Tired of waiting for Major League Soccer (MLS) to grant St. Louis an expansion franchise, Jeff Cooper
is joining other soccer team owners to begin -- in the words of Penny Marshall
-- a league of their own.
Cooper, a well-off Illinois attorney with the Simmons Law Firm
, has been attempting to get an MLS franchise in the St. Louis area
for a number of years though his outreach group St. Louis Soccer United
In a statement today, Simmons announced that he and the owners of soccer franchises formerly of the USL-1
conference in Atlanta, Miami, North Carolina, Minnesota, Montreal and Vancouver would form the new league.
"This will be a league that will offer the best of both worlds -
outstanding experience and leadership at the ownership level combined
with the promise and ability to chart our own course for success as a
new league," said Cooper. "It's this structure that motivated me to
bring St. Louis into the new league, and why I believe the new league
will have a lot of success at launch next year and well into the
Simmons already owns the Saint Louis Athletica
, a women's professional team that plays in Fenton.
No word yet on where the new team would play (Cooper has previously proposed building a stadium in Collinsville
, Illinois) or what the new league is to be called.
Attempts to reach Cooper and other people behind the new league were unsuccessful. More news when/if they return our messages. Updated: Read a Q&A with Cooper here.