What will it take to bring women’s professional sports to Colorado? | VailDaily.com

What will it take to bring women’s professional sports to Colorado?

The absence of any major sports leagues is especially glaring in pro soccer with strong homegrown USWNT representation

Kyle Fredrickson and Noelle Phillips, The Denver Post
Portland's Sophia Smith weaves her way through the triple team of Angel City's Megan Reid, Tyler Lussi, and Vanessa Gilles in the Portland Thorn's 3-0 win over Angel City in Providence Park, Portland, Oregon, USA, on June 3, 2022.
Jeff Wong/AP photo

Colorado routinely produces elite female athletes, even world-class standouts.

But many of those same women don’t have the option to compete professionally for their home state. While “individual” pro sports such as alpine skiing make annual stops on Colorado’s slopes, the state is not represented in the National Women’s Soccer League, the Women’s National Basketball Association, the Premier Hockey Federation or any other major women’s sports league.

That absence is especially glaring in soccer with four homegrown talents — Lindsey Horan, Jaelin Howell, Mallory Pugh and Sophia Smith — featured on the U.S. Women’s National Team. But each plays professionally well outside Colorado’s borders.

“I wish that when I was growing up there were games I could go see,” said Smith, a Windsor native, now playing in her third NWSL season (Portland Thorns). “The only time I could see them play was the few times when the national team came to Denver. One thing that could be said is how successful Colorado could be if there was a team for young kids to go watch and get inspiration from.”

Lessons from the past help explain why the state is missing out today.

Support Local Journalism

Read more via The Denver Post.

Support Local Journalism