Organizers behind the new National Soccer Alliance announced on February 15th that an eight-team women’s soccer pro-league will hold its first matches on April 17, 1998. Julie Foundy, the gold medal winning U.S. Olympic soccer athlete, commented that the organization has full support of the players. “[W]e are not only excited about this, we are ecstaticI think I’ve played two games since the Olympicsfor five months I didn’t touch a ball because there’s no environment to play in. For us to maintain our level as gold medalists and world champions, this is a necessity,” said Foundy. The organization does not yet have corporate sponsors or selected host cities, but league commissioner Booth Gardner commented that play will go forward. “The bottom line is that the player have told us that they want to play in ’98, and that means we have a lot of work to do,” Gardner said.