Deal or no deal?
Dan Borislow, who ran the WPS team magicJack in 2011, says he has a deal with the league to play exhibition games in 2012 and 2013. Even after the league announced it would not play a 2012 season, Borislow said he still expected the league to uphold that deal.
But the league, in a motion asking Judge Meenu Sasser to free it from "legal limbo," says the U.S. Soccer Federation told them the deal couldn't work.
WPS asked the court in its filing for a status conference, which is a hearing. If the hearing is granted, the league will likely ask for Borislow's lawsuit to be dismissed.
"Plaintiffs now appear to have abandoned (Borislow's motion for a temporary injunction to reinstate his team) in favor of a tentative settlement agreement that has not been finalized, and cannot be finalized because the U.S. Soccer Federation ("USSF") will not approve the arrangement," the motion says.
"It was not contingent on the USSF but we did ask them about having more than four [women's national team] players on our team without being in a USSF league," Borislow said. "They said you can use more than four if we were an unaffiliated member of the WPS or played on one of the other three other leagues. There were no impediments. More important than that, four or less WNT players and we didn't need permission of the USSF at all for anything.
"I was going to have a team anyway you looked at it. This deal was never contingent on the USSF. The transcripts don't lie. We will effectively also attest under oath in a filing today that there was no contingency."
Borislow's legal team is filing a motion in response. That motion was not available Friday. U.S. Soccer also did not immediately comment.
The legal back-and-forth put the focus back on the courts after a week of fallout from the league's suspension announcement on Monday. Several players on teams other than magicJack, including longtime national team member Tasha Kai and WPS veteran Carrie Dew, attacked Borislow on Twitter.
Then Ella Masar, who played for Borislow's magicJack team, published a blog post at PitchsideReport.com accusing Borislow of intimidating players over a grievance filed against him by the players union and for failing to get her proper medical care when she had a nose injury. Many more players from other teams wrote supportive notes on Twitter.
"Unbelievable story ... much respect @emasar3 for sharing her experience," Atlanta's Lori Chalupny said.
Borislow denied Masar's claim.
"We got her an appointment right away with the best," he said. "We went all out to make her feel comfortable and make sure she would get the best treatment."
Masar declined further comment, as did several other magicJack players.