September 7, 2023


Feature Story

CHICAGO (September 7, 2023) – The Women’s Independent Soccer League (WISL) today announced it submitted its application to the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) for sanctioning as a Division II women’s professional league. The application is for the inaugural 2024 season which will launch with six community clubs with five additional already committed for the full 2025 season.

“WISL is conceived as a bridge between the uniquely American college game and the higher aspirations of literally thousands of soccer-passionate young women,” writes WISL Managing Director Lynn Berling-Manuel in the cover letter to USSF.

“We’re confident that the 2024 WISL season will provide the best professional women’s soccer league experience in the nation for independent clubs.”

WISL (pronounced “whistle”) is being built around three big, cultural ideas:

Big Idea No. 1: We must create more professional opportunities for more women, on the field, on the touchline, in the front office, and in the owner’s box.

Big Idea No. 2: A safe, inclusive, positive culture is a powerful and necessary foundation for a successful professional women’s soccer league at any level.

Big Idea No. 3: The investment in developing that opportunity pipeline can offer a return worthy of the intense, sustained effort a Division II women’s professional league requires.

The league is founded on the international business model of independent community clubs that are members of the league rather than franchisees. The financial priority is investing in the club and its community. The English Premier League and the Bundesliga are both examples of this model.