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Vandervort, USL to champion push for new Women's Open Cup

Owain Evans Avatar
May 27, 2023

USL would back a new women’s competition akin to the U.S. Open Cup for men’s clubs, according to Super League president Amanda Vandervort.

Vandervort made the remarks ahead of Phoenix Rising’s USL Championship clash with Las Vegas Lights. Rising’s ownership committed last week to running one of the new women’s professional league’s inaugural clubs.

“I would love to have a U.S. Open Cup for the women,” Vandervort said.

“That’s something that we’re certainly happy to champion and happy to figure out how we can make that happen, and elevate the game across all of women’s soccer.”

USL Super League will start play in August 2024, and will apply for sanctioning as a Division 1 league under the U.S. Soccer Federation’s Professional League Standards. This places the league in direct competition with the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), which has operated as the sole top-flight of American women’s soccer since 2013.

Included in that competition could be the push for continental tournament places. CONCACAF, the governing body for soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean, has begun the process of organizing a new Women’s Champions League.

“That’s our hope [to qualify teams to the Champions League],” Vandervort said. “There’s still a lot of conversations from CONCACAF about what the tournament looks like, what participation looks like, qualification, all that stuff.

“Our plans are to talk with CONCACAF and be involved in those conversations, but again, I think they still have some planning to do and we’re happy to stand alongside them and plan along with them.”

Phoenix will be one of between ten and 12 cities represented in the inaugural season of the USL Super League. Other markets include Tucson, Dallas-Fort Worth and Tampa Bay.

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