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USSF Concerned with NASL Sanctioning of D2 Pro Soccer for 2011 Season

2011 January 21
by Brian Quarstad

Details are few and far between, but word broke this morning that the United States Soccer Federation has expressed concern over the North American Soccer League for sanctioning Division II professional soccer in the US for the 2011 season.

According to sources, the federation held a board meeting by phone on Thursday where it was decided that the NASL has at this time not met enough of the new D2 standards that were set in August of 2010 for sanctioning of the league. What exactly this means is still unclear and leaves more questions than answers.

It’s unknown if the NASL could still work to meet those standards by the time the federations holds their AGM. That meeting will be held in February and the NASL had hoped to have the “provisional” sanctioning label removed. The USSF board met in Toronto in mid November at MLS Cup which is when they provisionally sanctioned the league. However, since that time the Carolina RailHawks sent the league into a spin with the announcement that they would not field a team in the league this coming season if they didn’t get financial help from the league or Traffic Sports. Since then Traffic has come in and purchased the team from the Wellmans who have dissolved their RailHawk organization.

Aaron Davidson, CEO of the NASL was contacted and stated he would respond in due course.

U.S. Soccer was also contacted but did not return multiple phone calls made to the organization.

More information as it become available.

72 Responses
  1. jw7 permalink
    January 21, 2011

    Are you Funking kidding? Is it April 1?
    What good would that do?

  2. ERic permalink
    January 21, 2011

    I have a vague memory of one of the league requirements being ‘separate owners’ or something like that. I’ll see if I can track down the list of standards. My memory is not reliable, but I had this niggling notion in the back of my head that Traffic picking up ownership of all these teams might be an issue.

  3. January 21, 2011

    Not working it out somehow would be a disaster in cities trying to build fanbase and interest. The instability of the lower-tier soccer divisions is a serious challenge in building interest in this country.

  4. teucer permalink
    January 21, 2011

    Would this also mean loss of the provisional sanctioning, so that the entire 2011 NASL season is unsanctioned, or would it just mean having to reapply for 2012?

  5. Jack permalink
    January 21, 2011

    NASL is a joke> We want MLS.

  6. ERic permalink
    January 21, 2011

    I knew there was something in there:

    1. Team Organization

    iv. No owner may exercise control over more than one club in such a way that the integrity of any game or competition would be jeopardized. If it is necessary for the viability of the league for an owner to own more than one team, the league and the owner must present the Federation with a plan how such owner will relinquish ownership of all but one team as soon as possible. However, all teams must maintain independent operations to maintain the integrity of all games and competitions.

    I’m not suggesting that Traffic being involved with four teams kills the league. Just saying that this could be one of the points that the USSF needs more reassurance on.

  7. ERic permalink
    January 21, 2011

    BTW, looking over the standards (http://www.insidemnsoccer.com/2010/08/12/ussf-d-2-professional-league-standards/) I can easily see a number of reasons that the USSF is wavering.

    …LOL. I just noticed that Brian very nicely linked in the standards in his article. I’m an idiot! Well, now you have the URL twice if you want to look yourself:)

  8. smatthew permalink
    January 21, 2011

    *insert long tired sigh here*

  9. Bobby permalink
    January 21, 2011

    Maybe Charleston knew something we didn’t?

    This whole D2 drama is making me become really jaded toward lower league soccer in America, though I do understand where the USSF is coming from with the strict requirements, the revolving door of teams is a joke.

  10. teucer permalink
    January 21, 2011

    I for one am glad USSF would insist on independent operations – I don’t want to see my team’s front office being run by traffic, even though I’m glad for their money.

  11. Trevor permalink
    January 21, 2011

    USSF is a joke. How hypocritical can one organization be?
    Oh wait, they’re associated with FIFA? Never mind.

  12. Garrett permalink
    January 21, 2011

    Shouldn’t be too difficult to overcome if it’s only the multiple ownership issue. The league would only have to show how they plan to relinquish ownership. Very vague and easy to argue. Could even invoke MLS’s history of multiple ownership.

  13. jw7 permalink
    January 21, 2011

    I’m going back to bed! I’ve just about had enough of having my USSF D2 chain pulled yet again.

  14. ERic permalink
    January 21, 2011

    @jw. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. We’re going to have another ten years of this. There just isn’t enough money yet at the lower division level for things to be stable. Take a deep breath. Or go back to bed. For a few years.;)

  15. Kiki/FT Lauderdale permalink
    January 21, 2011

    Aaron Davidson is a joke. Don’t follow them it will bring you down.

  16. ERic permalink
    January 21, 2011

    @Garrett. The Traffic ownership of so many teams is just one obvious thing that popped into my head. As I said above, if you read the standards, there are a few other things that jump out as possible issues. League office staff and team staff are a couple things that I wondered about. With the NASL announcing those two consultants, they’re clearly trying to address these issues. However, for example (quoting from the previous article):

    ‘“Our number one priority was hiring a guy like Thom Meredith to run the league. We interviewed some great prospects for league commissioner at the NSCAA convention. But if the commissioner doesn’t come on sooner rather than later I’ll continue to lead and we will hire someone for operations.”’

    In other words, they’re still (just two months away from the season starting) in a fluid situation regarding a league commissioner and key league staff. I can see where that also would concern the USSF.

    And that’s just a couple things that I came up with off the top of my head from public information. I haven’t been scrutinizing all the details closely like the USSF has.

    Yeah, it’s possible that the league will be able to overcome these issues, but this looks a little like the USSF lighting a fire under their asses to see if they can. Or it could be the USSF letting teams know that they might want to start contemplating other options.

  17. Garrett permalink
    January 21, 2011

    @Eric As long as lighting a fire under their ass motivates the league to improve itself, that good to USSF for doing it. Then again, as long they don’t just go ahead and fold the league.

  18. Steve permalink
    January 21, 2011

    USSF being vague about “concerns” with no real insight? Give me a moment to properly convey my shock. Someone wake me up when they actually say what their problem is.

  19. Dave permalink
    January 21, 2011

    You could see this coming from a mile a way. The USSF were not going to put up with the NASL’s crap. Two months to go and everything is a mess. Once the Wellmans bailed, it should have told you something. It was all a house of cards ready to fall.

    Let’s be honest, the lower leagues will never work until MLS is big enough to start a MLS2. And that might not be for 15-20 years. Until then it will continue to be a joke.

    I can already hear the USL folks throwing a party. With their Division III, but the best league under MLS nonsense. What a joke.

  20. January 21, 2011

    No one said the USSF is being vague. The information available is vague. Big difference Steve. The USSF has not publicly said anything yet. I don’t think anyone knows exactly what happened yet except the board.

    Erik, to your point, the season is two months along and the USSF has still not guaranteed the NASL that they should go ahead and spend a ton of money securing employees for a season that may or may not be. Davidson has said previously that they are getting hurt because this has dragged out so long – for the second year in a row mind you.

  21. Bart permalink
    January 21, 2011

    Folks, there are a number of issues related to NASL not being qualified for D2 sanctioning:

    1. As is discussed above, one owner per team, not one owner for multiple teams (and don’t get me started on what MLS did as a start up, that was D1 league and done as part of a deal to get World Cup in the 90′s)

    2. NASL fails to have 75% of its teams US based.

    3. Traffic is funding publicly 4 of the 8 teams. What is not discussed is how much money they are possibly funding to the other teams below the table and without disclosure to USSF.

    4. Wellman and Carolina is a game changer. As part leader of the mob that wanted to change the D2 world, he promised to be in even if an outside investor could not be found. Now he is out, AND, he is withholding the Railhawks brand to any new owner, which is so far outside of what was promised to the world and USSF in 2010, makes things very difficult.

    5. NASL still has no front office employees and no Commissioner, and the last IMS report was that if NASL does not get a Commish, then King Davidson himself would ascend to the throne. If you are bringing in consultants to learn what you already have admitted that you don’t know, what makes Davidson think he has any experience beyond that great ego to be the head of NASL? Oh yeah…. Traffic monies….

    Bottom line, I don’t think USSF is concerned, I think at this date that they don’t believe NASL should be sanctioned as D2 this year.

    The greater good of the game for both the long term and short term is involved here.

  22. ERic permalink
    January 21, 2011

    @Garrett. I can’t see Traffic folding the league. They’re going to do all they can to get a piece of the US players.

  23. Steve permalink
    January 21, 2011

    BQ,

    That’s the same thing at this point. Until USSF announces what the issue is, or someone gives something detailed in the slightest, we’re all here running about in circles. I can list probably 10 ways teams in this league have violated the standards, and any one of them could be the source of the concern.

    On the bright side, this article will probably beat the number of comments on the Al Lang post within the next hour.

  24. Rabble Rouser permalink
    January 21, 2011

    This was the worst-kept secret at NSCAA

  25. jw7 permalink
    January 21, 2011

    How can you make something better by ruining it?
    We should be hearing positive statements from the USSF

    Why would anyone ever take another risk at the D2 level with USSF holding all the cards?

  26. ERic permalink
    January 21, 2011

    @Brian. Ah. Good point re: USSF not guaranteeing sanctioning, so NASL not spending money. Seems we have a ‘chicken and egg’ situation here. USSF won’t sanction until NASL gets the staff, and the NASL won’t staff up until the USSF sanctions.

    What a mess. The problem is, we have seen for years leagues and teams saying “just give us the go-ahead and we’ll get it all together.” Now that the USSF has said ‘Enough is enough’, the NASL is testing the USSF’s determination. It will be interesting to see which way this goes. I do hope that the NASL somehow finds a way over this barrier.

  27. January 21, 2011

    Sounds like this needs to be fixed from the top down. I’d love to see something like this:

    1) Award the Cosmos the #20 MLS franchise. Put a freeze on additional MLS teams.

    2) Future MLS teams must compete at the D2 level before possible promotion to MLS. Call it MLS2. Once solid D2 league is established, do pro/rel with D2 champion only / last place MLS team.

    The longer I’m a fan of what we should call minor league soccer, the less of a fan I am of either the NASL and USL. I wish both would succeed but there are too many egos involved. Two teams in San Antonio? Really? I’d like to see the two organizations kiss and make up for the good of soccer.

    How many teams do we have to kill before people start acting for the greater good of the sport?

  28. Rich permalink
    January 21, 2011

    Brian,
    If USSF does not sanction them for D2, could they simply drop down to D3 for one season (2011) and start working on D2 for 2012?

  29. Bart permalink
    January 21, 2011

    @Rich,

    What conditions would change that would allow NASL to be considered for D2 sanctioning in 2012? Will Traffic even want to fund NASL if they are D3 this year? Will Davidson have a job when this is all over? Will Wellman come back and stage a coup?

    So many questions, so little time to get all the facts.

  30. teucer permalink
    January 21, 2011

    “The longer I’m a fan of what we should call minor league soccer, the less of a fan I am of either the NASL and USL.”

    This. A thousand times this.

    I wanted NASL to be a break from USL. Now, they seem to be as bad as USL was, and USL’s getting even worse.

  31. Rich permalink
    January 21, 2011

    @Bart,

    It would give Traffic more time to find new owners for their teams. Also, with Montreal out and SA in for 2012 (and assuming no other teams join), they meet the 75% US rule (6US, 2 Int’l). Perhaps those “other teams” can finalize their plans and join in 2012.

    I guess I’m saying it could buy NASL some time.

  32. yankiboy permalink
    January 21, 2011

    @seamonster: Screw the Cosmos, bell bottom jeans, doing lines of coke and that funny wood panel that they used to put on the sides of station wagons and use on the walls of people’s houses! Nothing personal, Playah. I just ain’t down with the 70 rivalism.

    I’m just not feeling it.

    @Jack: NASL is a joke?!?! You want MLS! I want to be handsome and have control of my marital situation like Bart allegedly does but ya know what Bro–I ain’t handsome and unlike Bart, I don’t run (allegedly) the place where I reside. If you can’t have MLS then I would recommed trying to enjoy NASL or USL. Coz unless you are living in one of the few chosen by god Garber sites with deep ownership pockets, you are going to see MLS in you town (even if they were there once before). That’s just a fact. Sometimes, you just have to keep it real and face the harsh reality that in life you ofetne have to just “settle” for your second or third best choice (just ask my wife).

    @Dave: I gotta agree with you, Playah. NASL did and does look shaky. And something tells me that you are right and that some of the clowns (yeah–that’s right–I said it) over at USL HQ are laughing their Soccerfest behinds off right about now.

    My advice to them: Don’t get too happy, coz y’all don’t look like you have learned a darn thing and from where I am sitting, your USLPRO looks like more of the same. Kinda like Comcast selling the Xfinity kool-aid. More of the lame, same. I wouldn’t but my spleen laughing too hard, too soon.

  33. Bart permalink
    January 21, 2011

    @Rich

    The point of sanctioning requirements is to pass a threshold so that there are minimum standards passed. If NASL needs time to fix issues, then they are welcome to do so, but they should not waste USSF’s time and resources applying for D2 sanctioning until such time that they can legitimately pass the threshold requirements. The same goes for USL, so don’t think I am singling out NASL.

  34. Brendan permalink
    January 21, 2011

    In addition to the silly nature of speculation, the idea that Traffic would drop financial support if NASL was sanctioned at division 3 instead of division 2 makes me chuckle. At this point, there is really no difference between the two. Traffic wants to use the league to show off South American kids to get them MLS buzz or a transfer to a lower league in Europe, which it could still do, and have first look at raw American talent to hold and hoard, which it could still do.

    I think it’d be a lot better for the long haul for NASL to not get the sanctioning for division 2 this year, instead of getting it on a promise that they later don’t fulfill. My take on the regulations was to do exactly that; to weed out weak teams/leagues and investors who don’t give the support they claim they will.

    At this point, d2 and d3 are just names without any substance behind them. A ruling like this would put some importance or substance behind the title of division 2, though.

  35. January 21, 2011

    Garber doesn’t choose MLS expansion cities by fiat. The Board Of Governors does.

    If your city doesn’t have an MLS team, maybe it’s because no one has stepped up with an actual plan and financing, not because they just like fucking with you. Or because Garber is Blatter lite.

    But most of y’all just need to have a villain. It makes your lives easier or something. First it was Marcos, even after he really didn’t have a lot of decision-making power anymore.

    I said a while back that D2 soccer was D2 soccer, no matter what the alphabet organization overseeing it is. But nooooooooooooooo, the NASL was going to do it different and better. Being owned by Nike and then Papadakis was bad, but being owned by Jeff Cooper would have been awesome and being owned by Traffic is much, much better.

    The NASL has been a Traffic construct from the get-go. That’s all it is. All it ever was. They thought they could do a league better than it has ever been done. Harder than it looks, isn’t it?

  36. Bart permalink
    January 21, 2011

    @Brendan

    The problem with your hypothesis is that Davidson also promised Traffic new team entry fees of $1,000,000 and higher, which recoups the Traffic investment, which has to be in the already millions of dollars.

    D3 does not command those types of fees.

    It ain’t just about the players…..

  37. Dan permalink
    January 21, 2011

    You know that Best thing to do is to just unsanction both NASL and USL until This Mess is straighten out. NASL needs to just go with a Temporary Single Entity League and USL needs to stop Trying to push NASL to fail.

    The USSF have to move forward with a D3 standards Reformat to force USL to focus on its own league rather then its bitterness towards NASL. USSF needs to also say that if you want to Make a jump to MLS you need to be in D2 before you can make that jump (after the 20th team). We can’t have this fight between these 2 leagues any more, So its either play nice or your both gone.

  38. Oskar Blue permalink
    January 21, 2011

    “USL needs to stop Trying to push NASL to fail”

    Now that is amusing! USL focused on D3 and let the NASL do what it pleased. USL has been talking with the Spurs about San Antonio for 3 years – long before NASL ever existed.

    Please explain to me how that is pushing someone to fail?

  39. Dan permalink
    January 21, 2011

    Trying to force a team in Fort Lauderdale when the Strikers have been their for 4 years now.
    And if you haven’t notice i just called out both leagues.

  40. Bart permalink
    January 21, 2011

    @Dan

    Where in the world did you come up with facts anywhere that USL had any involvement in a USSF issue with NASL? USL gave up it’s D2 quest last summer, recognizing that it was better served to revamp it’s D3 league.

    As much as I am sure that USL would love to control the outcome of USSF decisions, they should have used that power last year and got sanctioned on their own.

    The D2 sanctioning quest is much like Indiana Jones quest for the ark of the covenant. You might be able to acquire it, but if you open it, God will burn you bad…

  41. Bart permalink
    January 21, 2011

    @Dan

    There has not been a Ft. Lauderdale team in Ft. Lauderdale over the last 4 years. Last time I checked, there was a very lousy managed team down there in Miami.

  42. January 21, 2011

    Bart: “There has not been a Ft. Lauderdale team in Ft. Lauderdale over the last 4 years. Last time I checked, there was a very lousy managed team down there in Miami.”

    You should check more closely and see where Miami FC played 14 of its 15 home games last year. And five of its 15 the year before that.

  43. January 21, 2011

    Dan: “You know that Best thing to do is to just unsanction both NASL and USL until This Mess is straighten out. ”

    Why does USL have to be unsanctioned? They’re D3. They’re not trying to meet D2 standards.

    If making every pro player outside of MLS in America and Canada basically a rogue player playing in an unsanctioned league is “the best thing to do,” I shudder at your thought process.

    God, hyper-reactionary knee-jerkers with little to no knowledge of situations on which you comment. Such is the soccer fan with internet access.

  44. Dan permalink
    January 21, 2011

    Bart,

    Im not saying that USL is pushing the USSF but i am saying that part of the problem is that the USL is trying to say its D2 when we all know it is not. Now I am disappointed in both leagues. Basically what i’m calling is for the USSF to tell both leagues to stop this fighting and to play nice or they are Expelled from being sanctioned by the USSF at all Divisions.

    I wanna see them try to work together and create a better soccer for the USA rather then trying to Sabotage each other which hurts soccer in the USA.

    On the San Antonio Issue their is a group of us that feel that they SSE was always Wishy Washy about Pro Soccer but didn’t think anyone else would step up. Hartman Stepped up and even asked SSE to join him in the Effort to bring Soccer to San Antonio. SSE said no, so Hartman said fine and moved forward and caught the spurs off guard.

    The Ft. Lauderdale comment just cracks me up.

    Oh and the USL is failing as we speak too. LA will fold at the end of the year along with atleast 1/3 of the USL-pro because it was so Rushed in being put together.

  45. Fenchi permalink
    January 21, 2011

    I don’t know…should D2 be completely pro? Can’t it be maybe semi-pro, and played in regions? Like USL is doing (but better)?

  46. Dan permalink
    January 21, 2011

    Fenchi,

    Ain’t that the Truth,

    What the hell is Los Angeles doing in the same Regional Divisions as the Caribbean teams.

  47. Soccer Boy permalink
    January 21, 2011

    This is worse than a daytime soap opera or trying to support Liverpool. I am going to the Local and will be drinking heavily. Anyone want to join me?

  48. Dan permalink
    January 21, 2011

    More news Breaking out USL-pro says it will be Expanding to Antarctica.

    Mr. Holt said that We will now become the most Global North American League and that they are now above both MLS and the FMF.

    jUST KIDDING

  49. Dan permalink
    January 21, 2011

    More Breaking news MLS could lose its Sanctioning for being Single entity. just bsing

  50. Mike permalink
    January 21, 2011

    @Dan: If you are SS&E and make your buck in the pro sports industry and are asked by a philanthropist to join their soccer cause where 100% profit goes to charity, what do you do when you’re in the business of making money off of sports? Especially after working with USL for 3 years to do it on your own.

    Sure they were asked to join but that is like asking a baker to help bake and sell girl scout cookies in your neighborhood. You’d rather sell your baked goods to your own market.

    I just don’t see how SS&E can partner with 100% going to charity.

    I really don’t see what the deal would have been for the Spurs by joining Hartman. Spurs get what?

  51. Dan permalink
    January 21, 2011

    I’m done at the moment, the only thing i can think of is that its time to clean out the lower divisions and start over again.

  52. Dave permalink
    January 21, 2011

    @Dan – So what? USL teams fold every year. But like a cockroach, the league survives even if they are a laughing stock. While the NASL might not even take make one year now despite their promise to be different.

    And don’t make jokes about USSF’s sanctioning. Both the NASL and USL knew about it. The USL ran for the hills. NASL though charged ahead wanting to make D2 and talking big. When they got temp sanctioning it was before Traffic took over half the league, the Wellmans bailed, no real progress in the FO, no real progress in really anything, and SA looking really shaky. So no wonder the USSF smells a rat and probably feels they were sold a bill of good by Davidson. You can’t change the rules mid-stream. If the NASL can’t meet the USSF’s requirements, than go away. The whole point of the standards was to stop the USL crap. The NASL is just as bad.

  53. Bart permalink
    January 21, 2011

    @ Dan

    Not to state the obvious, but by all accounts I have seen, USL as promoted itself as the best professional league below MLS. Even if NASL got sanctioned, that is probably today a correct statement.

    Further, unless I missed something, USL Pro was never marketed as a D2 level league, in fact, USL specifically stated they were not pursuing D2 sanctioning and were focusing on improving its USL Pro league.

    Frankly, after today’s revelations, USL can probably make the statement that it’s league is the highest level today, under MLS. It does not sound as though NASL will be playing in D2 this year.

  54. Dan permalink
    January 21, 2011

    Bart,
    I’m done and i think the best thing to do is to tell both leagues to take a hike and to start a rebuilding process because i am sick and tired of this pissing contest.

  55. Bobby permalink
    January 21, 2011

    Continuing on what someone said earlier — and sorry if it’s off-topic — I seriously think that the idea of regional lower leagues should be discussed. The national (international, really) travel is insane on these little teams.

  56. yankiboy permalink
    January 21, 2011

    @Dan: Playah, I feel you. Laughs aside, the soap opera has gotten real OLD.

  57. Dan permalink
    January 21, 2011

    Sorry if i came off the wrong way in earlier threads, It just been so Frustrating to watch the lower Divisions fight like 2 little kids.

  58. James permalink
    January 21, 2011

    USL did say that they were not pursuing D2 sanctioning because D3 will essentially become D2 when there is no D2.

    I just don’t understand how anyone would not want certain teams or leagues to succeed. A company is willing to spend millions and millions of dollars on soccer in the US and some how there are people that think that is a negative. If the NASL loses sanctioning I just can’t see there ever being a second division in the US. Does competition not bring out the best. Think of how much better MLS and SUM would be if another league and a similar business to SUM are right on there heels. Its unfortunate for soccer in the US.

  59. Grant Stephens permalink
    January 21, 2011

    I guess my comments 24 hours ago over on the Al Lang boards about ‘cant we just pretend everything is alright?!’ looks like a tough ask. You go out on a enough limbs, one is surely bound to ….

    Constructively, what happens now? I understand that not all of the details have come to light, but since were working on two marathons in two days on IMS, what needs to happen? What can happen? Is this The USSF being knee-jerk? or will NASL not exist?

    Ive watched my share of American soccer, some strange and beautifully bad soccer, but someone’s assessment of this being like a ‘soap opera’ is dead on! Its just a shame because some very good people, fans, and players are gonna lose out if this goes bust!

  60. JXU permalink
    January 21, 2011

    MLS can’t offer this much drama!

    Seriously, though… I have to think that situations like this have to give serious pause to anyone who would otherwise be considering investing in lower-division soccer in the U.S. or Canada.

  61. ERic permalink
    January 21, 2011

    Wow. I wonder what the odds are of USL Pro accepting in some of the NASL teams. I think the odds are pretty slim (not that they wouldn’t accept, but that Traffic would even consider going back to the USL), but it is one option out there. I think it’s more likely that the NASL will just barrel ahead as a D3 league. Next few days are going to be interesting.

  62. Dan permalink
    January 21, 2011

    Well had some time to think. Between the 2 leagues I think the NASL is closer to being sanctioned at the moment for 2012. Play 2012 has a D3 league and work for D2 next year. Try to find Investors for Carolina, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Minnesota for Next year. Also try to find 3 possible Expansion teams join with San Antonio just in case. Top Priority is to make sure all ownership groups meet USSF Standards.

    My Message to USL-Pro good luck and i hope all their moves towards expansion are purely buisness and not pettiness because they need to get their D3 divisions in order. LA should not be playing the Caribbean teams.

    I still hold a grudge against USL for what happened in Austin but im trying not let that cloud my thinking so if i do seem a little bias at times, that is why.

  63. Wayne permalink
    January 21, 2011

    After listening to bq’s podcast with Lagos, I was ready to buy season tickets to the Stars. Now, not so much.

    Maybe we could form semi-pro county leagues like they have in England. NASL can get D7 sanctioning. Let’s really go grass roots.

    I’m gonna form the Scott county Teletubbies. I’ll spray paint the team’s logo onto local dairy and other farm animals. Now that’s marketing.

  64. Bart permalink
    January 21, 2011

    @Dan

    BQ confirmed that sanctioning is denied. It is more likely that D2 will go dark this season, and I would be surprised if NASL/Traffic would waste millions of dollars for what for them would be a meaningless season if they are not D2.

    I think with USL having announced the upcoming season already, they have no obligation to revisit this because of the NASL tragedy.

    Que Sera, Sera.

  65. Fenchi permalink
    January 21, 2011

    Teams and leagues should get in touch with reality. They can’t support a league with full pro teams below MLS at the moment. Change it up. Keep the teams semi-pro or maybe a combo of pro and semi pro players. And cut down on travel costs! And if there’s only one team out west? Easy, no western conference. And for shit’s sake, USSF should get of their asses and actually do something.

  66. Taylor permalink
    January 21, 2011

    Why don’t we duplicate the soccer (or football) movement in England or in the Netherlands ? It all came from the grassroot movement. Bunch of people who enjoy playing football . They compete locally.

    I read the Division 2 standards set by USSF and IMHO, they are not feasible for profitability. The league and USSF start too big and too fast and they ask the clubs to be “big” in a very short period.

    Let’s starts by having regional competitions (e.g Minnesota league or Midwest League). Make sure these clubs stay profitable by having low operating costs. Like Brian said in his blogs re: the future of Division 2. So the clubs should be run as small business, not big companies and therefore they shouldn’t be burdened by extravagant costs like travel costs, etc. Let’s not worry about what the league is called and sanctioning from USSF. Build a strong league with strong teams first.

    The question now: would Traffic or NASL be willing to consider going “small” first ?

  67. Dan permalink
    January 21, 2011

    @Bart

    I meant D2 for 2012. NASL should focus on 2012.

  68. January 21, 2011

    *cough*MLS2*cough*

  69. CHHSfan permalink
    January 21, 2011

    I really don’t care who runs the league, what division, or the owner and team name if I have a team to support. NASL seems to be risking their future pushing for D2, and risking every team they have. This better be the gamble they win. USL seems to be overreaching. on expansion. Is there any reason why no one can have a well run minor league?

  70. January 21, 2011

    I want to see a Division II league limp on, because if it gives up we may lose great markets that exist now.

    I have noticed that my crack about Bart’s wife beating him has become quite the running joke. Now if only his wife were in on it.

  71. salim permalink
    January 21, 2011

    This is really sad. We need D2 to grow in this country. The Carolina RailHawks did all the rights things from a team perspective and they still want to fold. Why can’t we find worthy investors to uphold the clubs in D2 for decades. A new marketing strategy is badly needed to grow the sport at the D2 level. Imagine an MLS club in North Carolina, it would have met the same fate as the Carolina RailHawks. This proves, North Carolina and the South in general is not ready for an MLS club. Don Garber knows what he is talking about, when he mention that the Southern market had not quite mature enough. This really sucks, I love the Carolina RailHawks.

  72. treefire permalink
    January 22, 2011

    Thanks for keeping us updated, BQ. As we get nearer to the season, I was starting to look forward to some games. This bit of news is quite a slap in the face for the fans of the teams concerned. It will be interesting to see if NASL can somehow get everything together and re-apply for D2, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them playing D3. Despite what might appear to some to be a “wasted season” playing D3, I would think it would cost them a significant amount of money to release their players now, not play any games for a year, and then try to rebuild teams again for next season. And, since Traffic is in the business of marketing players, it seems their hand may be forced: if the choice is between having no league for their players to play in, and playing D3, well, one would think they must play D3. On the other hand, I’m so sick of this situation, and with the change of ownership (and rumored possible name change) at Carolina, I, for one, may just stick to supporting my local club, and forget about US soccer entirely.

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