Women’s Professional Soccer announced the termination of its Florida franchise, magicJack, in two sentences:
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (October 27, 2011) – After careful consideration, the Board of Governors of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) voted on Tuesday to terminate the Boca Raton based magicJack franchise. WPS will continue to deliver to its players and fans the world’s top women’s soccer league, with plans to make 2012 the most competitive and successful season to date.
No further explanation was given, but the team’s issues were well documented. Owner Dan Borislow bought the club last year and moved it to South Florida from Washington, where it was known as the Freedom. He proceeded to ignore league guidelines and treat many of his players poorly — behavior that largely overshadowed a team featuring U.S. World Cup stars Abby Wambach, Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe.
Borislow didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
In an e-mail to the Insider, Borislow wrote:
“I could not persuade most of the other Governors and the league for what I thought the priorities of the league should be.
1. The WPS should be subservient to the US WNT [national team] and do everything in its power to bring home [Olympic] Gold next year.
2. The teams should pay its best players a fair salary and something they can raise a family with. Anything less you should not be entitled to Division I status and this concerned me, particularly when the league can’t keep enough teams.
That being said, a disagreement like this is not grounds for termination. The league continues to cause permanent damage and now taken away our ability to even sell the franchise, all without due process. MagicJack and myself will do everything we can to help our Women bring home the Gold next year [in London]. Our priority has not and will not change.”
WPS, which barely survived last offseason, now enters the winter with five teams: Boston Breakers, Western New York Flash, Sky Blue of New Jersey, Philadelphia Independence and Atlanta Beat.
Since the league’s launch in 2009, teams in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, St. Louis and Chicago have folded.