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Updated: Los Angeles Sol of Women's Professional Soccer to cease operations

January 28, 2010 | 10:58 am

Sol2 The Los Angeles Sol of Women's Professional Soccer is expected to announce today that it is ceasing operations after one season.

The Sol was one of the league's seven teams in the inaugural WPS season in 2009 but was underfunded and did not attract the crowds it expected to the Home Depot Center.

One of the team's co-owners, AEG, has been trying for several months to sell its share of the team without success. The league thought it had identified a new ownership group to take on the Sol, but that deal fell apart at the last minute.

The team featured the world's top women's player, Brazilian forward Marta, and reached the WPS final in its only season, losing to New Jersey Sky Blue in the championship match. The Sol parted ways with Coach Abner Rogers during the off-season and Charlie Naimo, the team's general manager, had been serving as interim coach.

The team was not included when WPS released part of its 2010 schedule this month, with the league saying Sol games would be revealed later after stadium issues had been settled.

The Sol players with guaranteed contracts will be sent to other WPS teams in a dispersal draft, and it's expected that Marta, the league's highest-paid player with a reported $500,000 salary, will return to the league.

-- Grahame L. Jones

Photo: Sol forward Marta shows off her soccer skills during a team press conference on March 5. Credit: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times

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