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Sacramento Republic president says expansion talks with NWSL remain ongoing

Club confirms women’s top flight still in plans.

MLS: Fan Celebration Event D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento Republic FC have been a standard-bearer in the USL Championship since entering the league, are gearing up for their entry into MLS in 2023, and are deep in preparations to build a new soccer stadium in the city.

But NWSL remains in the club’s sights, too.

With NWSL announcing details surrounding the expansion draft for next season’s entrant, Racing Louisville FC, this week, the door is shut on further expansion for 2021. But Sacramento has been rumored to be in the running for an expansion team in NWSL for a year, with Sac Republic linked to those efforts back in August. At that time, a source confirmed to Indomitable City Soccer the club was in talks with NWSL about expansion.

During the end-of-season media availability with Sac Republic head coach Mark Briggs, GM Todd Dunivant and president Ben Gumpert on Friday, Gumpert was asked about NWSL and he confirmed the club is still working on an expansion team in the women’s top flight.

“On the NWSL note, I would say at this point it is absolutely an interest of ours and ownership,” Gumpert told reporters. “It is a fantastic league with a ton of growth opportunity. I think it would be incredibly fitting, also, in Sacramento, a region and a city that has not just shown support of soccer but of women’s soccer.”

Gumpert reiterated the interest in women’s soccer on a personal and organizational level and also said it’s a good investment.

“I will be the first to say I think the growth potential is huge. Women’s soccer has not gotten its due credit. And just as a fan and as a dad of two girls, coaching them, it has been amazing just to see the excitement around women’s soccer that is long overdue. So we are a huge fan, not just on a personal level but as a huge investment.”

And Gumpert’s acknowledgment about ongoing talks about NWSL expansion is the first time Sacramento Republic have publicly confirmed expansion interest continues for them.

“We will continue our talks with Lisa Baird, the new commissioner, who’s also going through a lot this year, as well as the Board of Governors on the NWSL front to hopefully fulfill our dream of bringing an NWSL team to this region. And when we’re there, and hopefully we do get there, we’ll be excited to share the news with everyone,” he said.

So that’s the latest on that. Certainly nothing is done yet and we have a request for comment from NWSL on this, but expansion appears to remain on the horizon. Stay tuned.

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