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US Soccer Confirms NASL Provisional Sanctioning for 2011

2011 February 12
by Brian Quarstad

In a briefly worded press statement released Saturday evening, US Soccer confirmed that the North American Soccer League was provisionally sanctioned as a division 2 professional league for 2011.

Confirming what IMS posted Saturday morning, the statement said: The provisional sanctioning allows the NASL to operate a Division 2 league during the 2011 season. The NASL will need to meet certain requirements defined by the Board of Directors to be granted full sanctioning beyond the 2011 season.

“Division 2 soccer is an important element in the success and popularity of the sport in the United States and we are pleased the NASL will play professional games in their markets this season,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “The Federation’s continued interest is in sustainability and stability at the Division 2 level of professional soccer.”

“Today is a historic day for soccer in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico,” said NASL CEO Aaron Davidson in the NASL’s press release. “We’ve worked diligently over the past several years to implement a new vision for second division and would like to thank USSF President Sunil Gulati and the USSF staff for their leadership, cooperation and support in creating this next chapter for the professional game in the region. We are committed to building a new second division which will develop markets, players, coaches, referees, executives and administrators and give soccer fans throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico a league and teams to be proud of.”

U.S. Soccer and NASL will conduct a teleconference call on Monday, Feb. 14 with Gulati and Davidson to discuss the provisional sanctioning for the 2011 season.

IMS also learned this afternoon that US Soccer decided not to bring the provisional sanctioning to the AGM. Instead, the board of directors decided on Friday to give the the league provisional D2 membership which allowed them to sidestep the ratification vote. The action was therefore decided at the board of directors level and the NASL will remain provisional until next year when they will again need to be approved by the board and then ratified by the AGM to receive full sanctioning.

20 Responses
  1. Ultra permalink
    February 12, 2011

    A fair decision. NASL gets a season to run the league on their own, and a chance to sort out the team ownership issues. As fans we can hope they get it right and are fully sanctioned for the long term future.


  2. February 12, 2011

    Brilliant. This seems like the chance they wanted. It is only one year, but you can prove a lot in a year or you can fall on your face.

    So tell everyone you know to buy tickets. Death threats to close friends not buying tickets are discouraged.

  3. Trevor permalink
    February 12, 2011

    This is the part where I run around and scream even louder than when Wayne Rooney scored his goal against Man City today, when Newcastle came back from 4-0 against Arsenal, or when Oud-Heverlee Leuven leveled a minute after going down 1-0, then won 4-1.
    US soccer will have a full-fledged, four division soccer pyramid again in 2011!

  4. rjhtpr permalink
    February 12, 2011

    Congrats to all of the supporters of each team participating in NASL this season!!!!

    Now, does anyone seriously think they can beat the Islanders this season???

  5. john permalink
    February 12, 2011


    The Impact will, especially when they announce Bill Gaudette as their new goalie
    next week 😉

  6. fotbalist permalink
    February 12, 2011

    Great news! This is exactly what NASL needed. This is a year in which they can prove what they can accomplish. Of course, one could complain that it’s only provisional, but it’s a fair decision particularly from the perspective of the USSF. Go MN Stars!

  7. Orange Trooper permalink
    February 12, 2011

    Bill!!! We wont forget Bill!!

  8. rjhtpr permalink
    February 12, 2011


    If he signs with you guys congrats to him, he deserves another chance at MLS in 2012. I’m not too worried about the GK position. The Islanders, in their short existence have a history of producing great talent at that position (Kennedy, Saunders, Boss, all MLS’ers). Also we need to free up some salary space for other players.

  9. Steve permalink
    February 12, 2011

    Now’s the time to move past the petty bickering we’ve all been engaged in since August (and probably long before). Time to kick pre-season into gear. FC Tampa Bay has solidified the midfield and added a scoring threat. That combined with a new stadium with a cozy little supporters section, and 2011 will be a fun time. F! FC! FC TAMPA BAY!

  10. Neal permalink
    February 12, 2011


  11. jw7 permalink
    February 12, 2011

    Now it’s time to get up and start chasing again.

  12. Daniel Feuerstein permalink
    February 12, 2011

    Congrats to the NASL, their clubs & their supporters. Division 2 once again is officially sanctioned and let’s hope it stays that way.

  13. February 13, 2011

    Sidestep the AGM to do another year of “provisional sanctioning”? Why do I sense something is not right here? Well, congrats to NASL. Against all opposition, they’ve survived. So far.

    Learning Gaudette left PR for Montreal is very sad news.

  14. February 13, 2011

    Thanks BQ, you’re always on the news.
    NASL should at least say “thank you” to what you have done in the last year to keep high the attention on an almost “ghost league”.

  15. thesuperrookie permalink
    February 13, 2011

    1st off: suck it non-believers.
    2nd off: BELIEVE!

  16. Kartik Mehta permalink
    February 13, 2011

    good to hear, it’s the right thing.

    Now can someone please tell me why the hell people keep saying that the Rowdies are in financial trouble? We’re signing new players, we have a coach and have probably the only owner interested in participating in keeping the league alive. And yet every offseason people say the Rowdies are in financial trouble. Where’s the proof? We’re probably the most stable team in the NASL, which obviously isn’t saying much, but it’s something

  17. Garrett permalink
    February 13, 2011


    Yes! This means we can finally make our Johnny Pornstar banner!

  18. RedCard permalink
    February 13, 2011

    Look how happy you guys are it’s good to see you guys talking about soccer instead of gloom and doom. Congrats

  19. Strikers Return permalink
    February 13, 2011

    YES!!!!! Finally, now everyone can focus on making 2011 a successful season for all of our teams and the league. I hope all of the team FO’s don’t stop to take too long a breath now. They need to ramp up the marketing and advertising now so we can show the USSF the NASL and our teams were well worth giving the chance to prove themselves. Everyone get out there and watch your team, bring all of your family and friends and let’s make it one hell of a season! BTW, to anyone in South Florida who doesn’t have season tickets yet, the team extended the $99 special through the month of February I believe. And this Thursday, the official return of the tradition and legacy of the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers playing in the NASL returns!!!!

  20. Wayne permalink
    February 14, 2011

    And there shall be professional soccer in MN! Yeah! Go Stars!

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