September 14, 2010

WPS Commissioner Antonucci To Step Down

WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci has announced that she will be stepping down at the conclusion of the 2010 season. Antonucci has been the guiding force behind the launching and development of the league since inception. She has led the league from its very beginnings, through the first season, and expansion. She helped secure sponsorships with PUMA and Citi and negotiated a deal with Fox Soccer Channel. Over the course of the past couple of years, the league has seen strong growth in sponsorships and partnerships under her leadership. She has also helped the league navigate through the demise of two franchises.

WPS General Counsel Anne-Marie Eileraas will take the title of CEO, Women's Professional Soccer. She will work with the WPS board, heading up the business and organizational aspects of WPS, while the board will deal more with the strategic direction of the league.

"Commissioner Antonucci's contributions to this league and to women's soccer on the whole are too numerous to list," said T. Fitz Johnson, Chairman of the WPS Board of Governors. "No other person did more to bring this league from idea to fruition over the past six years than she did. WPS would not be here without Tonya Antonucci and without her tireless work and unending passion for launching this league."

"The Board is incredibly excited that Anne-Marie Eileraas has accepted our offer to take over from the Commissioner as the CEO of Women's Professional Soccer."

Best wishes on future endeavors to Commissioner Antonucci. Congratulations and good luck to Ms. Eileraas in her new position.

FC Gold Pride Presented with Regular Season Championship Trophy

Commissioner Tonya Antonucci presented FC Gold Pride with the regular season championship trophy before Saturday's match at Pioneer Stadium. It was presented to club owners Nancy and Brian NeSmith of FC Gold Pride.

The trophy was passed to general manager Ilisa Kessler, head coach Albertin Montoya, and captain Rachel Buehler before the the entire team was photographed with it.

FC Gold Pride finished with a 16-3-5 record and 53 points, 17 points ahead of 2nd place Boston. They will host the WPS Championship presented by Citi on September 26.

Solo Fined and Suspended for Twitter Remarks

Atlanta Beat goalkeeper Hope Solo has been fined and suspended by the WPS Disciplinary Committee for Twitter remarks following the Beat's 1-0 loss to the Washington Freedom on Saturday. She has been suspended for one game and fined $2500. Additionally, she will be required to do 8 hours of community service. She was deemed to have made "prejudicial statements and public criticism" which is covered by Section 13.1.3 of the League Operations Manual.

Solo openly criticized officials during several tweets after the Beat/Freedom match and appeared to question the objectivity of both the officials and the league. She will have seven days to appeal the suspension and community service and 30 days to appeal the fine.