Dan Borislow, whose magicJack team was terminated by Women's Professional Soccer three weeks ago, has filed suit against the league in Palm Beach County (Fla.) Circuit Court seeking reinstatement of the team.
"Today we filed a lawsuit to get back what was stolen from us by the WPS," Borislow said Friday in a statement. Requests for comment from WPS officials, team owners and lawyer Pam Fulmer were not immediately answered.
The lawsuit is the latest twist in a saga that leaves U.S. stars Abby Wambach, Hope Solo, Shannon Boxx, Megan Rapinoe, Christie Rampone and others in limbo without a professional team.
Borislow also took action against WPS in August, seeking an injunction against what he claimed was a league effort to terminate his ownership rights immediately. The suit was the culmination of months of bickering over everything from sponsor signage to a union complaint about Borislow's communication with the team. The league deducted a point from magicJack in the standings early in the season and announced it would hire vendors to take over sponsor signage and video systems for scouting purposes, then send Borislow the bill.
The lawsuit was later dropped, and league officials said they were working through their disputes with Borislow. But in late October, the league abruptly terminated Borislow's team, ending its turbulent existence after one season. WPS said very little about the decision to terminate beyond a two-sentence statement:
"After careful consideration, the Board of Governors of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) voted on Tuesday to terminate the Boca Raton based magicJack franchise. WPS will continue to deliver to its players and fans the world's top women's soccer league, with plans to make 2012 the most competitive and successful season to date."
Even in media availabilities since the termination, new CEO Jennifer O'Sullivan has declined to go into more detail. Meanwhile, business has gone on with five teams. Free agency is under way, with New Jersey club Sky Blue making an early splash by signing three players: defender Candace Chapman from WPS champion Western New York, longtime Canadian national team goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc and Dutch striker Manon Melis.
The signing flurry commenced even as the league held the door open for another expansion team. When magicJack was terminated, other officials sounded optimistic about adding a sixth or even a seventh team. But expansion in 2012 is now unlikely. The league instead has turned its attention to a large expansion wave in 2013.
"For 2013, we're not looking at one or two teams," Sky Blue president Thomas Hofstetter said. "We're looking at significantly adding to the number of teams."
For this season, WPS also hasn't finished another important offseason matter: signing a collective bargaining agreement with its union. And so the league hasn't put in place the type of salary restraints that would have kept Borislow from assembling another talented team.