Interview with Commissioner Joseph Ferrara Jr., on the Success of UWS
The landscape of women’s soccer in America reflects our country’s everlasting pursuit of opportunity. Breaking away from the WPSL a few years back, Joseph Ferrara Jr., owner of the New England Mutiny and a few other leaders in the game, launched a new league named United Women’s Soccer.
The growth of the women’s soccer game in America is undeniable. With team owners and coaches eager to field a team and many talented players across the nation, the market is strong and can sustain several leagues.
This month, the fourth season of the successful United Women’s Soccer (UWS) is coming to a close with UWS Midwest and East Semifinals finishing and the National Quarterfinal and 2019 Finals kicking off this weekend.
The UWS was launched in 2015 under the belief that there was a gap in the development of the female soccer player between the collegiate game and the professional & international game.
With a focus on giving the post, pre and current collegiate player a chance to further develop for the professional & international ranks, the UWS had 24 teams competing this season and is committed to the continued development of all players.
“We are excited about the progress of UWS this season,” said Joseph Ferrara Jr., League Commissioner, United Women’s Soccer. “It has been yet another extremely competitive season and one playoff contestant was even decided by a goal in the 92′ minute, and another division winner was determined by goal differential in the last match.”
“I am very proud of the way our teams help move the needle for women’s soccer in America.”Joseph Ferrara Jr., League Commissioner, United Women’s Soccer
With a strong emphasis on quality over quantity, the UWS expects all of its teams to uphold highly professional game day standards. “Teams that do not live up to our standards are not asked to return,” said Ferrara.
“The league was founded on the need to meet a certain level of minimum league standards,” said Ferrara. “Obviously, some teams operate at a higher level than others, but I am excited about the way all our teams conduct business.”
THE LINE UP FOR THE 2019 UWS SEMIFINALS, QUARTERFINAL AND FINALS
The 2019 UWS Conference playoffs began on Thursday, July 11 with the UWS Midwest Semifinals. Top seed Lansing United taking on #4 Grand Rapids FC at East Lansing Soccer Complex and #2 Indiana Union vs. #3 Detroit Sun at Grand Park Event Center.
The UWS East Semifinals took place on Friday, July 12 with #2 Connecticut Fusion vs. #3 Lancaster Inferno at Farmington Sports Arena and top seed New England Mutiny taking on #4 Long Island Rough Riders at Lusitano Stadium.
The UWS Finals for the East and Midwest take place on Sunday, July 14.
The UWS National Quarterfinal will be on Saturday, July 13 between LA Galaxy OC vs. Houston Aces at Orange County Great Park.
This is a battle for the fourth and final spot in the pro-am league’s National Championship played on July 19-21.
The UWS streams 90% of the league matches on the highly popular MyCujoo platform. “Making the games accessible to the fans is a key component in promoting the game of soccer, not only nationally — but on a global scale,” said Ferrara who believes that the key to success is effort and a commitment to running an organization professionally.
“Finances make it easier, but even when you have funding, you need attention to detail to create a professional environment for the players, fans and the media.”
“I was fortunate to have some great mentors who taught me a great deal about operations but also about relationships.”
After years in the world of women’s soccer, Ferrara’s advice to owners is intelligent and uncomplicated.
“Always learn about the operation of a sports franchise, and see what others are doing that works well for them. It is important to network with other owners and professionals, always looking for ways to improve.”
What is key to a successful run at the UWS Championship title?
“Success in the playoffs requires several factors. One is luck, for sure, but having your team play well towards the end of the season is key. This time of year can be challenging in terms of players who are called back into their college programs, and who is available for the roster can be critical,” said Ferrara who is in his twentieth season operating a women’s soccer team at this level.
“The level of competition has increased dramatically over the years. The level of the player technically, tactically and physically is tremendous in the modern-day female athlete,” said Ferrara.
“There is such a deeper talent pool, albeit there are 10X more teams than when I first started.”