Joey Saputo Says NASL and USL Have Reached Agreement
According to Duane Rollins and Ben Roycroft of It’s Called Football (ICF) and reported at The 24th Minute, Joey Saputo of the Montreal Impact spoke on Wednesday night to Montreal’s Team 990’s (radio) Noel Butler. Butler reported to ICF that the USL and NASL have reached an agreement that will see both leagues operate in 2010. The name of the league was unknown.
The article goes on to say, the two groups, along with the USSF, are waiting to work out the fine details of the agreement before officially announcing it (likely during the NASL’s AGM next week), but that there would be a season in 2010. Plans beyond 2010 have yet to be worked out
The leagues will run in a similar way to Major League Baseball, with teams playing an interleague schedule and for a common championship. The USSF will sanction the league, eliminating any fear of teams being ineligible for international play.
As reported here yesterday, the new North American Soccer Leagues (NASL) first annual general meeting actually convenes today, January 7, 2009. It will be interesting to see what is reported from US Soccer. Even though Saputo spoke to the media, there is still a strict gag order imposed by US Soccer on all parties involved. Many more details of NASL’s future will be revealed at the AGM this week with the possibility of a new logo as well as a league web site.
As reported here yesterday, it was proposed that US Soccer will actually run the provisional league in 2010 with the details of the 2011 league to be worked out at a later time. USL will be responsible for some aspects of the league while NASL will take on other responsibilities.
IMS has been working hard the last several days to obtain information concerning details of the agreement which was actually close to being finished late Tuesday evening. Most of the parties I spoke to were very optimistic on Wednesday morning. But as the day progressed and there was no word from New York where the parties were meeting, the mood changed to anxious and very concerned. Any information that parties were willing to share with IMS was required to stay off-the-record for now. However, information seemed to be flowing to many yesterday despite the gag order as numerous web sites were reporting on details of the new league and even conference delineation as well as specific clauses within the contract. While most of that speculation is most likely close to correct, the fact is, no one knew of the exact final deal as both Jeff Cooper representing the NASL and Alec Papadakis for the USL were still working out details of the agreement throughout yesterday.
More information should be available today from US Soccer. For Minnesota soccer supporters, one would could expect that many more details about the new National Spots Center soccer team would become available once US Soccer lifts its gag order and announces the terms of agreement. If IMS is made aware of any details that can be factually reported, trust that I will get that to you as soon as I am able to report it.
For now, the good news is, there will be Division II soccer in the US and Canada in 2010, which also means there will be a new soccer team in Minnesota for the 2010 season. This is great news by itself.