WPS Gains Equal Representation on the US Soccer Board of Directors
U.S. Soccer’s Annual General Meeting took place this weekend, passing without a great deal of commentary from the soccer press, with President Sunil Gulati elected to his second four-year term, running unopposed.
Of some interest on the elections of the other positions on the US Soccer Board of Directors was the news that the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) Commissioner Tonya Antonucci has replaced Kevin Payne of DC United on the board, as one of the two representatives of the Pro Council.
The Pro Council is made up of eight commissioners from professional leagues, with two representatives selected from the council serving two year terms on the US Soccer Board of Directors.
It appears that there was a consensus that the Pro Council should represent both its men’s and women’s Division I leagues, with MLS Commissioner Don Garber still on the board.
It also seems to mark a significant moment for women’s professional soccer: I stand to be corrected, but I’m not sure that women’s football is represented equally with its men’s equivalent in any other country’s national governing body.
Incidentally, Lynn Morgan, the president of the previous women’s professional league, WUSA, also served on the US Soccer Board of Directors, though I could not determine if she was a representative of the Pro Council itself (I called US Soccer, who are looking into their records on it). EDIT: just received confirmation from US Soccer that Lynn Morgan was indeed on the Pro Council.
Update: we spoke to Tonya Antonucci about her election, and she had the following to add:
It’s a great honor for me and the league as a whole that the WPS Commissioner now holds a seat on the US Soccer Board of Directors. This elevates WPS’s role and visibility as a viable professional platform within the larger US Soccer body, and provides a great opportunity for WPS to share its experiences in developing the women’s game and further integrate into the soccer landscape at all levels in the United States.