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NASL Releases Press Statement Concerning US Soccer’s Decision to Decline Sanctioning

2011 January 21
by Brian Quarstad

The North American Soccer League released a statement late Friday evening concerning US Soccer’s decision to deny them sanctioning of Division 2 pro soccer in the US.



January 21, 2011 – Miami, FL.  The North American Soccer League (NASL) confirms recent reports that the USSF Board of Directors, at its meeting yesterday, withdrew its provisional sanctioning of the league.  The NASL understands that the Board’s decision was based on its conclusion that the league fails to comply with certain of the newly heightened Division II professional standards.

Despite this decision, the NASL understands that it may resubmit its application for sanctioning.  The NASL intends to work closely with the USSF to resolve the USSF’s concerns and resubmit its application as soon as possible in order to be sanctioned at the USSF Annual General Meeting to be held on February 11 – 12.  The NASL will not pursue sanctioning as any other division under the USSF bylaws.

The NASL and its member teams are fully committed to establishing a long overdue stable structure and platform for second division soccer in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.   The NASL looks forward to working closely with Major League Soccer (MLS) at the first division level and United Soccer Leagues (USL) at the third division level and below in developing soccer in North America at all levels.

Aaron Davidson, CEO of the NASL, commented, “We have invested a lot of time, energy and resources over the past four years to establish a proper team-owned and governed professional second division soccer league and separate ourselves from the instability and annual team turnover of USL, the former second division.  The USSF and the soccer community have realized that it’s time once and for all to launch a new second division with higher standards which finally ensure the stability, growth and prosperity of second division soccer in North America.  We are prepared to respond to the USSF’s concerns and look forward to delivering on our commitments to our teams and fans to re-launch second division as the NASL in 2011.”

95 Responses
  1. Dan permalink
    January 21, 2011

    I guess the Bright side is that the NASL is going to keep working towards fixing the problems and try to get sanctioned. I wish them the best of luck.

  2. WSW permalink
    January 21, 2011

    I hope so too, especially here in Tampa with the great news of a new coach,new stadium and then we get blindsided by this.

  3. Dave DuJour permalink
    January 21, 2011

    What else would anyone expect them to say at this point?

  4. SRQMatt permalink
    January 21, 2011

    @WSW agreed – I’m still putting my $ down for FCTB tix next week, but this is a little unsettling, to say the least!

  5. Bart permalink
    January 21, 2011

    How possibly can NASL correct what it cannot correct to move forward?

    We are living in dreams ville at this point.

  6. mikey permalink
    January 21, 2011

    Interesting to note that it says they “will not pursue sanctioning as any other division under the USSF bylaws.”

    So D2 or bust. I wonder if there was a line by line list of the issues USSF had with the sanctioning and what exactly they were. Three weeks to find new investors could be near impossible.

  7. Mary Westman permalink
    January 21, 2011

    This is ridiculous and absolutely without merit. NASL is finished.

  8. Ultra permalink
    January 21, 2011

    How can they insist that no one owns multiple teams when the Hunts still totally own 2 in MLS and AEG is still involved in 2?

    I just don’t see how the USSF could justify essentially killing D2 soccer and probably multiple teams. I’m all for tougher standards but losing a division entirely doesn’t exactly further soccer in the US. Even back in August when the standards were announced, I don’t see how they expect teams to be able to comply with EVERY standard they set forth right away. Finding a stadium takes time, finding investors take time, etc.

    Yes NASL has issues, and Traffic is heavily involved with multiple teams, but guess what: If this was still USL running the show those teams would not exist. They’d have let them fold and disappear. At least Traffic stepped in and is willing to help these clubs stay afloat until hopefully new investors can be secured. Just like What the Hunts and AEG did for MLS clubs.

  9. WSW permalink
    January 21, 2011

    USL probably were complaining to USSF, because nobody was buying tickets for D3.

  10. Vegas Vic permalink
    January 21, 2011

    “the instability and annual team turnover of the USL”?

    The NASL scorecard is now filled with St Louis, Balitmore, Carolina, and Minnesota in its loss column…these guys actually manage to outdo the USL in the instability and turnover department.

  11. January 21, 2011

    “To establish a proper team-owned and governed professional second division soccer league and separate ourselves from the instability and annual team turnover of USL.”

    That’s funny. That’s actually funny. You think you’re going to be different from what came before, yet you’re doing exactly what everybody has done before.

    “USL probably were complaining to USSF, because nobody was buying tickets for D3.”

    Because, God knows, the NASL teams have proven themselves to be ticket sales machines.

  12. January 21, 2011

    “How can they insist that no one owns multiple teams when the Hunts still totally own 2 in MLS and AEG is still involved in 2?”

    Ummmm…because MLS has proven itself to be about eleventymillion times more stable than D2? USSF established D2 standards because D2 is the level that needs stability more than any other.

    Especially if you’re going to get your beloved pro/rel at some point before men walk on Mars.

    And having Traffic own more teams than Hunt doesn’t exactly help your argument.

  13. jersey joe permalink
    January 22, 2011

    I feel sorry for all the players involved in the NASL. What a disaster it would be to find out your out of a job a month before the season. Welcome to the new American economy.

  14. Ultra permalink
    January 22, 2011

    @ Vic

    Last I checked Carolina and Minnesota still exist. As I said in my previous post, yes, it’s not good that Traffic had to step in to financially boost those teams, but in the end they’ve kept pro soccer going in those markets(at least in theory now). Under USL they’d simply be allowed to sail off into oblivion, to be replaced by the next club with an expansion fee.

    And you can hardly fault NASL for the Baltimore situation. Baltimore was being let into D2 by USL, bumping themselves up a division when clearly they could not handle it(just like the Cleveland City Stars). Perhaps the only true misstep from NASL was St. Louis, which turned out to be a sham from the start with Cooper being the front man for a flaky ownership group.

    And they attracted solid organizations like Montréal and Vancouver, who have expressed the intent to keep a club in NASL in the future as they move to MLS.

    Then they lost potential allies in Rochester and Austin when they self-relegated to a psuedo-regional D3 USL Pro, where travel to Antigua, Puerto Rico and LA makes it no more cost-effective than NASL plans to be.

    There needs to be flexibility on some of these standards. Yes, they were set in place to stabilize D2. But that won’t happen overnight. To stabilize D2 you have to have a D2. If they force NASL to not play(either by not playing at all or playing as a D3), they are doing exactly the opposite of what they set out to do with these standards. Rather than building a foundation and working towards a stable D2 with organizations who actually want to be in D2, they are killing it and playing right into the hands of USL who dodged the new tougher standards by settling on being a D3 or as they put it “the highest level of soccer after MLS”.

  15. January 22, 2011

    “For those who were wondering why the San Diego Flash didn’t join the NASL, this article is for you.” Says Clent Alexander, CEO of the Club. “When I commented about instability of the different Leagues at our last Exhibition match vs Chivas USA, this is the sort of thing I was afraid of.”

  16. Grant Stephens permalink
    January 22, 2011

    The sad part is there are at least 23 markets across several countries who are planning to play actual competative soccer in 3 months. Best scenario: they all ‘make up’ and form a pretty formidable start of a D2 league. Everyone wins. Even the fans! I completely understand the history and all but I hate, hate, hate, the fight between the two leagues. Its petty and should have been kissed over long ago (well, October 2010) instead it has gotten worse and seems as if it could destroy lower division soccer. Ironically, the morons need each other to succeed! Maybe that is what they could work on in 2011 since it seems there is always a need for NASL and USL to prove themselves?

    Also…if this isnt a reason to release a damn schedule. An 8 team schedule, at that!

    Whats are the chances that The USSF is just pulling some chains? Not to say that they arent serious, but as has been stated, what is the point of saying ‘no’ to millionaires trying to spend money on soccer? How would anyone benefit if The USSF said ‘no’ to what these teams have built? Shut out those fan bases and partnerships? and over guidlines that were constructed 5 months ago. Seems hypocritical…

  17. Strikers Return permalink
    January 22, 2011

    Wow….I’m just reading about the goings on of the last two days right now. I have to admit, that I was so encouraged by Traffic’s commitment to lay a ground floor for NASL by gushing cash, that the idea of this happening never even occurred to me. In the grand old US of A, cash usually talks. I can’t decide if I’m more surprised by this, or the fact that I haven’t seen any “I told you so” comments from Kenn yet.

    It’s tough to speculate on how or if the league can address the USSF’s concerns and manage to secure D2 sanctioning by next month. I was so looking forward to taking my son to see the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers at Lockhart, just like I did with my dad when I was a kid. Now, that seems very much in jeopardy. Maybe this has woken me from my nostalgia. I couldn’t figure out why a brand new sales rep, who on my voice mail actually identified himself as being with the FORT LAUDERDALE STRIKERS would be calling me this afternoon……but I guess now I can see why. Trying to ease some fears and talk season ticket holders into not panicking and looking for refunds?

    All the air seems to have come out of my ability to take the NASL side of things and argue their case. For now at least. So go ahead Kenn and Bart, give us the I told you so you’re dying to give. All I am sure of at this moment is that the party at USL HQ is certainly still in high gear, and Holt, Papa, and Marcos are on the phone with Clark and Rawlins kissing their arses and saying, see guys, we told you! You were the true lynchpins of D2, and by coming over to us, they were doomed to fail. You made the right choice! The choice that insured, “We will be the top level of pro soccer outside of MLS……….”

  18. January 22, 2011

    just asking

    what was phil Rawlins doing at he MLS hotel in Batimore?

    Mr. Rawlins and his not so silent partner Mr. Mellor were seen getting some serious face time with Commissioner Garber soon after the first round of the superDraft

  19. WSW permalink
    January 22, 2011

    Actually I had reps calling me to renew my season tickets. I think USSF is just scaring the teams to try and get their act together. IF not they play as D3, nothing happens.

  20. Grant Stephens permalink
    January 22, 2011

    Couldnt it be time to blow up the current structure all together…excluding MLS, of course?

    For all the bickering it still seems like USL’s 15 teams are trying to acheive the same thing as NASL’s 8. So, how are they not all the ‘2nd Division’ based on what they are willing to pay players and staff, and how they are willing to market themselves? They both want to be ‘right below MLS’, so why not do it together? It seems like both camps have an identity crisis!

    To me, the clear cut third division is PDL and College. Its a no-brainer. The clubs keep it cheap and affordable and more local. Its the perfect scenario for places like northern Vermont or Des Moines. You can have amateurs and semi-pro’s on the field at the same time in PDL. Its nestled into its spot nicely between college seasons and both could really compliment each other. My alma mater had two of its players pitted against each other in the PDL finals a few years back and the local press made mention of it. Its a cool twist!

    Considering that MLS is like most countries 2nd or 3rd division, how deep do we need our ‘tree’ to go? We all know that our big American stars go away to be better players, so who are we kidding? the development part of it isnt that important. To me, In this country, Its about what the market can offer. If your ‘2nd Division’, your saying as a club that you dont want to pay what The Seattle Sounders pay, but you plan to take it serious. If your D3, your saying you want to offer Soccer entertainment to your area, but on a different level than pro altogether. Shouldnt this whole thing be about organizations staging events because they have fanbases that want it? This is the USA, not England. Were not sending hordes of youth soccer players through a set structure that people have cared about for decades. We send them to play Youth soccer and then High School. Since soccer is about the 5th or 6th most popular sport in this country spectator-wise, why does it’s governing body have such dillusions of granduer?

    Like WSW said, I bet ‘nothing happens’ and we have a season, but why all the drama? Its stupid! Do you think fans of the local NBA D-league team in Sioux Falls are sitting around hashing out all the backroom details of that leagues realtionship with others? No! They are just happy to have basketball to watch. I bet we all have a Premier League team we watch when we wanna see REAL soccer, but when we want to have fun on our weekends with friends and fam and watch a game, we want our team! Regardless of its fucking ‘sanctioned’ level! It could be D7 and offer beer and we have an instant fan connection. If there are nets on the goals, Ill put up with being D5. If I have a set of stands, some good lighting, a decent field, and players who all wear the same uniform, Ill gladly support D9 soccer!

    The USSF basically threw a bucket of cold water over tons of fans for no reason!

  21. treefire permalink
    January 22, 2011

    @Grant: While I appreciate the time and energy you put into writing your posts, it’s clear you don’t “totally understand the history of the situation”. The two groups do not “need each other to succeed”. They can certainly operate separately as the 2nd and 3rd divisions of the American soccer pyramid. In fact, the USL teams will not be operating as D2, with or without the NASL, as they cannot meet the (relatively new) USSF standards. As far as “blowing up the current structure”, that is basically what has been happening over the last couple years, which you may have missed, and what they are attempting to resolve now. Aside from the question of sanctioning for the D2 league, everything is actually going pretty well, and we really don’t need to be discussing that in this thread. MLS is not “like most countries 2nd or 3rd division”; they might not be competitive with the 1st division of the larger European and South American nations, but they are certainly competitive with the first divisions of a majority of the countries in the world. Finally, if you don’t consider this “real soccer”, maybe you should stick to worrying about your premier league team.

  22. lurker permalink
    January 22, 2011

    “The NASL scorecard is now filled with St Louis, Balitmore, Carolina, and Minnesota in its loss column…these guys actually manage to outdo the USL in the instability and turnover department.”

    You USL guys have a pretty weak case when you have to resort to lies like this. Carolina and Minnesota are still around, Baltimore was a USL created problem, and St. Louis only existed under the USSF D2 league, and wasn’t even part of the original TOA that broke away from the USL. In fact, the NASL hasn’t even played its first season yet.

    USL is only interested in collecting franchise fee checks; after that a club is on its own and USL will do nothing to save it. Contrast that to Traffic saving NASL clubs. NASL has yet to play its first season; let’s see how many NASL clubs are around in five years compared to how many USL clubs are still around in five years. USL has a very long track record of failed clubs; NASL doesn’t even have a track record yet and you guys are already lying about them.

  23. Vegas Vic permalink
    January 22, 2011

    I am far from a USL apologist but for sure a NASL skeptic. Empassioned opinions usually prevail over facts in this debate but the fact is that the USL took over the ownership of both Montreal and Vancouver earlier in the decade. They then found the current owners to take over those teams. No question that both teams at some stage became disenchanted enough to be part of the NASL but without USL doing exactly what Traffic is getting credit for here then pro soccer in both of those markets are set back years and may not be in MLS today. The USL shouldn’t be praised for doing this but let’s at least be even about all this before making Traffic out to be the great soccer benefactor. All I am saying is that the NASL owners of 12 months ago in St Louis, Carolina, Minnesota & Baltimore no longer are pro soccer team owners. That should concern everyone. Maybe it is to the USSF.

  24. yankiboy permalink
    January 22, 2011

    @Grant: I was going to start scrutinizing a couple of your last post but then I went back and re-read your last but the overwhelming majority of it is so spot on that I am not going to say jack exept “Well done!”

  25. Bart permalink
    January 22, 2011

    @Strikers Return

    With all due respect, there is no glory in any of this. We all lose if there is no D2 league either in 2011 or 2012. As I have continually stated, that league has to be stable. As for Davidson’s mealy mouth statement that all NASL is trying to do is stablize D2, something that USL could not, well as has been posted above, look at the following:

    1. I will agree that Baltimore is a USL problem, so let’s leave that off the table.

    2. Carolina is NASL’s problem, and the owner wimped out, after being so close to sanctioning. Now that is what I call commitment.

    3. Minnesota is also NASL’s problem, they sold NSC a bill of goods of expenses, and almost handed NSC their hat.

    4. No matter how you cut it, St. Louis is the heart and soul of the NASL propaganda.

    So, three of the “8” teams last year that are no longer individual teams are NASL responsibilities. A 37.5% turnover, not counting Baltimore. Not even USL did that.

    So,the Davidson press release attempts to kiss the arse of USSF and sends the signal that they are going to reapply in time for the AGM vote in February. I am not sure that is the way the procedure works with USSF. Since this application is denied, it would probably have to be a new application. Then it would have to be vetted again by the professional committee, and then its recommendations would be again presented to the Board for a vote.

    Remember, the Professional Council recommened a denial after a review of the information.

    I just don’t see how this could be done in such a short time period.

  26. January 22, 2011

    “I just don’t see how this could be done in such a short time period.”

    I too have concerns about this.

  27. yankiboy permalink
    January 22, 2011

    @Lurker: Bro, please. “Lying about them (the NASL)”?!?!
    C’mon man. Not trying to be disrepectful but we aren’t in kindergarten.

    “Lies”? really. Some people have a different take then you about what is happening but “lies”?

    Please…Let’s be bigger than that.

    Seriously. When I read your roll call some of it makes sense to me. Some doesn’t but I haven’t seen anyone here accuse you of “lying”.

  28. Dave permalink
    January 22, 2011

    The question is why are NASL so hellbent on D2? It’s pretty clear they can’t make those standards. They are not going to make them in a few weeks when they couldn’t in 6 months. The smart move would be to get sanctioning for D3 this year and get their messy house in order. Only hardcores care about the differences between D2 and D3. They both are clearly at all a low level compared to the old A-League and waaaaaay under MLS now.

    There has to be a reason for D2 or bust. So this tells me without D2, NASL is done. They probably are done anyway at this point. Perhaps Traffic are the ones behind D2 or bust? They might pull their money which sinks the league. I could see the few non-Traffic teams quickly jumping the sinking ship and trying to beg back into USL. Montreal will play exhibition games and be glad they will soon be out of this mess. I feel bad for the Strikers fans.

    Here is one thing we can agree on. Both the NASL and USL are messed up. The USL might celebrate the demise of the NASL, but a few of their USL-Pro teams will fold this year and the cycle continues. And it’s the fans that lose with these clowns running things. 20 years from now there might be a MLS2 and order restored to minor league soccer. Yep, just 20 years to wait.

  29. Soccer Boy permalink
    January 22, 2011

    “Here is one thing we can agree on. Both the NASL and USL are messed up. ”

    I think the problem is USSF–which is a messed up organization. If soccer is going to grow in the United States, we need a strong national soccer organization that will promote soccer. I do not feel that USSF is interested in doing this.

  30. MN Soccer Guy permalink
    January 22, 2011

    The USSF doesn’t have the time or resources to worry about minor-league soccer. They need to concentrate on developing young players for the world’s 18th-ranked national team. The players currently in D2 and D3 have a negligible impact, if any, on the development of soccer in the US.

  31. Bart permalink
    January 22, 2011


    “USL is only interested in franchise fees”

    And NASL is not interested in receiving about $1,000,000 per each new team? That is the going rate, according to Davidson, under the theory that if MLS can charge $40,000,000, NASL can charge at least $1,000,000.

    How do you think Traffic is going to be repaid for it’s massive cash infusion? I don’t think they want good looks or pretty women. They have plenty of that in Brazil.

    No matter how you slice it, D1, D2 and D3 are professional businesses. This is not some altruistic endeavor with a bunch of not for profit wannabees (ok, they are currently not for profits, but that is not the intention).

    I don’t see anyone walking on water over here.

  32. FSUFiji permalink
    January 22, 2011

    The following is my RANT, I have four season tickets to “The season that may not happen” at FC TB and I have two season tickets for OCSC. I just like soccer. Like Grant, and this will probably piss off Tree fire but, I want soccer “Real” or otherwise. Heck, I own season tickets to FSL baseball teams. Don’t deprive me of teams and entertainment. So the following is my shot at complete hyperbole to stir the pot.
    The US soccer web site does not list the names of this “Board of Directors”. Who is this National Council? Wiki doesn’t have them either. The list on soccer times seems old.
    In these pages I have heard of Mr Buethe, Mr. Cordeiro, Mr. Edwards amd Mr. Flynn. None are on Wiki? What are they hiding? All my USAF commanders have bios online and they are worried about real threats.
    Can it be that Don Garber is still chairman of Pro leagues? Can the pro council still have USL ex-chief Francisco Marco? There has to be a newer list.
    Who is this group of Chicago thugs lead by a New Yorker who want to crush soccer in the southeast? Worse than beltway bandits, these guys want to deprive business people of an opportunity to spend their money on supporting the game of soccer in three federations? Can’t the Canadian and PR federations push for the USSF to allow the 5 teams to play?
    We need to e-mail the US congress to cry foul. This is an infringement on trade and will make Florida (12% unemployment) lose jobs, sure only 75 or so but we can make noise.
    “Yes Mr. Beck, I was wondering if you were aware that a group of Chicago Thugs are keeping some 20 year olds from playing soccer. Yeah, while the President makes plans to watch the Bears his fellow Illinois anti-competition and anti-free trade union hacks (and yes it is a union to limit the entry into the market, a guild) are attacking an organization that has tried to play by the rules and is attempting to just play soccer in great North American places from P.R. to the great plains Alberta.” “What is that you ask? When will this meeting take place to deprive our American youth of watching pro soccer in 5 cities? Oh the Chicago based group can’t meet in a city that has a soccer team. No, they can’t meet in a place where they have multimillion dollar facilities (LA or Florida). They are meeting in Las Vegas, Glenn. You know what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!” And so on… We hit the right and left wing talk show. We make this a political call to action.
    Or we watch soccer in Tampa die not because of economic factors or low fan appeal but because some self-appointed (and they really are a non-elected self-important boobs who have made bad decisions for 30 years) say it is to die. Anyone remember the death of the Mutiny because the MLS killed it? We had more fans than KC but our owners were not the big three. It is happening again.

    Did that raise the temp of the room?

  33. FSUFiji permalink
    January 22, 2011

    Most of the above are serious questions about the USSF decision making process and it not being as open as we would like, Florida Sunshine laws anyone? As I said the hyperbole made me feel better but you don’t need to point out my obvious torch burning/ rable rousing. I know it would do no good and be counter productive to my end goal (Go Rowdies).

    Just want you guys to know this is a great blog and the best way this poor panhandle cracker to can keep up with the NASL and USL both of which I support as long as there are teams on the field to cheer for.

  34. jmb321 permalink
    January 22, 2011

    Lower division soccer will NEVER achieve any gravitas with the American sporting public under the collective leadership of the current NASL. USL and yes, USSF management. What a bunch of knuckleheads!!. Throw the whole lot out and start over.

  35. Jarrett Campbell permalink
    January 22, 2011

    Totally speculating here, but one of the “substantial changes” mentioned by USSF could be this.

    We know for a fact that Triangle Professional Soccer (d.b.a. The Carolina RailHawks) were dissolved as a corporation last week:

    We also know from the same article that there appears to be no new organizational filing in NC for a new ownership group (of course, they could be incorporated elsewhere I guess).

    We also know that the Stadium Lease for WakeMed Soccer Park with the Town of Cary was negotiated by Triangle Professional Soccer. I can find no records in recent Town Council meetings indicating that a new lease has been negotiated with a new tenant.

    Clearly, not have a 5,000 seat stadium under contract is a violation of the D2 standards. I wonder if this had anything to do with the rejection.

  36. WSW permalink
    January 22, 2011

    IF USSF looked at MLS under a microscope, they wouldn’t get sanctioned either…

  37. Grant Stephens permalink
    January 22, 2011

    @ Treefire

    I dont claim to be right about any of this, but at some point common sense must prevail. I just like the conversation, anyway. in what alternate universe are we living that teams from Tampa, ft. Lauderdale, and Orlando are spending similar amounts on travel and expenditures…but ARENT playing each other? you are going to tell me that LA will fly to Puerto Rico to play 4 different teams, but not to San Antonio if NASL gets the team? how is this productive? Ive seen the fight play out over the two leagues and its counterproductive, regardless of what ‘side’ anyone is on. Even The NFL sets up a regional structure. Even The NFL and AFL decided it was better for the game to shut up and swallow some pride. Soccer just isnt profitable enough in this country to be fractured.

    It is REAL soccer, but I didnt buy a ticket to watch Crystal Palace Baltimore play last year because they might unearth the next Pele! I bought a ticket because they were organized enough (barely!) to come play FCTB in a soccer game. One of the most telling developments of all this is when I try to explain this latest news to people who like going to soccer games, but arent ‘fans’ They seem interested, but then I start losing them when I mention the word ‘sanctioning’ or ‘division!’ to a man, they all cut me off and say ‘So…The Rowdies arent playing?’ I tell them they probably are and they say ‘cool!…let me know whan your going and Ill spend money!’ How is THIS not the point?! Since NONE of these teams are making it on SportsCenter, who really cares what is acheived other than a market place in 2o or so cities that can find 5-10 K fans willing to go watch it and buy merchandise? Nobody thay I took to game last year cared who the teams were, but they all said they would go again. It would be a shame of that mentality got overlooked because a bunch of millionaires got too big for their britches.

    Sorry for the long posts, im just tired of throwing money, time, and energy at something that isnt rocket science, but is being held to that standard. If I were paying $300 for tickets, great lets scrutinize! but this carry’s the same entertainment value as taking your family to a movie 10 times a summer! We dont sit in the theater and complain about the size of the venue vs the one down the road, or the salaries of actors…We just enjoy the damn movie!

  38. Ultra permalink
    January 22, 2011

    This isn’t so much about NASL vs. USL and all that. It’s about fans in 8 markets losing pro soccer. The USSFs goal is to further the game in the United States and help grow the national team. Killing pro soccer in 8 markets, leaving kids in those towns with no local heroes to look up to to inspire them to play the game, does not help with that goal.

    Traffic is filling the role of what AEG and the Hunts did in the early MLS days. Keep things going in tough early times with an eye towards a more stable and profitable future. The Federation needs to understand this and work with NASL and it’s teams to get everything up to the new standard, in time, not necessarily right away. How is it sensible to expect to get 8 clubs up to standard right away? Again, MLS didn’t start out with 10 teams all owned by separate entities and their own soccer stadiums did they? No, they’ve been working towards those goals and only now are making progress.

    In addition to crushing the fans of the Rowdies, Strikers, Railhawks, Impact, Stars, Silverbacks, Islanders and FC Edmonton, they’ll also be putting players and staff of these teams out of work if not getting sanctioned does force some clubs to fold.

    This is a reckless decision by the USSF and I sincerely hope that they work with NASL to build that foundation and meet those standards. If that means giving them “provisional” sanctioning or whatever fine, so long as these clubs are allowed to play this year as a functioning league. How can you attract new investors, fans, sponsors, employees, players, etc. without displaying your product?

  39. January 22, 2011

    Ultra: “Yes NASL has issues, and Traffic is heavily involved with multiple teams, but guess what: If this was still USL running the show those teams would not exist. They’d have let them fold and disappear. At least Traffic stepped in and is willing to help these clubs stay afloat until hopefully new investors can be secured.”

    Like they did with St. Louis and Baltimore.


    USL-1 teams that have been “let fold” in the last three years: Minnesota Thunder, Cleveland City Stars, California Victory.
    NASL teams that have been “let fold” in the last three months: AC St. Louis, Crystal Palace Baltimore

    But if your thesis statement is as simple as “USL bad, NASL good,” I guess you can look at any situation and make a statement that ignores certain facts or facts altogether.

  40. Grant Stephens permalink
    January 22, 2011

    Agree 100% with you, Ultra!

  41. Steve permalink
    January 22, 2011

    I am with Bart, AC St. Louis and the Railhawks owners are who needs to be blamed for a problem like this. (Not saying Davidson isn’t but they have done A LOT for NASL). I actually feel back for Davidson, in that Traffic has partnered in with these owners, they back out, then they have to put the money in to keep it going.

    It is understandable that Minnesota didn’t have the money up front and Atlanta seemed to just be a team that had nothing (the requirements like Minnesota) but had a past track record and some type of framework for a team.

  42. Grant Stephens permalink
    January 22, 2011

    And all the while, if you are a fan of The NPSL, you are planning for a season of soccer at an affordable price at a venue that doesnt disgust you, far below the ‘guidance’ of The USSF. Ironic, isnt it?

    God, I wish FCTB was in The NPSL!

  43. Soccer Boy permalink
    January 22, 2011

    @MN Soccer Guy: “The USSF doesn’t have the time or resources to worry about minor-league soccer. ” What is the purpose of the USSF then? We need a change of leadership at the top. this group cannot even beat out tiny Qatar for a major soccer tourney. What a joke!

  44. January 22, 2011

    “We need a change of leadership at the top. this group cannot even beat out tiny Qatar for a major soccer tourney. What a joke!”

    You’re remarkably dumb. Just amazingly, remarkably dumb if you don’t understand what went on with the 2022 bid.

  45. yankiboy permalink
    January 22, 2011

    @MN Soccer Guy:

    Wow. A very interesting take. One that I don’t think that I have ever heard before.

    I don’t think that I have ever the take that a federation–any federation, you pick the spot on the map–I’ve never heard it suggested that they should not divert some resources to the lower professional divisions under their jurisdiction.

    I would reply to your very radical take that the USSF’s j-o-b is to worry about minor league soccer because it falls under their umbrella. It’s the federation. Now, time and money are limited resources, so you have to draw a line somewhere–I get that.

    I got to give you credit for thinking outside of the box (please excuse the sickening cliche).

    To the best of my recollection, after participating in a lot of electronic forums, sportbar, office and park discussions over the years–all of the soccer tv shows that I have watched or articles that I have read–you are the first guy that I can recall suggesting that a fed should only focus on a national team development.

    Interesting take, Playah. I am not even thinking about drinking out of that punch bowl but I gotta give you mad credit for coming from a completely different angle…

  46. yankiboy permalink
    January 22, 2011


    Just for the record–your opinion (notice that I didn’t use the word “lie”) about the USL being at fault for the Baltimore situation couldn’t possibly bve more wrong.

    The Baltimore and Cleveland situations have very little in common. Yes they both moved up. Yes the USL HQ was happy when they both stated that they would move up and struggled with the challenges of the decision. That is true. Nonetheless, the two situations are very different.

    You couldn’t be more wrong about the USL being responsible for how things turned out in Baltimore.

    Having excellent access to the ownership group/front office in Baltimore I can tell you that you’re not even close (but you still aren’t “lying–hope that you get the point about having a different opinion and the use of a word like “lie”).

  47. January 22, 2011

    “IF USSF looked at MLS under a microscope, they wouldn’t get sanctioned either…”

    What? We are talking financial requirements here. Can you tell me which of the MLS teams hardly have enough money to make it through a season to say they wouldn’t get sanctioned? Sounds like emotion talking there WSW. Sounds as if you are frustrated and I appreciate that. But there is a world of difference between 99.9% of MLS owners wealth and D2 and D3 team owners wealth.

  48. WSW permalink
    January 22, 2011

    No but their is a MLS team with multiple owners.

  49. WSW permalink
    January 22, 2011

    USSF will probably have MLS have it’s own second division.

  50. January 22, 2011

    Don Garber has already said that won’t happen. At least for a long time. They are just starting to make profits and many teams still are not making profits. When both USL and NASL approached him last year to work with reserve league he made it clear they don’t have the money to do that at this time.

    Not going to happen WSW although it would be a great idea.

  51. WSW permalink
    January 22, 2011

    I’m just wondering why USSF doesn’t let NASL have the temporary sanctioning so that they can promote the league so that they can find owners and investors for those teams in need.

  52. Leftout permalink
    January 22, 2011

    How could one man do this much damage to soccer in this country?

  53. WSW permalink
    January 22, 2011

    Francisco Marcos, a member of the USSF Board of Governors, can swing enough votes to block NASL…

  54. Jim permalink
    January 22, 2011

    I hope that the NASL is successful in addressing the USSF concerns. I don’t think it’s realistically going to happen in such a short time but I want a viable second division in the US.

    I usually don’t blame the USSF but they do seem to create some of these problems themselves. I wish they communicated more clearly than the voting process FIFA uses to award the world cup.

  55. Dave permalink
    January 22, 2011

    @WSW – MLS doesn’t want a second division. Because it’s a huge waste of money as we are finding out. They just brought back the reserve league and are investing in academies. Those are where the players will come from. Not D2 or D3. We really only need the PDL for development.

    @FSUFiji – You should know better. KC survived cause Lamar Hunt also owned the stadium. The Wizards didn’t have to pay rent. Otherwise they would have moved long ago. Now they have a stadium and seem set. Tampa screwed Tampa. Even this year your attendance plummeted after the first game to average about 3,500. That’s not good enough. Florida teams don’t draw. Never mind you have no decent stadium. Don’t act like you are entitled to a MLS team because you would flop again. That’s the major problem right now. A lack of good markets and solid ownership.

    The USSF’s job is not to help the NASL or their overloads Traffic. Nor is it to help the USL. They provided standards for D2. NASL said they could met them. Now they can’t. Should the USSF change its rules just for the NASL? Why? Why are they special? Then we just have more USLs with teams folding and moving every year.

    The problem is there is no real demand for minor league soccer in this country. And all the ranting or whining won’t change that. In realty, if MLS is in 24 markets(and a team like Chivas moves) in about 5 years, America doesn’t really need a D2 or D3. Maybe in the future when the sport is more popular, but not now.

  56. RedCard permalink
    January 22, 2011

    @Ultra Thanks your made me think of it in a different light.

    We need a D3 may be not need USL running it but we need a D3. D3 is affordable and can be maintained in this economy. When the Academies start to take hold their will be a shift if how soccer operates the lower and top levels. With most of all the good talent being mainstream to the MSL shrinking the D3, PDL, NPL and Collage talent pool down I think D3 will fit well in the structure and see no need for a or no lost for not having D2 except for the lost of fan base in those markets.

  57. RedCard permalink
    January 22, 2011

    @Dave I am standing up an applauding your right now. I should of read all the comment before posting. You are kind of saying what I saying but in better word if any one don’t understand my post please read the post above and that will explain every thing. This is common sense and what I been preaching a along except for the fact that the fans of around the states deserve a soccer team and should get a D3 team that way you will spread the interest for soccer and you will have team that can spring board to the MLS those that have great support and attendance with out break the bank for keeping the team running

  58. January 22, 2011

    It seems that there needs to be an injection of even more cash into D2, and from a diverse group of owners/operators.

    How many rich people out there who aren’t currently involved in American soccer want to be? I’m guessing not many, or they already would be.

    What organizations have extra monies that are involved in American soccer but want to be MORE involved? There’s a few. Two are based in NYC, and a few others are based in Europe and South America.

  59. Bart permalink
    January 22, 2011


    Marcos is no longer on the USSF board, so that dog don’t hunt.

  60. Bob permalink
    January 22, 2011

    @KT The Minnesota Thunder were a part of the original breakaway with the TOA… USL didn’t let them go under, their owner skipped town after he aligned himself with the TOA.

    The NSC stepped in and ran a new franchise this past year, but I think if you asked even the NASL owners about Dean Johnson, they wouldn’t have high praise for him… a lot like one, Jeff Cooper.

  61. January 22, 2011

    The United States has 32 pro teams, and it is a shame, a MASSIVE shame if any of these teams fold. 32 teams across 3 tiers isn’t much. All those teams have fans who are devoted to them, and support them no matter the division. Many of those teams have gone up or down in their history.

    These teams are important, and someone already wrote; “Lower division soccer will NEVER achieve any gravitas with the American sporting public under the collective leadership of the current NASL. USL and yes, USSF management. What a bunch of knuckleheads!!. Throw the whole lot out and start over.”

    You are so wrong! This blog was created by someone who lives and dies by the Division II team he cares about. Fifteen years ago to now, go look. Tell me what has changed. I can tell you that EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED.

    These are your 32 teams go support them.
    Division III

    Charleston Battery
    Charlotte Eagles
    Orlando City
    Richmond Kickers
    Wilmington Hammerheads
    Dayton Dutch Lions
    FC New York
    Harrisburg City Islanders
    Pittsburgh Riverhounds
    Rochester Rhinos
    Los Angeles Blues

    Division II

    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Carolina RailHawks
    Miami Strikers
    NSC Minnesota Stars
    FC Tampa Bay

    Division I

    Chicago Fire
    Columbus Crew
    D.C. United
    New England Revolution
    New York Red Bulls
    Philadelphia Union
    Sporting Kansas City
    C.D. Chivas USA
    Colorado Rapids
    FC Dallas
    Houston Dynamo
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Real Salt Lake
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Seattle Sounders FC
    Portland Timbers

  62. Donald permalink
    January 22, 2011

    Can US Soccer please man up and just say they don’t want second division soccer in the US instead of hiding behind bogus D2 standards? Those standards are a dream scenario with a D2 league having to have 12 teams by the start of the third year. It’s disturbing to think about the 180 – 190 soccer players that lose a job and a chance to develop to a potential MLS players. Not to think of the 80 – 100 technical and office staff employed by the teams and league that miss out on the opportunity to grow and develop into potential MLS executives. Soccer will never reach its potential in the US with US Soccer functioning the way it does.

  63. jmb321 permalink
    January 22, 2011

    Support and passion for the lower division pro teams is there and with the right approach it could be nurtured to improve the image of the sport on all levels. We want more people to share Brian’s passion.

    But with every decision and ” business model revision” by the federation and league’s management they have undermined the ability to grow the sport at this level. Anyone who has dealt with these guysm particularly league management, knows they are inadequate in most aspects.

  64. CoconutMonkey permalink
    January 23, 2011

    Man, that’s a shame.

    However, all this has me wondering why it’s so important to the NASL (and its potential supporters) to be sanctioned as a D2 league.

    By the way, Brian. You mentioned that the USSF doesn’t have any “official” standards for D3. How about division 1?

  65. zlatan permalink
    January 23, 2011

    As predicted. The house of cards Traffic and a few of the remaining ownership groups were building for D2 was just going to lead to another season of unpaid bills and financial hardship. While I believe USSF is holding back US soccer in many ways, their decision was probably the best for the game in the long run. USLs decision to get away from D2 now appears to be brilliant.

  66. Tom permalink
    January 23, 2011

    IMO, I don’t think USL had any choice not to pursue D2 as I doubt they would have met the standards either. It will be interesting to see what USSF establishes as the new D3 standards – if they ever do. If even remotely close to the D2 standards I would suspect many of the same issues that are affecting NASL would then also affect USL.

  67. Bart permalink
    January 23, 2011


    Always follow the money trail. D2 is extremely important to Traffic for only one reason….the ability to command at least $1,000,000 in membership fees for each new team that comes into NASL. This pays back Traffic for all of the monies it has fronted.

    Traffic simply cannot command these fees if NASL is a D3 league. That is what this is all about.

    For those that think this is an altruistic organization, think again. This is all about the money. It always has been.

  68. WSW permalink
    January 23, 2011

    From bigsoccer via facebook message:

    The NASL is confident it will be sanctioned as 2nd division byy the USSF. During a phone call between the league and the federation, both parts gave optimistic signs to come to a positive agreement in the next reunion in February.

    All NASL teams agreed that all comentaries regarding the topic will be emited by the president, with the exception of Montreal and Puerto Rico (Montreal due to its MLS future, and Puerto Rico because of its trajectory). The Islanders expect to give a press report on tuesday regarding the topic.

  69. Grant Stephens permalink
    January 23, 2011

    After marinating on this for a few days, ive come to the conclusion that I dont really care. I care about soccer, and I cant see there NOT being soccer, so what is the point of The USSF’s strong arming anyone. There WILL be games at Al Lang Field for FCTB regardless of sanctioning or division level, and thats all that matters.

    When the ball gets ‘kicked off’, none of this garbage will be of any consequence, so like Daniel Blodgett suggests, just go support your team!

    Hashing and re-hashing what The USSF does is good and all, but will a certain division designation keep anybody here from buying tickets to support the local team?

  70. Dan permalink
    January 23, 2011

    Grant I’m with you on that I think the worst case scenario NASL should just play D3 and try set up the teams as d2 next year. No matter what, At the Moment NASL is still has a better chance at becoming D2 by next year then USL.

  71. Bart permalink
    January 23, 2011


    Well, if it came from Big Soccer via a Facebook message it must be true!

    So, USSF denied NASL’s application only to tell NASL that it would agree to sanction it 3 weeks later in February? Why did USSF just not wait until the AGM to bring up a vote, while in the meantime continue to work with NASL to bring their application in line?

    THE ANSWER: More than likely, because the decision on D2 sanctioning for 2011 has already been made. All that is left is the spin and posturing by NASL.

    If you read between the lines in the USSF statement, USSF indicates that NASL will pass the D3 threshold and most likely be approved. Maybe that is what USSF wants? Maybe that is exactly what Traffic does not want.

  72. WSW permalink
    January 23, 2011


    So where is the “official” statement by USSF if it’s true?

  73. Grant Stephens permalink
    January 23, 2011

    But…regardless of what actually happens…all teams listed above in Daniel Blodgett’s post will play soccer in 2011…regardless of what The USSF, The NASL, or The USL say in the coming months! Just go buy soccer tickets, take your friends and have a good time!

  74. Dave permalink
    January 23, 2011

    @WhiteStar Warriors – that came from an Islanders facebook post. It’s worthless. You have a habit of believing strange rumors on bigsoccer. Last week you got something from the Rhinoszone forum that was 100% bogus and laughable. Don’t read anything into it. Hartman is also saying nothing is wrong. Everyone in NASL is doing the don’t worry be happy routine.

    But Bart is 100% right. If NASL only had a few problems, the USSF wouldn’t have taken away their sanctioning and would have worked things out with them behind the scenes. But going public with it told you they are telling the NASL to head to D3. Nothing is going to change in a few weeks. The USSF is trying to get the NASL to prepare for D3. But NASL won’t because Traffic only wants D2. So we are looking at the Traffic teams folding and league collapsing. It’s almost a given now.

    By coming out publicly about the sanctioning, the USSF badly hurt the NASL. And they had to know that. Sponsors, tickets sales(as few as there are), everything will be effected by this announcement. Even if they get sanctioning by some miracle, it might be too late for the NASL. So that tells me the USSF is trying to smack the NASL upside the head and get them to realize they should be in D3. Otherwise they would have done this behind the scenes and denied everything. Once they went public, it was over for the NASL and D2.

  75. mikey permalink
    January 23, 2011


    I wish I were as confident about the teams playing as you are.
    No player is going to want to play on a team that isnt part of a sanctioned league. And if NASL does apply for D3 (even though they have said they wont) will all the teams want that? Will that void any players contracts? will players look for a more “stable” paycheck? it will be interesting to see how many twist and turns this will take in the next couple weeks

  76. January 23, 2011

    Many of you have spent the last several years saying (loudly) that something had to be done about the second division. That too many fly-by-night organizations were cropping up, only to fold again, that people who should never have owned teams were owning teams, that travel was killing the teams financially…

    So USSF puts in tough standards to try to address those issues and you want USSF hanged in the town square for daring to be tough because teams can’t possibly do things like…you know…be actually capitalized and hire actual staff and stuff. Lah tee freaking dah.

    You can’t have it both ways. If CP Baltimore can’t make a go of it, well, tough cookies. If nobody can meet D2 standards for 2011, well, that’s unfortunate but in the grand scheme of things, who freaking cares? Some of us are thinking longer-term than just “OMG, I don’t know in January what level my favorite team is going to play at starting in April.”

    If this mess is going to be cleaned up, there are going to have to be standards, and I really don’t give a rat’s behind if none of these people can live up to them in 2011. These are not draconian standards by any means. It’s only by comparison to the pikers who have been running second-division teams the last 20 years that they seem that way.

  77. Ultra permalink
    January 23, 2011

    Yes KT something has to be done about D2. The standards are a fabulous thing and it’s long overdue that the USSF actually cares what’s happening at the D2 level.

    BUT, killing D2 entirely is not what needs to be done. What they have in NASL is an organization that is trying to meet those standards and work towards a better more stable D2. For the USSF to expect they meet every last standard in such a short period is ludicrous. What did USL do when the standards came out? They said “Yeah we don’t wanna do that so we’re not even gonna try to meet those standards”. At least NASL stepped up and said they were willing to work towards meeting those standards.

    Now, if NASL plays at D3 and all 8 clubs play and they go for D2 in 2012, that’s one thing. But in an also possible scenario where the league shuts down and takes several teams with it, it will be a disaster.

  78. donald permalink
    January 23, 2011

    Is everyone so sure those $1,000,000.00 franchise fees are going to Traffic? From my understanding and reading about the situation in Minnesota it sounds like those funds are going back into the league. Minnesota is being funded by the league from the income of these fees and not Traffic. It may help to actually read the lines and not in between the lines from time to time. Regardless of what happens with the sanctioning I hope the 8 teams in the NASL play a 2011 season. That’s a lot of US players not having a place to play.

  79. Bart permalink
    January 23, 2011


    So the real question is…..what are the most amount of comments that have been posted to on story you have written?

    Did this beat the best?

  80. Ski Dawg permalink
    January 24, 2011

    Everyone talking about the Crystal Palace Baltimore situation seems to be leaving out one important element: their relationship with England’s Crystal Palace FC.

    Crystal Palace recently went into administration (which is kind of like bankruptcy for English football clubs) from January 2010 to August 2010. This created some of the financial problems for the Baltimore team.

    Also, the Baltimore team is scheduled to relaunch in 2012 under a new name and having ended their relationship with Crystal Palace.

  81. Dave permalink
    January 24, 2011

    @Ski Dawg – The problems in Baltimore ran deeper than Crystal Palace. Just another group that had no idea what they were doing with a soccer club. The type that the USSF are trying to weed out from D2. The owners Medds and Cherneski are now getting their pants sued off by everyone that was involved in CP.

    It appears they didn’t pay anyone. Nobody is buying that relaunch crap since they won’t pay off their current debt. It’s a just a joke. That relaunch isn’t happening.

  82. January 24, 2011

    Dave is spot on Ski Dawg. The problems ran much deeper and as I have written here previously. CP Baltimore has talked about coming back in hope they could play in the new SSS they thought was going to be built in town for the Freedom. But the Freedom were purchased along with a name change (MagicJack) and will be splitting their time between their old home and new home in Miami where they will eventually move. What that means is no SSS for your CP Baltimore and no team either. Plus as Dave points out, they have a few issues to deal with in the interim.

  83. puzzled permalink
    January 24, 2011

    so if there is no d2, does that mean d3 is the new d2?

  84. Jack D permalink
    January 24, 2011

    Its amazing to watch the USSF just as always do nothing. They let the Women’s National Team program fizzle out. They let WUSA go. They still won’t consolidate American youth soccer. They have stagnant to no growth for their core Men’s NT fans. And of course now this situation which won’t go away NASL vs USL. Their decision last year was silly enough, now they won’t just let the NASL go and try and grow? Sad.

  85. fotbalist permalink
    January 24, 2011

    Well, I’ve sat on this for a couple of days. Logic is so clearly absent from this whole situation (I mean the situation going back a couple of years now) that I find it very, very difficult to form an opinion. A prediction about this season is not even on my radar. It is sad, however, very sad.

    Daniel Blogget and Grant Stephens had the best advise. So I will chime in along with them:


    This is the most effective way to grow the sport; as well as the fan base of the sport. Most people in large and small cities across the US only support soccer for a short 8-10 week youth soccer season while their kids play for fun. Just take a look at the comments on this site; nearly 100 comments coming from a handful of people and a smaller group yet having multiple comments. I’m not trying to take away anyone’s Right to Rant (that’s BQ’s job) but it shows what the interest level of the general population fans. People who post are usually the avid supporters; the ‘die-hards’ if you will.

    I live 2.5 hrs from one of these NASL teams. Every year I’ve made it to about 3 or 4 home games, and as many play-off games as I was able. I have coached 2 teams each season for a number of years. In addition I serve on the board of a local club. Because of all this online attention to D2 & D3, in which I firmly believe; I took the initiative to organize trips to travel in big groups to a couple of games. I really wanted to have help my local team in a greater, more meaningful way. I’m even hopeful that my small city will one day get an NPSL or PDL team. The USSF decision has really crushed my enthusiasm for all the work it takes to organize a large group trip to a soccer game 2.5 hrs away. That’s the real shame, because I’m sure I’m not special. I’m confident many others have tried to do similar things to support the game we love.

    Having said all this I still want to return to my initial statement:

  86. January 24, 2011

    I think it’s a bit of a shame; the only way D2 and D3 soccer could survive in America is if there was an open league setup of promotion and relegation. However, an open league set up would destroy D1 soccer in a heartbeat.

  87. yankiboy permalink
    January 24, 2011

    @Grant: I get your point about supporting your team. I’m gonna be straight with you.

    If Baltimore comes back PDL, they won’t see me as much. PDL and NPSL are great. I’m just not as interested in dedicating my time and resources to follow clubs in those divisions or leagues. I’d rather just go to a college game or maybe even a W-League game.

    I wish that it wasn’t so but that is just my reality.

  88. RedCard permalink
    January 24, 2011

    First let me start by saying this is the just a ideal their is some hole in this plane, but hummer this ideal. What if CSA got there problems in order and sanction the NASL I know your first thought is what the f*ck, but think about it. The NASL have all ready made a decision to go big or go home the choices they have is to play as D2 sanction league or go dark they already said they will not play as a D3 sanction league. The CSA is not going to give them tuff sanctioning standers. With Traffic owning and operating three teams and partly own the third one of those three teams all Traffic would have to do is move the three own and operated team Miami Strikers and Carolina RailHawks and the Atlanta Silverbacks to a Canadian city with FC Edmonton and Montreal Impact already in Canada that make Five team. If that don’t sweeten the pot for you Montreal Impact and the Whitecaps express a desire to field a teams in the NALS and with D3 teams already is some city and investor expressing a want to own a D2 team in other I sure your can find investor to take of some of the economic burden. Canada is a wide open market and the NASL be have over seven city to chose for expansion if not more and would be operating under the MSL with no real competition..

    Puerto Rico Islanders would have to play in the USL or in the Puerto Rico Football Federation

    Minnesota NSC Stars could play in the NASL being some what close to Canada or play in the
    USL rating their attendance that is about right

    FC Tampa Bay Their the real lost they could play in USL but every on know with the attendance they are pulling they should be MLS worthy.

  89. RedCard permalink
    January 24, 2011

    @ yankiboy I would have to agree their is still a lot of higher level soccer out their and my time is already short.

    @Tyle it just not plausible in the US market. and fan base culture.

  90. jw7 permalink
    January 25, 2011

    The latest rumor:

    Aaron Davidson
    “6 Million dollar bond put up by NASL to secure league for 2011”

    Any truth to this?

  91. January 25, 2011

    True. I interviewed Davidson late last night and after my second night of a four hour sleep am trying to get something cobbled together to throw up on the site.

    Stay tuned.

  92. jw7 permalink
    January 25, 2011

    I’ll send ya some more coffee 🙂

  93. Strikers Return permalink
    January 25, 2011

    @BQ – Hope you know how much your efforts are appreciated by all of us regulars to your site! You are definitely THE SOURCE for all things pro soccer related! One quick question for you since you seem to be speaking to Mr. Davidson pretty regularly now. In most of his recent statements, he keeps referring to his club as the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers. I also had a sales rep. call me the other day and identify himself as being with the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers. I was all but sure that they were going to go with Ft. Lauderdale anyway recently, but we still haven’t gotten official confirmation of this.

    I prefectly understand the fact that he’s been pretty busy with league business for quite awhile now, and that perhaps the finalization of the announcements for the rebrand have been pushed back because of it. Have you heard anything about this? In talking to him, are you getting the same sense as I am that they are indeed going with Ft. Lauderdale, but have just been too busy to make a release on it?

  94. Strikers Return permalink
    January 25, 2011

    I’ve had some personal business to attend to that’s kept me from coming around and posting much since the news broke. It’s given me some time to think about the situation though before saying a whole lot. I think when it comes down to it, I agree with the comments of Grant and some of the others in that what really matters to me at the end of the day is not whether NASL is sanctioned as D2 in 2011, but that I will be able to take my family out to see the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers at good old Lockhart.

    Outside of us “fanboys” as Kenn likes to call us, most soccer fans don’t have any clue what the NASL and USL are, or what it means to be sanctioned, or what D2 or D3 even mean. They just want some inexpensive and yet exciting soccer to watch. I do believe that there is long term potential for the growth of the lower levels.

    Some have said that it’s been 20+ years and we’re no closer now then we’ve been before. To some degree I can’t argue that. But here’s the thing, and it echoes some of Ultras comments. USL has decided the USSF D2 standards are way out of their league, so they’ve (supposedly) circled their wagons in D3 and D4. I give kudos to them for their work to date in D4. PDL seems to be by far the most stable lower level of soccer in North America. For me, I see too much of the SOS to be very optimistic about D3 at this point outside of their core franchises like Charleston and Richmond. My sincere hope is that they haven’t damaged these excellent franchises with this wacky model they’ve cobbled together this year.

    NASL on the other hand has taken up the gauntlet, that yes, was carried for a long time by USL. Davidson himself has acknowledged this. Without the USL, whether you like their business practices or not, and despite a long history of failures, did indeed carry the torch for a long time. But in the end, which we all witnessed after last season when they finally gave up on D2 thanks to the new USSF standards. Now it is the NASL’s turn to try and forge a model under the USSF standards that can achieve better success. Obviously they are off to a rough start.

    Bottom line is, I am hoping that NASL can find a way to get D2 sanctioning for 2011, even if it is only “provisional.” But if the USSF should continue to deny it based on their review, I think the best thing for NASL to do is retract the statement of only seeking D2 sanctioning, and go ahead and play 2011 as a D3 organization. I know that makes 2011 a very expensive season for a D3 league, but if it is teh only option left to buy another year to strengthen the league and its core franchises, I don’t see any other realistic choice. Seeking D2 sanctioning from Canada as someone suggested would just piss off the USSF further I think. Not having SOME form of USSF sanctioning would mean problems for the players and the teams. In the end, work hard, pull out all the stops to get D2 sanctioning. But if you come up short, play as D3 for 2011, and you have an entire year to get up to snuff for 2012.

    This plan would not endanger what should be the main goal of 2011 for the NASL which should be to for each team to work closely with PMI in their areas to market and sell the hell out of the local people and increase attendance over 2010. NO ONE is going to say, aw crap, my team is playing as D3 this year, not D2, I’m not going to any games.

  95. Grant Stephens permalink
    January 25, 2011

    “NO ONE is going to say, aw crap, my team is playing as D3 this year, not D2, I’m not going to any games.”

    This, my friends, is the point!

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