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Five U.S.-Based NASL Teams Will Not be Allowed to Participate in 2011 Open Cup; No Time Restrictions on Traffic Finding New Owners for Atlanta and Carolina

2011 February 14
by Brian Quarstad

The USSF held a press conference this afternoon with President Sunil Gulati and NASL CEO Aaron Davidson participating. Each made very brief opening statements with Gulati saying he was pleased to admit the NASL on a provisional basis.

“It’s a difficult environment on many levels,” said Gulati. “We’re excited that Aaron and his colleagues have put together a group of investors, so congratulations to them.”

Gulati was asked about the special requirements on the NASL and what sort of time deadline there were on those requirements. “The pro league task force will continue to work with the NASL on a number of points that have been discussed in the meeting and with them but the immediate movement towards a single team and single ownership, we don’t have a time table on that,” said Gulati. “So while we would like to see that done we will certainly sit down and work through that with them.”

The USSF president was asked if that also meant that Minnesota, a league-owned team, would also need to find new ownership. “Minnesota’s situation is obviously different because it’s owned on a collective basis by all the other teams. It’s clear that in an ideal world we’d like to see a situation where there are individual investors operator groups for each of the eight teams or any number of teams that the league has,” said Gulati.

Davidson added to that saying, “We’ve been clear all along that obviously it was out of necessity that Traffic had to invest into additional teams for the good of the game and for the good of second division to make this work. We are very cognizant that the sport is our number one priority. We feel that those two teams (Carolina and Atlanta) will maintain the highest level of integrity as will Minnesota, a league-owned team. The number one thing is to put on a fantastic competition at the 2nd division level where everyone has the chance to win the championship.”

“I think what you’re aiming for is a sensible business opportunity and financial viability,” said Gulati when asked about standards the federation may have for the NASL to make sure they are viable going forward. “That’s not up to the federation to say attendance has to be X, Y or Z. Or that sponsorship should be A, B or C. The opportunity and stability of the league are very much related. If the league is stable and the business plan makes sense and you have sensible attendances then there will be  increased interest from people to make an investment in a team. That is certainly what has happened with MLS and I’m sure that’s what the NASL leadership is hoping and planing for with the NASL.”

Davidson responded by saying, “No one is under the presumption that all of our teams are going to be break even overnight even now that we are provisionally sanctioned. We have to work towards that but we anticipate bright spots along the way to show us we are heading in the right direction.”

When Davidson was asked what his one year goals were he stated that he recognizes where the NASL sits at the present time as a startup and would focus on the basics this first year. “To really get this league going in the right direction we are going to need some time. This year is all about the nuts and bolts and making sure we run a league where the teams are happy in the direction it’s headed and where the federation is happy with the direction it’s headed. Our expectations are to run a league, to quite frankly make it through this year and the next year, and give the teams a stable platform to grow their markets.”

When Davidson was asked what will make his league different from leagues in the past, he responded: “Our number one object is to stop the churn rate in 2nd division. Our number one objective is to maintain teams on a year-to-year basis so you the media and the fans can make sense of second division and so we can create a platform for teams,  players and coaches to do what they need to do to drive up their level and possibly buy into MLS at some point. You’ve heard me say this a lot in this process but this platform where the team owners own the league and govern the league is one where all the owners in their respective markets are buying into the NASL brand as a league. And you will see us promoting it a lot more proudly. That will mean the fans and the media will be able to follow both the teams and the league a lot more consistently.”

The biggest news of the day was that the 5 U.S.-based NASL teams will not be able to participate in the U.S. Open Cup competition. Gulati said, “It was simply too late to incorporate them into the process in the various stages of the tournament. The timing does not work for the 5 U.S. based teams to participate. They will not be playing this year.”

Gulati was questioned at the end of the press conference if he felt second and third division soccer was important to the health of soccer in the U.S in regard to MLS and the National Team. “I think if we want to see American soccer grow, having additional outlets for fans, whether that is in very different cities than MLS or in other cases the suburbs of where MLS may be, I think it’s very important. Having both the USL and the NASL playing is a big plus and covers a lot more markets than MLS could do on its own. In terms of the National Team, I don’t think it’s directly the feeder system. But obviously if there are increased opportunities and at a high level that’s a big plus.”

“The other side of this is as you see younger players coming into MLS at younger ages, I think in the future you’re likely to see some relationship between MLS and the NASL and the USL. Where players will get additional playing opportunities and at the same time are under an MLS contract. We’ve had that in the past in the early stages of MLS and there’s any number of things that could happen between MLS and NASL or USL to give players additional opportunities and still give them a link directly to MLS.

56 Responses
  1. Ultra permalink
    February 14, 2011

    I call BS on not letting the 5 US NASL teams play in the Open Cup. Not enough time? Really?

    Shouldn’t they have had the Strikers, FCTB, Atlanta, Minnesota and Carolina penciled in to play anyway? What did they take them out 3 weeks ago when the sanctioning was pulled? Something smells fishy.

  2. jw7 permalink
    February 14, 2011

    It’s not an Open Cup then is it?

    US CLOSED CUP 2011

  3. El Padre permalink
    February 14, 2011

    Very well put, jw7.

  4. February 14, 2011

    again us soccer shows what a joke they can be by not allowing the teams into the open cup

    are you telling me they couldnt have simply made two plans, one including the nasl and one without

  5. tomASS permalink
    February 14, 2011

    Even Egypt can get rid of Mubarak, why can’t we get rid of Gulati?

    What’s the US soccer equivalent to military rule? 😉

  6. Sheridon permalink
    February 14, 2011

    Bummer. 14 games to make up $2 mil. Maybe they should have kept a 30 game schedule.

  7. Zlatan permalink
    February 14, 2011

    It’s really late, but I agree with Tomass. US Soccer needs new blood.

  8. AurichP permalink
    February 14, 2011

    I’m all for Pro Soccer in Minnesota, but from what I am seeing here the NASL is not what we are looking for. We need someone with deep pockets to come in and move the team into one of the hearts of St. Paul (Lowertown) or Minneapolis (NorthEast). Build a SSS and work their way into the MLS over a couple of years. That team is dead meat sitting up there in Blaine. Now if we can just find a person with deep pockets….

  9. Mike permalink
    February 14, 2011

    Isn’t the definition of the US Open Cup that all US based teams have an opportunity to compete? How can you exclude US based teams from an officially sanctioned league? Very disappointing decision!

  10. donald permalink
    February 14, 2011

    @ AurichP I think every sports franchise would wish for that. Support the stars and maybe you will get your wish.

  11. jw7 permalink
    February 15, 2011

    Did anyone else ever consider that maybe NASL wants to skip the cost of the US Closed Cup this first year. The first rounds vs the amateur teams are not the greatest attended games a D2 team has? They are kinda expected to be the host venue vs the amateur teams.

    Just throwing that up in the air.

    I also found it interesting that the old NASL never played in the cup, it was there own decision to skip it back then?

  12. CoconutMonkey permalink
    February 15, 2011


    Nail on head.

    I’m not convinced.

  13. Jane permalink
    February 15, 2011

    What a joke. No time to let NASL teams play in the Open Cup? The only time needed is to make the schedule for matches beginning in June? This is just yet another example of USSF giving the NASL a hard time. Keeping them out of the Cup can even cost some of their teams some big revenue. In past years the teams who make the third round and often a home game against MLS teams which draws large attendance.
    And we are to believe that USSF has a goal to grow soccer? One has to ask a question of why would they take this action? Could it possibly be they are afraid a NASL team could win the Cup? Don’t know but for sure it has absolutely nothing to do with being to late in the process of scheduling.

  14. The Choosen One permalink
    February 15, 2011

    @ Donald I agree with you that people need to support the Stars. But the problem now more than ever is location and marketing. Whether some Stars fans want to admit it or not the Nessy is in a horrible location. The northern suburbs are not known for attending sporting events in the Twin Cities. 80% of season ticket holders for the four major sports come from the western and southern suburbs. People from these areas do not like driving to Blaine. The other issue is marketing. If I didn’t follow this site I would have had no idea there was a team. When my kid played in the USA Cup Weekend Tournament I saw one small poster advertising the Stars.

  15. smatthew permalink
    February 15, 2011

    @jw7 That is the theory I’m leaning towards, excluding the teams from the Open Cup doesn’t really punish them if anything it helps them with their bottom line. So I am guessing the NASL US based owners asked to be excluded and since there are requirements that pro-soccer teams must compete in the Open Cup the USSF came up with the too late theory. I mean does anyone really believe the USSF actually is treating the Open Cup like its something they run and already has a schedule for it? Come on!

    Of course if this theory is true I do worry that the NASL will soon come out and say that due to this off season mess they will be dropping the playoffs since that is a money loser for too.

  16. silly permalink
    February 15, 2011

    I don’t think it is as much of a conspiracy theory or a punishment as many think. I do think it it a great deal of laziness on their part to not restructure the schedule for 5 teams. USL2 put in 6 teams last year and with the bigger USLPRO this year it seems NASL’s spots were taken by the new USL teams. This way they can keep the schedule structured similar to last years.

  17. February 15, 2011

    First of all I am going to try to dig a bit deeper for a better explanation of why/how this happened then Sunil gave yesterday which was brief and lacking.

    Secondly, your NASL conspiracy theory is WAY off the mark. While the NASL teams were all relieved to be sanctioned for this year I know several of the organizations were very disappointed to not be playing in this years Cup.

    No, it is not a money maker unless you do well enough to draw a big MLS team at home and even then it can be tough after playing a portion of the airfare and hotel etc… for the team to come and the extra cost of promoting and tickets etc… there is a good chance you won’t make any money. But it does wonders for the marketing of the team and getting your team brand out in eyes of your customers.

    I think I may have posted this in a comment on another article, but when they were making the initial schedule for the US Open Cup they provisional status had been pulled from the NASL. Perhaps it’s as simple as those running USSF, Dan Flynn and company, didn’t believe that the NASL would get sanctioned. After all, his pro task force came back with a recommendation to deny sanctioning.

  18. yankiboy permalink
    February 15, 2011

    @Jane: I know that you were tossing it out there as a possibility but I don’t really think that the USSF eliminated the NASL from the Open Cup because they are worried about an NASL club winning it.

    I agree with you about the scheduling excuse.

    I do see this as a punishment. It’s February. I think that the USSF was trying to slap the NASL around a little with an attitude of–the NEXT time that we give you a deadline, make the deadline the FIRST time”!

    Kinda nice. Kind of like the school administration who says to the 9th graders:

    “Hey, OK. After much deliberation and trying to be more inclusive, we have decided you can hang come and hang out at the high school dance this year but don’t even think about dancing because–ya know–you should just be really happy that we even let you into the gym–oh, by the way–we just might need you to help serve some punch or help with setting up some chairs later…”

  19. Strikers Return permalink
    February 15, 2011

    @yankiboy – 9th graders at the dance…LOL….too funny.

    @BQ – Glad to hear you are pursuing a more substantial explanation on the NASL teams not being allowed in the Open Cup. Miami FC lost a hard fought 1 – 0 game in Houston to the Dynamo in the 3rd Round last year, well before they got things turned around for that unbeaten streak late in the season. I don’t presume to say the NASL teams would be stiff competition for MLS sides to win the title, but getting into or even past the 3rd Round in the competition is a solid feat, and one that I think resonates with the more knowledgable fans. The chance for a good USOC run will be missed this year. But at the end of the day, we had to expect that, given the difficulty in getting the provisional sanctioning, there would almost certainly be some downsides. Not everything was going to come up roses this year for the NASL, and if this is one of the thorns, then so be it. All in all, things could be much worse today for those of us in NASL markets.

  20. fotbalist permalink
    February 15, 2011

    With all its imperfections, the solution is decent, and will give the NASL a chance to play this season with the hopes for a much improved situation next season. In regards to the US Open Cup, it truly seems silly (and in fact, a little arrogant and patronizing) for Gulati to say that it was too late to incorporate the five teams. However, I guess the ‘provisional’ status had to sting a little.

    This is a mean comment, but I’m guessing that with the exception of Rochester and maybe Charleston the USL Pro teams would’ve been crushed by NASL teams in the Open Cup, which would’ve been embarrassing for the USL. Could this be the result of some USL pressure? Just a silly guess, on my part! But, the soccer world has not been void of such experience….

  21. smatthew permalink
    February 15, 2011

    I think your leaving quite a few teams off your list of USLPro clubs that wouldn’t be embarrassed fotbalist. My guess Rochester, Charleston, Charlotte, Richmond, Harrisburg and Orlando all would have put up stiff competition for NASL teams. Depending on how things go you could even add Wilmington, Dayton and Pittsburgh to that list too.

    BQ, I hope you are able to get more info on the exclusion of NASL clubs. Along with asking USSF will you have a chance to ask Mr. Davidson his opinion on the clubs being excluded too?

  22. Soccer Boy permalink
    February 15, 2011

    Czar Sunil Gulati must resign!

  23. silly permalink
    February 15, 2011

    Now that may be the dumbest comment of the day. What basis do you have to say that the USL teams would be crushed by the NASL teams? All of those teams match up evenly on any given day. Do you really I mean Really think that USL had anything to do with the USSF denying the NASL teams (who had no league a week ago) entry into the USOC.

    Grow up and drop the USL/NASL crap. You have a league to play in now so go support it. If the NASL fails now it will be because the NASL failed and have nothing to do with USL.

  24. ISI permalink
    February 15, 2011

    This is not only a joke but a complete embarrassment to US Soccer. Just about any other excuse (no budget available, my dog ate my homework…) would have been better than “not enough time”! For crying out loud, was this not the same country that hosted the 2003 Women’s World Cup last minute because of the SARS outbreak in China!?!? ‘Not enough time’ is just not acceptable! This is why soccer continues to struggle – from a popularity level, from a developmental level, from a national level! – in the United States! Can you honestly blame FIFA for not awarding us the World Cup (ok, different subject, perhaps) but bottom line is our own federation is to fault 100%! For how long has the lower tier levels of professional soccer in this country been a mess?! And what, please tell me, has Gulati and his team done to fix it? For that matter, what has Gulati done, period? Between his role as Prof at Columbia and President of the Rev’s (can anyone say ‘conflict of interest’?), how can he be expected to have the time to be President of USSF?! Even country’s with such as Tunisa, New Zealand and India (FIFA ranked 49, 64 & 145 respectively) have Federation presidents who only hold down that job! What saddens me the most is that if this were to take place in any of the other 4 major sports in this country, the media blitz would be all over it! Only in soccer in the US can this get by without much of a tremor.

  25. yankiboy permalink
    February 15, 2011

    [Brian Quarstad has already made it clear that he will be bringing more details of what transpired as it relates to the US NASL clubs being excluded from participation in this year’s US Open Cup.

    For your entertainment purposes (only), here is the completely unofficial version based on nothing more than my imagination.

    I offer it to my IMS Brethren and Sisteren while we await accurate, nonfictional details that are not based on my imagination]:

    USSF Head Guy, SG1: “AD, we’ve got some great news and we’ve got a little bad news.

    You are sanctioned to play as D2 this year! Whew, it was a close one (wiping the sweat from his brow)! We really had to fight to get it through. It was by the hairs or your chinny chin chins!”

    Aaron Davidson: “Mr. President, thank you so much, we are eternally gratefull and commited to making this work! We can’t thank you enough!”

    Danny Boy Flynn: “Well, we are oping that you can make the most of this opportunity. We do have to egt to the bad news–The US clubs, they WON’T be playing in the USOC this year. Sorry. We just feel like it is in the best interest of the game.”

    AD: “What the–hey!!! Are you flipping kidding me!?!?! What are you talking about–the US clubs WON’T be playing in the Open this year! Sunil–Did you know about this?!?!”

    SG1 (as he attemots to remove AD’s hand’s from Danny Boy’s throat): “Aaron–Come down, Man! Look–this was the best that we could do! You guys are playing, sanctioned–hey–isn’t that enough? We weren’t even sure that we were going to be able to puch that through! You have to look at the BIGGER picture!”

    AD (after havbving taking a few steps back, fixes his tie and shirt, smooths out the wrinkles in his suit jacket sleaves): “This is utterly unacceptable! There is no logical justification for this. it is unprecedented!”

    Danny Boy: “Being provisionally sanctioned is “unprecedented”–We are all on unchartered groungd here, Aaron! That is the best that we could do. I can’t beleive that you are getting so worked up about a cup tournament that most people who follow the sport in this country don’t even know exists or consider it a complete afterthought! I guess it’s like they say–‘No good deed goes unpunished!”

    The Canuck and the Boricua contigencies speaking amongst themselves after the scene and the dust started to settle:

    “Whoah! That was absolutely BRUTAL–They are really taking one for the team–I mean League! Wow! That was HEARTLESS!! What more could the USSF want? It’s not enough to bankroll a league? Come on–Oh well Good luck with the CONCACAF thing and your cup competition. We gotta represent and go stick it to the big boys! The Pride of the NASL–it all rests on our shoulders! Man, that decision was BRUTAL!”

  26. yankiboy permalink
    February 15, 2011

    @silly: I’m really glad that I gave you some “dumber” comments to read.

    I’ve consistently got the “dumbest” posts around and I have a real problem with you not giving me my due.

    Now grow up and recognize me as the dumbest poster of the day on IMS.

  27. yankiboy permalink
    February 15, 2011

    ISI-The comment about FIFA awarding the WC to Quatar was hilarious. The USSF’s fault 100%. You are killing me Bro. Backdoor deals and agendas–even I can’t blame that one on the USSF.

    You are already one of my favorite posters–You are starting to make me look rational.

    I love this passion. Love the enthusiam. I guess that SG1 is not on your Chrsitmas/Hanakuh/Winter Solstice seasonal card list mailing, huh?

    You make some very interesting points but i’m going to go out on a limb and pretty much take a gamble that the media would not be blitzing the failure of minor league sports leagues in any of the big 4 sports here in the US.

    Just call it a hunch but when Isaiah “Mr. Teflon” Thomas helped run the Continental Basketball Association into the ground several years back–I don’t remember one Sports Illustrated or Sporting News coverstory about it. I don’t remember hearing anything about if other than an afterthought on ESPN.

    If the American Hockey League were to go through a similar radical shitft like US second division soccer, that maybe would be featured in an ESPN Bob Ley or Jeremy Shappe outside the lines feature on someday that they were really bone dry for something to present.

    The United Football League is all but ignored in markets that don’t have a team (and even in markets where they do have a team).

    Hey, I could be wrong–but I think that you might want to not use so much of the “media would be blitzing the incompetence” incompetence hot sause on those chicken wings that you are chowing on.

    Love the passion. “Hey, hey- ho, ho! The Prof from Columbia U has got to go”.

    Come on ya’ll. ISI, I right behind you, Bro (ok, maybe not RIGHT behind you more like Miles behind you or another zipcode). I love the enthusiasm.

    You gotta love it. Especially when there is a shamtravemockery such as this decision.

  28. meh permalink
    February 15, 2011

    Unfortunately USSF has always been more than a bit lackadaisical about the US Open Cup. So their “we didn’t have enough time to redo the format” excuse might be the God’s honest truth in their humble opinion – which is simply unbelievably lazy and apathetic. So I don’t think there’s need to invoke any conspiracy theories, except perhaps someone in USSF might be using this to take an extra swipe at the NASL. But, overall, USSF simply doesn’t care much about the US Open Cup.

    Why isn’t the US Open Cup promoted or marketed properly? Get a corporate sponsor. Get a TV deal. Make sure MLS, NASL, and USL clubs include US Open Cup tickets in their STH package deals. These are all things USSF could do to make the US Open Cup be taken a bit more seriously, and make a bit of money at it too. But no, nothing. Not a hint of any kind of effort or thought put into the US Open Cup at all. Which is why they may really be too lazy to redo the 2011 format to include NASL clubs.


  29. Mike permalink
    February 15, 2011

    NASL teams would crush USL Pro teams in the Open Cup? You mean like when River Plate beat the PR Islanders 3-0 aggregate in the Puerto Rico Soccer League’s 2010 SuperCopa DirecTV? Oh wait…..never mind!

  30. rjhtpr permalink
    February 15, 2011


    Forget about mentioning the joke of a tournament Super Copa DirecTV, it was clearly an invention of the (pro-USL) PR Federation and the PRSL (USL) to showcase River PR (whose main sponsor is DirecTV) and Sevilla PR, and don’t get me wrong, these are good teams.

    The Islanders did not have this tournament in budget and in contracts. They did what they could do to build a squad for this unexpected tournament. If you want to keep celebrating the fact that River PR beat the Islanders C squad, then good for you. The Islanders only played because they had to, in order to qualify for CFU Club Champions Cup, which they did, and are currently the only team to be seeded in the second round.

  31. silly permalink
    February 15, 2011

    Yanki- comedy is never dumb my man. keep up the good work.

  32. February 15, 2011


    I’m trying to get Yanki to write for IMS. Maybe he needs some encouragement? 🙂

    Mike, there is an awful lot of politics in PR which I hope to address soon on IMS. I would have to agree with rjhtpr . That was pretty much set up in a way that the Islanders would fail. Not going to address all of that now, but looks deceive.

    However, I don’t disagree that there are some USL PRO teams that would compete well with any NASL teams and last year some of those 6-USL-2 teams were better than some of the NASL teams.

    Man, if the NASL can make things work can you imagine the battles we will someday see on the field when a USL PRO team faces a NASL team. Now that could be fun!

  33. yankiboy permalink
    February 15, 2011

    @Silly-Thanks to you my man.

    I am still trying to convince my wife that I’m even a little bit funny.

    She just says what my Mom says–“something’s just not right with the boy!” and shakes her head.

    I am going to have to print out some of my positive IMS feedback to show her that she obviously has missed the mark when it comes to distinct, comedic stylings sprinkled with brilliantly profound typos.

    I’m weighing BQ’s offer against Ives’ and still trying to work an in with the USL HQ.

    Bidding war!

  34. silly permalink
    February 15, 2011

    Yanki- Get as much as you can. You just have to promise to never change your style. The death of Leslie Nielsen could give you an in to slap stick.

    I haven’t been on this site long. What team do you support?

  35. ISI permalink
    February 15, 2011

    glad I was able to get someone to listen! And glad to have you behind me (even if it is a few miles back). I suppose you could say I have enough passion for the game to fill a small stadium, but in regards to the media comment I was really harping on SG’s mutli-tasking (and the USSF’s poor efforts to date) more than anything else – I mean could you imagine if Sandro Rosell (president at FC Barca) was also running the RFEF!?! Or if Bru Buck (head man at Chel-ski) was also running the FA!??! It would just never happen! (Hard to imagine, but this is actually worse than Goodell being the NFL commish and also owning the Dallas Cowboys!) Now, knowing the supporters on the other side of the pond, if it would bring them a WC Final victory, they might actually consider it – which, I guess, is something we should look at. How has the US done under SG’s rein as Professor/Rev’s President/USSF President?

    Now, I know that I kinda veered away from the topic again, so to bring it back full circle, for your enjoyment, I provide for you the REAL conversation that took place regarding the NASL:

    SG: Now Aaron, we have some really good news!
    AD: Oh! Great! Let’s hear it!
    SG: Now it took me quite a bit of time to figure out, but I have a new theory on microeconomics that will revolutionize the way we look at the world and its future!
    AD: What the hell does that have to do with me?
    Dan Flynn: A-hem, Mr. President. This is not your economics class…
    SG: Oh, my apologies Aaron! But we still have some good news for you!
    AD: Oh! Great! Let’s hear it Mr. President!
    SG: Now it took me quite a bit of time to figure out, but it looks like the Rev’s are going to be able to sign Beckham, Messi, Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo and still remain under the MLS salary cap!
    AD: Mr. President, with all due respect! What the hell does this have to do with me and the NASL?
    DF: Ah, Mr. President, this is not the NE Revolution board room! This is the NASL Sanctioning meeting!
    SG: Oh, my apologies Aaron, but we still have some very good news for you!
    AD: Oh! Great! Let’s hear it Mr. President!
    SG: Now it took me quite a bit of time to figure out, but you can play D2 this year!
    AD: Great! And so that means we can participate in the 2011 Open Cup?
    SG: Ah, er um…..NO!
    AD: WHAT?! Why not?
    SG: I ran out of time.

  36. Strikers Return permalink
    February 15, 2011

    @yankiboy and ISI – Thanks for the chuckles on a slow Tuesday in front of my computer at work! LOL

    @BQ – Looking forward to your work on the PR situation. When I saw those Islanders results against River Plate, I was definitely scratching my head. I mean, I know teams can have bad games, but I was still surprised. Hearing that they weren’t playing all their first team players, and perhaps other politics were involved in the situation brings it a little more in focus for me. By the by, speaking of the Islanders, have you ever gotten anyone to go on record regarding how the USSF is counting them as far as the 75% rule for D2 sanctioning? Seems to me they must be counting them is non-US, but some people have brought up some points regarding the sensitivity of this from a legal perspective, something the federation might want to stay clear of. I’d be real curious to know, because currently it seems both Ottawa and Hamilton could be contenders for NASL expansion, and if my some chance the USSF did count PR as domestic, we would need just two more American markets to go along with SA and Hamilton to get to 12.

  37. February 15, 2011

    Ya, I think the USSF looks at most of this as private business and not for our consumption. I don’t agree but it’s probably standard fair for FA’s.

    I did put in a comment that the USL had to get a waiver for their 4 teams in USL PRO this season. I would imagine that was the case for the NASL as well.

  38. yankiboy permalink
    February 15, 2011

    @ISI: Sweet!

    Bob Kraft, Revs/Patriots/Cheese & Crackers Tycoon upon hearing the news that the Rev are going to get the superspecial MLS DP salary cap exemption:

    “What! DP?!?! I have never used on DP spot in the history of my club? I didn’t want to pay Twellman 400 large when he was scoring goals by the bunches–What on earth, were you thinking– Some “favor”! Why would I waste money that I could be using to help make Tom Brady’s wife happy or giving to Belichick to research new ways of videocheating on paying some guy that might not even score more goals then Taylor did? DP?!? Don’t use THAT kind of language around me ever again!!! Do I make myself clear!!! Do you still want use of the luxury box for the first Patriots preseason game after we help break the players and end the lockout?!? Well–if you do-don’t ever mention anything to me about a DP again!?!? Do I make myself clear!?!”

  39. yankiboy permalink
    February 15, 2011

    @Silly: Thanks for the validation, Bro (seriously).

    Since April 2004, I have been an insane supporter of La Tropa naraja–the Orange Troop–Puerto Rico Islanders FC-NASL).

    I was a proud Cystal Palace Baltimore supporter (R.I.P.).

    As far as USL clubs go, I had mad respect for Richmond, Charleston and Harrisburg but I was going to officially declare myself as a Sevilla Puerto Rico supporter but due to some circumstance beyond my control, am thinking of supporting Puerto Rico United (which should be just like supporting the Islanders back in the old days when they were just trying to get off the ground).

    I am even thinking of travelling to attend a River Plate Puerto Rico match when they come to the MidAtlantic (which will get me courtmartialed by Orange troop–I haven’t made up my mind about that one yet).

  40. Jack D permalink
    February 15, 2011

    Amazing they couldn’t fit in the 5 NASL clubs into the USOC. It’s not like US Soccer really does any bit of organizing or otherwise with this now shamefully neglected tournament. I smell something fishy with Gulati doing this and abstaining.

  41. silly permalink
    February 15, 2011

    Yanki- PR United at Blackbaud Friday July 1

  42. Jane permalink
    February 16, 2011

    BQ, you really will get your investigative reporting skills tested in trying to find out what happened with this latest USSF misfire. The 3 person sanctioning committe unanimously recommended to not sanction NASL only to have the Board override their recommendation by a 6-5 vote with Gulati and Flynn abstaining. This is a rare result with normal Board meetings. And then they bypass their own by-laws by not going through the ratification process. And they then cap it off with not allowing 5 very qualified pro soccer teams to not compete in the Open Cup with the lame excuse that it is to late in the process?

    A complete circus that strangely sounds like how things work in the U.S. Congress with trading votes, a lot of in fighting politics, and a complete lack of strong leadership.

    Good luck in trying to find out the truth on this one.

  43. February 16, 2011


    Flynn is a non-voting member of the board. As someone previously pointed out, it’s standard procedure with Robert’s Rules of Order for the Pres. not to vote and he most likely would have cast the tie breaker if needed. For Garber I’m sure he felt it was a conflict of interest (He runs a competing league) and would be best suited staying out of that vote. He has been supportive of the NASL recently.

  44. yankiboy permalink
    February 16, 2011

    @Silly: Thanks for the info. Mikey from the Charleston Battery Regiment was trying to lure me back down to the ‘Baud. That’s a long way to go for a team that I’m not in love with (yet).

    I love everything about the ‘Baud except for the long trip from Baltimore to get there.

  45. silly permalink
    February 16, 2011

    It is a great place to watch a game.

  46. VanOekel permalink
    February 16, 2011

    As I sit at my desk reading the 45 responses, I see one underlying fault in all the discussions. Yes, I live in Virginia, but I am a season ticket holder, out of all the people who responded, who else is a season ticket holder besides BQ?
    All of you first complained about not keeping a team in the area, now that the NASL is a sanctioned organization, you are all complaining about not being able to play in the open cup.
    Instead of complaining on this website, why are you all not tweeting, emailing or talking up the fact that we have a team, and that support, butts in the seats of the stadium, is what will keep this team going. Without the fan base support there will be no future and this will go on year after year.
    So start being positive and support the Stars, no matter where they are playing. No matter what the winning or lossing record is. No matter where they are playing.

    The success lies in your hands.

  47. jw7 permalink
    February 16, 2011

    @VanOekel, because that would be work where as complaining is really really easy.
    Any more questions?

  48. Strikers Return permalink
    February 16, 2011

    @jw7 – Ok, taking shots at the glass half full guy is always an easy job. But in amongst some of my complaints I’ve said the same thing as VanOekel. We, and I do mean we, because we are a part of these teams in a way that most fans are not in the other major pro sports in America, are now what will determine the success or failure of our teams. The clubs need to do their part by marketing themselves properly, but we need to show up to the games. We need to bring our family and friends. We need to light up our Facebook and Twitter pages with all kinds of stuff about our teams. Call our e-mail your local mullet wrapper and sportstalk radio stations, and tell them you want to hear about your local pro soccer team.

    I think this offseason with all it’s battles and stuggles has shown us that the ownership groups left sitting around the table are in it for the long haul. They want to make D2 soccer work in their markets. We need to help them build on that so that new investors can be intrigued enough to get on board. We need to show the current owners their commitment is matched by ours. We all love the game and our teams, let’s do what is within our power to help them continue to play. I’ll take a season without the USOC over no season at all every day of the week.

  49. jane permalink
    February 16, 2011

    BQ, still something not right with all of this.

  50. February 16, 2011

    No doubt. I was just explaining Gulati and Garber’s reason for abstaining. I’ve written this in the comments of another post but I heard there were plenty of questions and answers from the board to the NASL execs. That went on for quite a while and is what caused the meeting to go long. It sounds to me as if those from the players council are the ones who may have turned the vote for the NASL. This would make sense as they might not have as much knowledge from the financial perspective of things and want there to be another league to give players an opportunity to play.

    I have been told and have also experienced that often times players who sit on the council have been high level players and may not have ever experienced much time with USL or lower level leagues. In other words, they don’t have a lot of understanding or knowledge of D2 and D3 in the US.

    I cannot be certain but it certainly seems punitive of US Soccer to not allow the league to participate in the US Open Cup. I guess I get to make that assumption as long as U.S. Soccer doesn’t give more details as to why at this early stage they could not have been included.

  51. February 16, 2011

    I spoke to Traffic folks and they are just happy to be playing Div 2. It was the USSF that decided not to include them in USOC.

  52. February 16, 2011

    Ya, we already knew that one Ed. I wrote that a couple of days ago. The question still remains, why was it too late for US Soccer to schedule them in.

  53. Strikers Return permalink
    February 16, 2011

    I think it’s safe to say that, at this point at least, not much of anyone is buying that “too late” excuse for their inclusion. I suspect it’s not as nefarious as some believe. Things are almost always far simpler then conspiracy theorists make them out to be. My guess is it was a parting shot at the NASL to say, yes, we’ve granted your sanctioning to play this year, but here’s a reminder that we’re still not real happy about your situation, and don’t get lax about working on fixing it to our liking.

  54. February 16, 2011

    …nail on head.

  55. Jimmy permalink
    February 16, 2011

    The financial foundation is still not rock solid for the NASL. What if one of the teams runs into the kind of financing trouble last year that St. Louis did and is in danger of folding? Now imagine that same team has happened to make a deep run in the USOC. US Soccer would take a major credibility hit if a team that has advanced to the late stages of its tournament has to withdraw because it can’t pay the bills. I hate to say it, but it is better to prevent this from happening up from until NASL is stable. Just look at the Railhawks situation!

  56. Strikers Return permalink
    February 16, 2011

    @Jimmy – The whole point of the joint and several, or however you say it LOL, bonds to avoid just the situation you’re talking about. Barring some sort of like physical catastrophe, I believe the new D2 standards are structured so as to make sure there is less turnover in the division. Now, getting investors to come in and be part of a team with these new high standards, that’s another matter entirely. But I don’t foresee any reason to worry about the 8 teams in the league making it through 2011.

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