The National Women’s Soccer League, which already has plans to expand to 14 teams in 2024, is not done growing.
In a video interview with the Washington Post on Tuesday, NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman said that the league is angling to add two more clubs by 2026.
“We do expect for the 2026 season to add two more teams,” Berman said. “That process will begin later this calendar year, and through the process we ran in 2022 for this round of expansion, we have an incredible amount of interest from qualified investors who want to get in early.”
The NWSL is playing the 2023 campaign with 12 teams, the most recent additions being Angel City FC and the San Diego Wave last year. The Utah Royals, who played in the NWSL from 2018-20, are returning in 2024 and last month the league granted an expansion franchise to the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Wall Street Journal reported in January that the league was in “advanced discussions” on bringing a team back to Boston. The city was home to the Boston Breakers from 2013-17. That would mean one more market could land a new franchise in the next few years.
“Even though our [team] valuations have increased in a meaningful way, to $53 million with the team we sold to the Bay Area, we’re still really early in our process in terms of our growth and where we think this league is going to be in three to five to 10 years,” Berman said.
NWSL plans to expand to 16 teams in 2026 – commissioner