[mana shim voice] i love my girls
This was pretty cute. Hope got birthday balloons at the end of the match :)
Reign vs Thorns. 7.27.14.
Please do not repost.
@sydneyleroux: Happy birthday to this beautiful soul @AlexBKrieger! #dirtythirtyhunny
I think you touched on the difficulty of naming any one league the “best,” namely what metrics you’re going to use. Overall competitiveness? Financial solvency? Attendance? I think we can generally agree that one of the main purposes of a sports league is entertainment, so I would make my main metric how much fans enjoy the league, although that begs further questions such as, how do you measure enjoyment. You can do it with some combo of attendance and how “exciting” the league is, i.e. do the same teams win every season, what is league parity like based on W-L-T records and goals scored/goals against. You could even try to rank them by average player skill by breaking down common player stats like goals, assists, SOG, crosses, scoring chances created, defensive clearances, blah blah blah.
(Side note, I did some back-of-the-envelope sums for total population around cities where NWSL and WSL 1 teams are based [for WSL, I used the county population based on the assumption surrounding county is about the distance regular fans are willing to travel for WSL and for NWSL I used the closest metro population based on the same] and actually NWSL totaled about 8 million and WSL was 7.5 million so raw population base is not terribly different, if my assumptions weren’t completely wrong. Differences in attendance can be attributed to all sorts of factors such as stadium accessibility/capacity and local popularity of women’s soccer. Percentage of capacity needs to be a factor for comparing here in addition to overall attendance.)
Since I have nowhere near enough time to assemble that kind of data, I’m just going to say that I think right now NWSL and WSL 1 have the most parity in that it is more likely in those leagues that on any given day one team could beat any other team, but I am by no means a close follower of the Frauen-Bundesliga, the Damallsvenskan, Division 1, the Nadeshiko League, etc. I also think any potential answer to this question could become much clearer in the next 3-5 years.