Boston, Tampa, and the Bay Area. It has been known that two teams were planning on joining the league in 2024 and as a part of the move that sent the Utah Royals team to Kansas City ahead of the 2021 season, an easy re-entry by Utah into the league was promised. In June of last year, Equalizer reported that Utah had been confirmed as one of the two teams joining the NWSL in 2024, leaving the three cities vying for one spot. 

Reporting by the Wall Street Journal released today confirmed that the Bay Area had locked down its spot in the 2024 NWSL season with a record breaking $50 million franchise fee to the league. Additionally Boston has locked down their entry into the league, however, their launch date has not been confirmed past the fact that it will not be in the 2024 season. As a point of reference, when San Diego and Angel City made their bids to join the league, their franchise fees were only in the $2-5 million range. 


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This growth in franchise fees reflects the high level of competition among groups making bids for an NWSL team and inherently increases the valuation for other teams in the league. Boston’s bid being ‘later’ locks them into the new franchise fee standard which will likely only grow as the NWSL continues to expand.  It also gives Boston more time to deal with their current stadium limitations. Boston formerly had an NWSL team, the Boston Breakers, which played from 2013 to 2017 and unfortunately folded right before the 2018 season after a failed sale attempt. 

The Bay Area and Boston respectively account for number 6 and number 10 on the top 10 media markets list, and once both have entered the NWSL the league will have teams in 7 of the top 10 cities only missing teams in Philadelphia (4), Dallas (5), and Atlanta (7). 





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For Danielle Colaprico, moving to San Diego is a bet on herself – Equalizer Soccer

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Chicago became a second home for Danielle Colaprico. The Central New Jersey native has, to date, played her entire professional career with the Chicago Red Stars since being drafted there in 2015, aside from offseason loans to Australia.

The past year, however, was one of significant change in the National Women’s Soccer League, including a first collective bargaining agreement that brought free agency to the league for the first time this offseason. The newfound player autonomy was initially only for players with at least six years of experience in the league and expiring contracts.

Colaprico was in that group, a realization that brought excitement before the stress of decision-making set in.

“I’m someone that likes to stick to her ways, and once I know something I stick to it,” she told The Equalizer. “So, for the longest time I did feel like my whole career was going to be in Chicago.”

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