In the heels of the USL Super League announcement of the first tier one professional women’s soccer league in the United States starting in August 2024, Forward Madison FC announced it has been granted a franchise to start in a subsequent season of the new league.
Appearing in the Forward Club at Breese Stevens field, the club’s front office was joined by City of Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and April Kigeya, a representative of The Mingo Ladies, the Supporters Group of Forward Madison focused on promoting female involvement in the sport. Special attention was given to the significance this new team will have in the community, particularly young girls and women.
“I am so excited to be here for this announcement of bringing women’s professional soccer to the city of Madison,” said Mayor Rhodes-Conway. “It’s an opportunity for young women all across the state of Wisconsin to not only see themselves playing sports, but also see themselves playing professional sports.”
“This is an exciting day for the community, for equity, for equality, for all those who identify as women to see that they also are able to play at a higher soccer level,” added Kigeya.
Conner Coleia, COO of Forward Madison FC, made it clear that the club is committed to taking all the steps necessary to make Breese Stevens Field a facility that can support a tier one professional women’s soccer team. Top among these improvements will be new turf, a dedicated women’s locker room and an indoor training facility for the new team.
For his part, club President Vern Steinman highlighted the role the community of soccer fans in Madison played in influencing this planned expansion. He shared that when asked about their support for an amateur women’s soccer team, the Flock community responded that they’d be against it, “because they would find it difficult … to support an organization that would pay their male players but didn’t pay their female players.”
Turning his attention to the long-term statewide vision, Steinman stated that the new professional women’s soccer team in Madison has the potential to “deliver top level women’s professional sports for the first time in the state of Wisconsin.”
The club also announced a website, Madison Women’s Pro Soccer, for fans to get in on the action early. The Mayor has already claimed her spot in the very first game whenever it happens, turning to the team’s leadership and asking, “can I kick the first ball?”