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USL Announces Termination of Puerto Rican USL PRO Teams

2011 May 10

IMS broke the story earlier this morning and now the United Soccer Leagues have confirmed the termination of their three Puerto Rican soccer teams from their International Division of USL PRO.

As previously reported on IMS, Puerto Rico United, River Plate Puerto Rico, and Sevilla FC Puerto Rico have all run into financial difficulties in recent weeks which can most likely be traced back to political issue in Puerto Rico.

Here is the official press release from the United Soccer Leagues:

USL Reforms Agreement With Puerto Rico Soccer League

Three PRSL teams removed from 2011 USL PRO schedule
TAMPA, Fla. – USL announced today that it has formally removed the three Puerto Rico Soccer League (PRSL) teams from the 2011 USL PRO schedule.

PRSL teams Puerto Rico United, River Plate Puerto Rico, and Sevilla FC Puerto Rico were participating in USL PRO as part of an agreement between the two leagues to grow professional soccer in Puerto Rico.   Due to severe economic difficulties and serious unforeseen medical situations involving owners from two of the three PRSL teams, the teams are unable to continue to meet league standards and obligations.

“In the best interests of USL PRO and its teams, it was necessary to remove the three PRSL teams,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said.  “USL PRO has established high standards which are an integral component of the league model, and we are determined to preserve the integrity of these standards on and off the field.  Dealing proactively with this situation allows us to reset our daily focus on supporting the efforts of our USL PRO teams in maintaining the league’s position as the strongest, best operated domestic league below MLS.”

Each USL PRO team will continue to play 24 regular season games.  All USL PRO games involving PRSL teams will continue to count towards the league standings with future games to be rescheduled amongst the 12 teams.  Specific reschedule and realignment details will be publicly released later this week.

“Although disappointed we are unable to move forward as originally planned with the PRSL teams, we will continue to explore future initiatives that can benefit both the PRSL and USL,” USL President Tim Holt said.  “In the immediate term, the priority is ensuring that the early-season success experienced by the majority of our USL PRO teams in terms of fan support, corporate sponsorship, and the emergence of a new class of exciting young players is sustained through the rest of the 2011 season.”

 

60 Responses
  1. jw7 permalink
    May 10, 2011

    WOW!

  2. Soccer Boy permalink
    May 10, 2011

    SHOCKED! I thought the USL PRO had a sound business model–or at least that it was they told us. Minimal travel costs and huge fan support, right? I have lost all concentration. I am headed to the Local and then home…

  3. Trevor permalink
    May 10, 2011

    Exactly what part of this decision seems “proactive” to anyone? There’s nothing “pro” about any part of this press release or the league that released it.

  4. thesuperrookie permalink
    May 10, 2011

    Bart! I need your help understanding this. How is Aaron Davidson somehow responsible?

  5. taly permalink
    May 10, 2011

    Thank you, USL, for having LA Blues in the same division at the Caribbean teams.

  6. thesuperrookie permalink
    May 10, 2011

    Can someone please find Bart?

    I need to know how this is not a failure of USL due diligence, and how Aaron Davidson and Traffic are remotely responsible for this.

  7. May 10, 2011

    Check the earlier article. You’ll find him there.

  8. Max permalink
    May 10, 2011

    This is embarrassing, even by the low standards that minor league soccer fans have come to expect. US Soccer Federation: Pro Soccer Division III standards please!

  9. Eric B permalink
    May 10, 2011

    I’m pretty sure no one outside of the USL offices thought the PR plan was a good idea, including people who were critical of NASL plans and their fanboys.

  10. May 10, 2011

    Not even two months in and USL-Pro loses THREE teams. “strongest, best operated domestic league below MLS”? Suuuuuuure.

    I would not be surprised if by the end of the year the phone rings at NASL HQ and it’s Rob Clark and Phil Rawlins on the line asking to move up with Rochester and Orlando.

  11. sylvain permalink
    May 10, 2011

    just wandering if NASL ever thought of starting a division 3….. if they can consolidate the second division it could be a avenue

  12. May 10, 2011

    They have no interest.

  13. thesuperrookie permalink
    May 10, 2011

    @f19- I think you have to be onto something. I know that Rochester and Orlando have their differences with the NASL, but I can’t imagine that they are very happy with what is happening in USL PRO. While I do think it will be difficult to convince Orlando to come over, one would have to think that Rob Clark would be willing to flip-flop once again.

    In all seriousness, how much is the financial difference between Orlando’s payroll and that of an NASL team? With two teams already in the state and a very easy bus trip to Atlanta and one to Carolina, I can’t imagine the Lions are saving all that much money in the USL PRO set up. Does anyone follow what I am getting at?

    Sure, it is expensive to fly to Edmonton, but it is also expensive to fly to Antigua and Rochester.

  14. Strikers Return permalink
    May 10, 2011

    LA and Antigua are going to need a bunch more home opponents now. Honestly I don’t see how you can get away with not completely restructuring the entire remainder of the league schedule without being unbiased and fair. This is going to create nightmares in the FO’s of each of these teams, and they’re all going to be putting up dartboards with pictures of all the USL big wigs. Doesn’t seem like there’s much else to be done but to put Antigua in one division, LA in the other, and then redo the rest of the schedule for everybody to balance it out as much as you can. Travel expenses are going to go up for everyone, but especially for LA and Antigua.

    Honestly if the league doesn’t lose anymore teams this season it’ll be quite a feat. I could easily see LA and Antigua succumbing to the travel expense increases they’ll see now, and you look at a team like Dayton who has had some small crowds so far and has to be struggling a bit with it being their first year stepping up from PDL. Throw in how much more attractive the NASL must be looking today to teams like Rochester and Orlando, and if the worst possible scenario plays out, USL Pro could wind up losing half of its teams in one year…….

  15. Bart permalink
    May 10, 2011

    @Strikers Return wrote: “Throw in how much more attractive the NASL must be looking today to teams like Rochester and Orlando, and if the worst possible scenario plays out, USL Pro could wind up losing half of its teams in one year……”

    Yeah, NASL, with their $750,000 bond, their noted annual losses of $750,000 to $1,500,000 a year, and their $750,000 – $1,000,000 initial membership fee are all real appealing.

    Now, with Traffic openly funding 50% of the NASL teams, and funding, under the table, a few more, what might make NASL attractive is some good hard Brazilian cash on the table, upfront and without strings attached. Oh yeah, I forgot, Traffic/NASL does not work that way, they need to have their “fix” in to make all of this “goodwill” stuff work.

    The issue is simple. The three teams did not get the promised government tourism funds which everyone relied on to ensure that these teams would make it through the season.

    Third world country politics at its best, man, that is what brought these teams down. When the government lies to you, then who can you trust? FIFA?

  16. Tom permalink
    May 10, 2011

    On a bit of a tangent as I’ve seen those numbers tossed around before, but how does a D2 soccer team LOSE upwards of $1.5M in a year (let alone even have $1.5M in expenses)? Does anyone have any kind of rough budgeting examples? Salaries, travel, FO, training facilities, etc…? Unless they are amortizing the franchise fee as part of their expenses over maybe 2 years or the ownership group is paying themselves an exhorbitant salary I’m missing something.

  17. Bart permalink
    May 10, 2011

    @Tom

    In a lot of cases, D2 teams have player payroll that reaches or exceeds $1,000,000. His Royal Highness King Davidson himself has stepped off the mountaintop and acclaimed that is what the average team will lose with NASL this year.

    This is actual cash, and not any accounting formula for capitalizing the initial membership fee. But Tom, I warn you, PLEASE don’t call the NASL fee a “franchise fee”, or Zeus himself may throw lightening rods at you, NASL is an Owner Member organization (hahahahahaha), where the individual Owner makes the collective decisions (HAHAHAHAHA) on all IMPORTANT NASL decisions (LOL, now hysterical).

    Bottom line for you, Tom, Traffic, the Muther of all Brazilian sports media companies, is fronting about $5,000,000 to $6,000,000 this year just to say they own the US D2 league here in the Grand Ole US of A.

  18. May 10, 2011

    Overall, this will help the American teams which should be the whole point of USL. I just wish NASL fans and USL fans would stop their pissing contest. The next trainwreck is San Antonio and that’s not going to end well for anyone.

    My grudge against USL is they seem to make business decisions out of spite. There was no reason to add three PR teams to the league other than to give a giant middle finger to the NASL. That also explains the decision to have the LA Blues play this season. I give their PDL league thumbs up but even that is being challenged by the NPSL.

    NASL is on thin ice but they’re going in the right diretion in my opinion. David Downs was a great move at commissioner. When they lose Montreal next year that’s going to be another blow to the league. The San Antonio solution isn’t ideal. Having Minnesota be league owned isn’t ideal. Having Traffic have so much money invested in the league isn’t ideal (but I do cut them some slack because MLS was in the exact same position with Anschutz owning have of the league at one point).

    I really hope that US Soccer lays down the law about both D2 and D3 but I heard they were waiting for Jack Warner to give them the correct answer.

  19. thesuperrookie permalink
    May 10, 2011

    I really like Bart.

    I am serious. He is dedicated and I can only hope that one day I can have a beer with him/her.

    Keep #$!!#ing that chicken!

  20. jw7 permalink
    May 10, 2011

    Bart is going down fighting goota luv that spirit. He is one of us, just confused.

  21. Fenchi permalink
    May 10, 2011

    All this talk about losing money and stuff makes me think one thing…D2 and D3 should maybe go semi-pro, and cut down travel. Well, franchise fee from Antigua does help the business sooo…

  22. Grant Stephens permalink
    May 10, 2011

    I consider Bart to be a little like Obi Wan Kenobi AFTER the lightsaber duel with Darth Vader in Star Wars….strike him down and he becomes more powerful than you can ever imagine! Look at all of us pleading for Bart to ‘translate’ The USL’s business tactics into something rational. Youve got to be a little flattered, Bart! you are a popular guy and The USL’s ‘hot potato’ treatment of paper franchises keeps you busy on these boards, keeps you in demand. Good luck with the natives!

    As for the soccer, I honestly hope for the financial stability of all American teams, but this business with The USL seems to be getting worse. Agree with Seamonster regarding USL’s perceived ‘grudge’ tactics. I remember back in January when The USL had an ownership group for every NASL target market, almost as if to say ‘See! We have that too!’ The first thing I thought of when I read the previous story onIMS was that the ‘International Division’ was supposed to lure The PR Islanders, wasnt it? geez! I bet they consider that ‘bullet dodged!’

    If your scoring at home:

    NASL Puerto Rico team = Playing
    USL’s THREE Puerto Rican teams = all folded

    NASL Ft. Lauderdale team = Playing
    USL’s Ft. Lauderdale ‘market’ = doesnt exist

    NASL San Antonio team = organizing and making solid announcements
    USL San Antonio team = crickets chirping

    Personally, Im in the camp that hopes this in some way brings the two leagues closer together. I know that sounds crazy, but this latest action has to scream ‘D3 standards’ and when that law gets laid down, hopefully the big boys move up, and The USL finds a nice balance with PDL and teams just above that.

  23. May 10, 2011

    Agreed Grant. USL’s actions screamed petty nonsense all during the offseason. The Puerto Rican teams, flirting with the Spurs in San Antonio, and the phantom Fort Lauderdale team.

    Neither side is perfect, but this makes the USL look worse right now. Losing 3 teams not even halfway into a season.

    Here’s hoping the USSF comes down on D3 and things on all levels get right.

  24. Bart permalink
    May 10, 2011

    @ Grant Stephens

    Did they now? So USL formally announced that they had those markets ready to go for 2012 or even 2013? And USL announced this back in January? Can you cite any credible source to substantiate this? Not even the Spurs have stated that they are yet ready to take on professional soccer just yet. So where are these “facts” coming from?

    I find it amazing that so many posters on this board come up with some “factoid” that they “know” to be true, but if one peels the onion skin away, that fact never existed.

    What I find even more amazing is these posters attempt to rationalize the NASL stance with that of MLS, especially as it relates to the funding of the teams. MLS was formed as part of a promise for World Cup, D2 exists only in the minds of those that ignore the how artificially propped up that league is with crack monies.

    USL just shitcanned (can you write that on a blog?) three teams because they did not get the government backing promised them. And this was government backing everyone recognized was going to be needed in order for these teams to have a chance. What do you expect USL to do? If not for the failure of the government funding, USL would not have shitcanned these teams (there, I said it again). Where is this failure of due diligence? Where is this poor judgment on anyone’s part?

    You walk into third world backwater politics, this is a risk that comes up. Not one anticipated, as soccer stadiums are being built, so the thought that the government backing was there must have seemed obvious at the time.

    But hey, screw the reality, this is an opportunity to wave the fist at those bastard hellions at USL!! Let’s not only kick them out of D3, let’s force them to drop PDL as well… for that matter, all of youth soccer, and relegate USL to the hinterland of “what was” in the history of soccer. We never liked those folks anyways…..

  25. thesuperrookie permalink
    May 10, 2011

    @bart-

    What crack monies?

  26. Chris A. permalink
    May 10, 2011

    @Bart – Your allusion to Traffic/NASL/South American money as “crack monies” is a racist statement. Before ranting with a bunch of analogies, I think it is fair to let you retract and apologize.

  27. Bart permalink
    May 10, 2011

    @Chris A.

    Your definition of “crack monies” is insulting to the fine folks that reside in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Please define the term “racist”. What exactly do you mean by that? Do you know?

  28. Dan permalink
    May 10, 2011

    I just learn to Ignore Bart. I only read Bart’s comments when i need a laugh.

  29. Ski Dawg permalink
    May 10, 2011

    Wow. NASL is starting to look really good right now as USL continues to shoot themselves in the foot.

  30. Dan permalink
    May 10, 2011

    yea I think the USL has a good plan for D3 just needs new Leadership that isn’t like the girl that hangs out on the corner of the street willing to do anything to make quick cash.

  31. DMAN permalink
    May 10, 2011

    USL hasn’t learned from the Bermuda Hogges experiment? From what I hear there are other teams who are balking at having to rework their schedules. Which teams are going to give in and make the trek out to LA? I can gaurentee you this is just the beginning of what’s to come.

    On that note, I have heard about a major franchise rights disagreement that USL has broke in the W-League. To keep a long story short USL has admitted their mistake but do not want to take the correct steps to correct the problem they created because their season is just about to begin. Yet they can get rid of the PRSL teams who can’t make the grade. The lawyers are going to have a field day with this and put USL in their place.

  32. Dan permalink
    May 10, 2011

    So are we going to have a breakaway D3 leagues or Leagues. I would love to see a East League, West League, North League, and South League. Maybe become a Minor League for The NASL and MLS teams.

  33. Edward permalink
    May 10, 2011

    I think we need to address Bart as Dr. Bart from now on, because he clearly has a PhD in Spin!!

    Traffic owns all or part of 3 teams in the NASL?
    Bart: OMGLOL Traffic doesn’t want you to look behind the curtain ROFLMAO!

    USL adds 3 financially questionable PR teams, then later has to kick them out?
    Bart: This could not have been forseen. Do not look behind the curtain! I said, DO NOT LOOK BEHIND THE CURTAIN!!!!11!!1!!1

    Hey Bart, Baghdad Bob called. He wants to know if he can become your apprentice!

  34. Edward permalink
    May 10, 2011

    In all seriousness, this is bad news for all fans of soccer in North America, whether you’re pro-NASL, pro-USL or something else. It’s never good news when a league loses teams in the middle of the season.

  35. sylvain permalink
    May 10, 2011

    USL… History Repeating?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTUIHK7gHRE

  36. Strikers Return permalink
    May 10, 2011

    LMAO I haven’t been this entertained by the world of D2 soccer blogging in quite awhile. And Kenn isn’t even chiming in! LOL Bart, Bart, Bart. The spin doctor title some of these guys want to give you seems to fit like a glove. And no, I don’t mean OJ’s glove. LOL You continue to ignore the issue – the title of the stories, brilliantly penned as always by Maestros Long and Quarstad – and just rant on about the NASL. Bart, the NASL didn’t lose three teams today, USL did. You can go on and on about this that and the other, but at the end of the day, this is the fact.

    Speaking of facts, you need to do some more onion peeling of your onion Bart. Traffic does not own half the league. Where is the proof of your “fact” that money is being given to the other franchises by Traffic as well? And superrookie has asked you enough times, what exactly is this “crack money” you keep referring to?

    USL might be in for more problems as DMAN alluded to. If I’m one of the 10 teams in American or National, I’m not volunteering for trips to Antigua and/or LA. It’s a real shame USL couldn’t just stick to the model they professed to be running in 2011 – a regional D3 league. Their D3 division only had what, 6 teams last year? With the 10 they have in the two surviving conferences they would have had what looked to be a very solid base to build on. Prove to all the western teams that took a pass on jumping up this year that you are indeed following your plan and not doing stupid crazy stuff. But alas, it was far too simple a formula for them. How many PDL teams that were considering joining USL Pro this year are saying to themselves today, yep, we definitely made the right decision?

    I don’t think we’ve seen anywhere near the end of the effects of this disaster yet. More dominos will fall. Holt has to be saying his prayers already that Orlando and Rochester don’t give up on them. If they do, can Charleston and Richmond be far behind, whether they really want to be or not? Anyway, sad day for USL fans, and Puerto Rico soccer fans. I don’t mind some fun at Bart’s expense, but I don’t mean to be disrespectful of true fans in PR that got hosed by all of this. I hope the teams can all right the ship and stay afloat in their domestic league. It really seems there’s little doubt anymore that that is where they should stay.

  37. May 10, 2011

    Strikers Return, do you honestly think that Phil Rawlins would be interested in NASL? He has made it quite clear he is not and I would suspect will not be interested in the future either unless there is something special in it for him.

    Charleston doesn’t even fit the minimum metro area size for a D2 team.

    Would NASL want Rochester back after the flip flop that has been done.

    Richmond: I don’t know if their ownership makes the minimum requirement of NASL.

  38. Bart permalink
    May 10, 2011

    @ Strikers Return

    Well, we can certainly agree to disagree. There are lot’s of folks that have different viewpoints on all of this subject, and everyone has a different opinion.

    I, for one, volunteer to not cast a spell on anyone while this mess is sorted out.

    And remember, I am a very sensitive guy, so while you make fun at my expense, remember I am in a corner, ducking my wife from the daily beating, while I shed tears of sorrow, much like the kid in Junior High that was outcast by the “in-crowd”.

    Can’t we all just get along?

  39. May 10, 2011

    @Bart
    “And remember, I am a very sensitive guy”

    I think they make creams/lotions for that.

  40. Edward permalink
    May 10, 2011

    @Brian
    I thought the requirement was 75% of the teams had to be from metro markets of 750k+, meaning you could have one or two teams from markets under 750k, but most of them had to be above. If so, adding Charleston wouldn’t be a problem, as all of the teams currently slated for the 2012 NASL season are in metropolitan areas well above the 750k mark.

    If Rochester was interested, I doubt the NASL would turn them away. The NASL’s hardly in a position to turn away any franchise that could meet Div.II standards, especially if they’re in a US market.

  41. Strikers Return permalink
    May 10, 2011

    @BQ – Hilarious! More fun at Bart’s expense! LOL Ok, back to soccer, I think Rawlins showed in his move to Orlando that his motives are strictly about what he perceives to be best for him. Is it really out of the realm of possibility to think that Antigua and LA could be further casualties in USL Pro this year? Do Dayton and FCNY really look all that strong to you? When will the keg churning out the endless parade of fly by night organizations that the USL lets in, finallyrun out? If you’re Rawlins and you believe you have a legitimate shot somewhere down the road at MLS, do you want to be in D3 playing the likes of Harrisburg (no offense!) or whichever team USL let in this year, or do you want to make your run up to the big time playing the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Tampa Bay Rowdies? Even from just an attendance perspective, after the newness shine comes off things in Orlando, don’t you want the most recognizable teams possible coming in to keep up interest from the more casual fans?

    Isn’t D2 allowed to have a team or two that doesn’t meet the metro minimums? If I’m Aaron Davidson and Commissioner Downs, I’m not turning down any market with the history of a Rochester, flipper issues or not. If you’re the NASL at this point in time, don’t you have to operate and project yourself as being confident in your league, its structure, its teams, and its attractiveness to solid markets? As a fan that’s what I want me league doing. It beats the pants off having to watch stupified as the FO scrambles to wipe tons of egg off their collective faces due to a train wreck that everyone else seemed to see coming from miles and miles off.

    Obviously I’m pro NASL, but then, why shouldn’t I be? My team, my boyhood team resurrected mind you, plays in the NASL. I want to see every team in every level of the North American soccer pyramid do well, but I especially want to see NASL teams do well. I want to be able to renew my season tickets at Lockhart for years to come, and watch my son develop the same affinity for this team and its legacy that I have.

    And all of that comes down to stability for the league. Actually I believe the more each level of the pyramid stabilizes, it is good in the long run for all the other levels. The lines become clear and distinct, you know which markets can support and thus belong at, specific levels. When MLS fills up, you hopefully have seen enough growth in the country that NASL fills up next. Then D3 behind it as well. PDL and NPSL seem to be doing ok. We need a proper pyramid so that the game overall can grow and develop here as it has over time all over the rest of the world. We need American players to have a system in place that is good enough for them to stay home in and become international level talents.

    Anyway, there are always quick and easy answers to give to questions, but they don’t always prove out to be right over time. I believe we’ve seen very positive things from NASL so far this season. I think they have given teams in lower leagues who have the ability to meet D2 standards a reason to at least think on the benefits of being an NASL member. I think things are headed in the right direction. And for USL, who knows, this might just be a blessing in disguise. Maybe now they will FINALLY see some sense and get to work solely on running a true regional D3 league, helping their core franchises along the way rather than trying to make themselves more relevant than the NASL at every turn. Time will tell as it always does, and we’ll all be watching closely!

  42. Bart permalink
    May 10, 2011

    Seriously dude (Strikers Return), while I adore BQ’s sense of humor, it was not all THAT funny…

    I do appreciate your passion about the Strikers, all fans should be like you. Your goal of creating a heritage memory for your son is admirable and honorable.

    I think at the end of the day, all of this will work out in favor of the fans.

  43. May 10, 2011

    Edward, I stand corrected.

    “At least 75 percent of the league’s teams must play in metropolitan markets of at least 750,000 persons.”

    http://www.insidemnsoccer.com/2010/08/12/ussf-d-2-professional-league-standards/

  44. WSW permalink
    May 10, 2011

    Where is soccersam and his assclowns that called USL the only true league under MLS?

    I’m glad Tampa got out of USL, they knew Holt and company were snakeoil salesmen.

  45. May 10, 2011

    @BQ

    I think Rawlins could be swayed to jump to NASL if things don’t shape up in USL-Pro.

    If I remember correctly, all of 2010 during the D2 spat between NASL and USL, the word out of Austin was “we are playing division 2 soccer in 2011”, though they did not pick a side until after the season. Perhaps they did not believe enough in the NASL model, or did not have faith they would be sanctioned(although that battle would have been easier for NASL if they joined).

    By moving to NASL, they gain two very close in-state rivals with Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, and two more semi-close teams in Atlanta and Carolina. And they won’t be doing much more travel, if any, then they would have in USL.

    Also considering the US-based team requirements, I doubt NASL would turn Clark and Rochester away should them come crawling back. Charleston dropped to D3 before the split, and was never a part of the TOA when it formed in way back in 2008. They seem to be happy where they are for now but it would not shock me if they eventually made the jump up as well.

    In any case I wish the best to every team in US soccer, it sucks to see any fans lose their team.

  46. WSW permalink
    May 10, 2011

    Look at it this way the Islanders will pick-up 300 fans.

  47. May 11, 2011

    F19, I knew the players on the inside and that’s not exactly how it went down. The CEO was saying that not the owner of the team. The owner of the team seemed to be keeping a trump card that he didn’t let anyone else in with. If you also recall, NASL had several meetings with Rawlins and he was not the least bit interested in the NASL or how they were managing things.

    WSW, Really? I know that sort of in jest, but that’s like saying if the Houston Dynamo went away they’d just become FC Dallas fans. I don’t think so.

  48. Trevor permalink
    May 11, 2011

    Well, now that Orlando City don’t have to play in PR, they could always check their schedule for some friendlies against FCTB and the Strikers.

  49. Fenchi permalink
    May 11, 2011

    Maybe I’m wrong, but shouldn’t USSF be more involded? Maybe be more active in dealing more directly with soccer at club level? It took the whole USL-NASL issue for them to act on D2.

  50. Dane permalink
    May 11, 2011

    Too much coverage of lower tier professional soccer.

  51. thesuperrookie permalink
    May 11, 2011

    @bart-

    What do you mean by the NASL is owned by “crack monies”?

  52. May 11, 2011

    Brian,
    have they said who the LA team will be playing against the rest of the season?

  53. May 11, 2011

    That information will be coming out today. I am expecting that they will go with two divisions and Antigua will join one and LA the other.

  54. Strikers Return permalink
    May 11, 2011

    @Fenchi – Couldn’t agree more here. It’s long past time USSF got to the business of D3 standards. And I sincerely hope they hold USL’s feet to the fire the same way they did to NASL. If this fiasco isn’t enough to get the ball rolling on that, what will be?

    @Dane – This is an incredibly well written and run blog mainly about lower tier pro soccer in North America and the Caribbean. If that’s not your cup of tea, you’re probably looking in the wrong place.

    @BQ – Agree on the realignment for USL, seems really the only thing they can do on such short notice. My fear is that because of the lack of time, they’ll try some sort of “plugging holes” method to “fix” the schedule rather than reworking it completely for the remaining teams so that it is fair and balanced. But I’m guessing the issue of time will override that kind of thinking, plus it will be difficult to get schedules reworked for teams and their ticket holders. Boy, what a mess…..

  55. Strikers Return permalink
    May 11, 2011

    @BQ – We all certainly know you are far more connected than us when it comes to this stuff. I think Rawlins must have felt at the time that USL Pro in Orlando was the right thing for him, and one can certainly understand his keeping that as close to the vest as possible considering he was going to be leaving behind not only a disappointed D2 league that would have loved to have him, but more importantly the passionate, and growing fanbase in Austin that supported him.

    But given all that, don’t you think he has to be questioning the league he decided to join even slightly at this point? I’ll forever have a hard time believing anything other than Donner was a major player in convincing Rawlins to move to Orlando and spurn NASL and D2. Donner is a Holt and Papadakis guy for sure.

    I guess I just think that if you’re a smart businessman, you’ve got to at least consider the possibility. F19 is right about travel costs not really being much different for them in NASL just because of where they are located geographically. Actually, they might even be slightly better. Not to mention the marketing opportunities an in-state rivalry with the Strikers and Rowdies could present. Are these 7,000+ crowds going to continue to last for Orlando? Is the level of play on the field or the name recognition of the opponents going to matter? Only time will tell of course, but I can’t help thinking that, on paper at least, there seem to be a lot more checks on the positive side of the ledger than on the negative side when it comes to joining the NASL. But that’s strictly from a logical point of view. If the guy just doesn’t like Davidson, or Nestor, or something as goofy as the name North American Soccer League, he’s within his rights to say, no thanks.

  56. Dan permalink
    May 11, 2011

    Well I’m still bitter on the Rawlins Issue. My hope is that D2 returns to Austin so that Austin and San Antonio can finally have their Derby. So Rawlins can sink with USL for all i care i just feel bad for the fans in Austin and Orlando.

  57. Kel permalink
    May 11, 2011

    Honestly, NASL and USL fans remind me of two blind guys fighting over who gets the remote for the TV.

    Both leagues have major issues and are on thin ice. Welcome to minor league soccer in the United States for the past 20 years. USL’s issues just popped up quicker.

  58. Mike permalink
    May 11, 2011

    Kel – Bravo! The first unbiased and logical post in this thread, congrats!

  59. Augustine Sasso permalink
    May 11, 2011

    It’s not unexpected given the history of USL. I’m not saying it’s USL’s fault. I’d like more information before I put the blame. It’s also a black eye for soccer. Yes, welcome to the world of minor league soccer.

  60. May 19, 2011

    Good effing riddance!!!

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