The age rule governing the league has come under scrutiny in light of a lawsuit alleging that the refusal to allow players under 18 years of age to compete in the division is discriminatory.
Representatives of 15-year-old soccer prodigy Olivia Moultrie, who currently trains with the Portland Thorns, claim that their client “is in the wrong country and the wrong gender to take advantage of her soccer precocity” and that were she male “she’d already be playing in MLS.”
The NWSL has defended the legality of the rule by pointing to its autonomous status as a single-entity league.
However, Hope Solo has ridiculed this position, saying: "A single-entity league pays for the salaries of all the players and support staff, and that's simply not true [of the NWSL].
"When I played for Seattle, the national team paid for the national team's players, but the Seattle Reign's owners paid for all the other players, the coach and the support staff.
"It was the same in Portland and at every single team in the NWSL.
"The NWSL's single-entity defense is a bunch of BS, and they're using that as a way of confusing the general public.
"They're taking the playbook from the US Soccer Federation regarding equal pay - confusing the public and spending millions of dollars to fight a lawsuit.
"The NWSL is hampering [Olivia's] development. This doesn't happen in MLS or any other league around the world.
While the two-time World Cup winner believes Moultrie should be allowed to play at senior level, she is wary of the pressure being placed on the teenager's shoulders.
"I have seen so many young players come into the national team and then fall by the wayside," warns Hope Solo.
"Putting so much pressure on a girl who is 15 years old is irresponsible of coaches, Nike and the media.
"I wish Olivia all the best - I know she'll continue to do great things, I just hope there is longevity to go with her talent."