After a brilliant World Cup victory, US stars return to their day jobs

It’s been a non-stop party since Megan Rapinoe and Co won the World Cup. But now the task is to see if they can grow the domestic league It’s been a non-stop party for the US women’s national team since they won the World Cup on Sunday. The champagne started flowing in the locker room immediately after the US beat the Netherlands and, from the charter flight home to a ticker-tape parade in New York City , players’ Instagram accounts have featured bottle-popping, dancing and singing ever since. Once the celebrations stop, however, the players have to return to their day jobs. That means the National Women’s Soccer League, a fledgling competition now in its seventh season. If fans want to keep up with Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, they will have to watch Reign FC and Orlando Pride. The question, of course, is whether that will happen. There was a spike after the US won the World Cup in 2015, with NWSL games selling out once USWNT players returned, and just about every club setting attendance records. The problem is that crowds then dipped once the World Cup glow faded. Portland Thorns, the biggest club in the NWSL, average more than 18,000 fans a game but they are an exception. Rapinoe’s club, Reign FC, drew fewer than 4,000 a game last season. Continue reading...

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