New ownership for Sounders Women
Tacoma Tide acquire accomplished W-League side

Tacoma Tide News Release -

Friday, December 19, 2008

TUKWILA, WA -- The Seattle Sounders Women, a member of the United Soccer Leagues’ W-League, announced a change in ownership. Fellow USL organization, the Tacoma Tide F.C. of the men’s Premier Development League, has acquired the women’s franchise.

With the changing soccer landscape in the Puget Sound amidst the new Major League Soccer presence, Tacoma Tide owner Mike Jennings took advantage of an opportunity to purchase the successful eight-year old W-League franchise.

The Sounders are four-time semifinalists (George Holland)With a previous desire to expand the Tide organization into the W-League and the knowledge of how important the Sounders W-League team is to the development of girls’ soccer in the entire state of Washington, Jennings stepped up to acquire the team with the assistance of Adrian Hanauer, the former owner of the USL-1 Sounders and current minority owner and General Manager of the MLS Sounders, and Teddy Mitalas, Sounders W-League Coach & Starfire Sports Complex Director of Operations – a pair of individuals who have been at the forefront of the Sounders existence and success in the W-League.

“After the Tide’s inaugural season in 2006 I have thought seriously about adding a W-League team under the Tacoma Football Club banner,” said Jennings. “Just as with the men, there are many capable and talented women who are in need of quality training and competition through the summer months. I look forward to maintaining the winning tradition the women have established.”

The W-League team will continue to play their matches at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, WA. The team is considering a name change to link it to its brother-team, the Tacoma Tide. Mitalas will continue to act as GM and Head Coach for the ladies.

In their eight seasons in the W-League, the Sounders Women have advanced to the postseason six times, reaching the league semifinals on four occasions (2003, 2006, 2007, 2008).

“We are thrilled that Mike Jennings and the Tide have become a part of this team,” said W-League Director of Operations Melanie Fitzgerald. “Teddy Mitalas’ efforts have been tremendous over the past few years, but the passion and resources that the Tide, who have been an exemplary PDL team, brings to the table will no doubt propel this team much further as the women’s game continues to grow.”

The team is made up of top level college players and graduates from around the nation, including former US Women’s National Team and WUSA player Michelle French, a team leader that has turned heads on and off the field. The W-League will consist of 37 teams in 2009, playing in five divisions that comprise the three conferences. The team will play a 12 game season at Starfire plus additional exhibition matches. The W-League championship game will be August 7-8, and will air on Fox Soccer Channel.

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