WPS commissioner stepping down after season

BY foxsports • September 14, 2010

Women's Professional Soccer Commissioner Tonya Antonucci is stepping down at the end of the season.

Antonucci announced the decision Monday. She helped build the league for the last six years and served as commissioner since 2007, overseeing the WPS during its first two seasons. Antonucci will step down after the championship game Sept. 26.

"It's a personal decision for me," she said. "I've been thinking about it over the course of the summer."

WPS general counsel Anne-Marie Eileraas will take over as chief executive officer. The owners on the WPS board of governors will guide the strategic direction of the league as part of a restructuring that had already begun. The WPS has reduced staff and eliminated national marketing.

Antonucci said the league had not been able to sign up as many national sponsors as it had hoped and was looking to save money by focusing on the local level. The St. Louis franchise folded in May, part of the ups and downs for a young league launched during a recession.

"When St. Louis dropped so suddenly in the middle of the season, that was a major shock to the owners," Antonucci said. "They wanted to be much more actively involved in setting the strategy of the business."