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Originally published Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 8:02 PM

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Seattle expected to have a team in new women's pro soccer league

A new women's professional soccer league has plans to kick off in spring 2013 and feature a newly formed team from Seattle.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Plans are in place to bring a new women's professional soccer team to Seattle.

The new league, which doesn't have a name or U.S. Soccer sanctioning, is in the final stages of formation with hopes of starting play next spring, according to a news release from teams involved.

Teams already committed include the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars and New Jersey's Sky Blue FC — three participants in Women's Professional Soccer, which folded in May after three years.

A newly formed team in Seattle would be owned by Bill Predmore, founder and president of POP, a Seattle-based digital marketing agency.

"We are excited to bring the highest level of women's soccer to Seattle," Predmore said in the release. "Seattle has a long history of enthusiastic support for professional soccer, which we hope will provide us with a strong base of fans for the new women's club."

Details regarding the league and Seattle's team are limited, but Predmore said in a telephone interview that he expects more to be revealed in coming weeks. The league's focus is on establishing a name and finalizing the involvement of more teams; four are in the final stages of joining, including one on the West Coast, and others are expected.

Regarding the Seattle team, Predmore said he expects announcements soon on the hiring of a general manager and perhaps a coach. Additional details like a team name and colors would come later.

The new pro league would be separate from the two current women's leagues — the W-League of the United Soccer Leagues, which features the Sounders Women, and the Women's Premier Soccer League — but would hope to partner with them.

Predmore said he has been in discussions about working together with the Sounders Women, who featured several national-team stars this past season but does not pay their players. He said he felt the team's stars, like Hope Solo and Alex Morgan, were the most important draw for fans.

In a statement released Tuesday regarding the new pro league, the Sounders Women said they are "open to all options and evaluating what is best for women's soccer in the United States as well as what is best" for the team in hopes of avoiding a repeat of past failures.

The first women's pro league, the Women's United Soccer Association, was founded in 2000, played the following year and folded in 2003. It was succeeded by the short-lived WPS.

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