Soccer Business Bits: WPS Moves Forward, Gold Cup & More

After an exciting day of action on Wednesday in the re-entry draft, there are a number of smaller stories that are generating interest in American soccer.  We’ll start in WPS, where the struggling league has announced that the six remaining teams will conduct the college draft on January 14.  The four round draft will be streamed on the league website.  Following the suspension of operations by Chicago, the shuttering of champions FC Gold Pride and more, it has been a shaky off season for WPS.  However, the draft will hopefully allow the league to turn the page and work on getting stronger for its 2011 campaign.

Elsewhere, the sites for the 2011 Gold Cup were announced.  Headlining the venues will be the new stadium in KC, as it joins Red Bull Arena and the Home Depot Center as soccer specific stadiums assigned to host.  It will be interesting to see if the league schedules MLS matches as part of doubleheaders for those dates in an effort to generate attendance and interest.  The final will be held at the Rose Bowl (CONCACAF is certainly hoping for a US/Mexico final), with the semi-finals in Houston at Reliant stadium.

Jose Romero is reporting (via Ives Blog), that at least six MLS clubs will train at the same venue in Arizona.  We wrote about Grande Sports World a while back and it seems that the venue is becoming the pre-season destination in the league.  In addition to warm temparatures and great facilities, the center will offer fans a great vacation opportunity to travel and watch their teams train and play.  Spring Training has long been a destination for baseball fans, in part, because of the close proximity of the teams and the warm weather.  This new venture may offer a similar experience.