Good Friday morning Caps fans. Hope you have a good weekend in store for you, perhaps working on some holiday shopping or enjoying festivities in your neck of the woods.
it was a busy week in Canada soccer world and Whitecaps world both. We’ll save some of the Whitecaps news for Monday and dive in to the big news of the week; the Vancouver Whitecaps will have an entrant in Canada’s first women’s professional soccer league, with a working title of Project 8 Sports, set to roll out in 2025.
The news is exciting to say the least and is the fulfillment of years of rumors, either about a new women’s league in Canada or the Caps joining their Cascadia rivals in rolling out an expansion team in NWSL. Some speculated a project like this would come to fruition when the club hired Steph Labbé earlier this year as their first women’s football czar, a shrewd move that will seemingly now really start to bear fruit.
The league has the backing of some of the country’s most prominent women’s footballers, including Christine Sinclair and Diana Matheson, some pretty major business and corporate partners (Air Canada to name one) and the Caps and Calgary Foothills, who are the first confirmed teams.
The fledgling semi-pro Women’s Professional Soccer League has not really gotten off the ground as anything resembling a viable option, as it isn’t professional in nature. The Canadian Premier League has kicked the tires on a potential women’s league and issued a statement that basically smacked of sour grapes and indicates it may or may not be willing to play nice, a potential blow and sign of division on a project that cannot afford it.
Given that thus project has the backing of the most famous women’s soccer players in the country’s history, it stands to reason that it will be the preferred option moving forward. But ensuring this excitement can continue and division doesn’t reign will mean that both sides of this will need to set their egos aside and find some common ground.
If that happens, it will be defining news for not just Canadian soccer but women’s soccer globally, which has been growing in leaps and bounds and will almost certainly do so in Canada as well. There has never been a better time to invest in women’s professional soccer and one imagines this fact is not lost on the business investors. Teams in Toronto and Montreal would further amp up the potential of the league, obviously.
There is reason to be cautious about the potential for infighting. But for now I’m going to chose to celebrate and look forward to 2025.
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