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U.S. Soccer Says NASL Provisionally Sanctioned for 2012; Will Participate in US Open Cup

2011 November 21
by Brian Quarstad

A spokesperson for U.S. Soccer confirmed on Monday afternoon that the North American Soccer League (NASL) was provisionally sanctioned to run second division soccer in the US for the 2012 season.

U.S. Soccer held their November Board of Directors meeting this past Sunday morning in Los Angeles, California, site of the MLS Cup final. Neil Buethe, U.S. Soccer Media Relations Director, had previously told IMS that decisions on all the professional leagues under the umbrella of the USSF would be reviewed in that meeting.

The decision will most likely mean that the provisional sanctioning will now go to the National Council Meeting at the U.S. Soccer Annual General Meeting which will be held in Miami, Florida on March 2-3, 2012. One source told IMS that the provisional status will most likely be lifted with that approval.

Buethe also stated that with the board’s approval on Sunday, the NASL will now participate in this year’s 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup competition. Last year the NASL was left out of the oldest sporting tournament in the US when they had their provisional sanctioning status withdrawn in January only to be reinstated in February. At the time, U.S. Soccer said that the late decision to approve the league did not allow the federation the time it needed to included the NASL in their schedule that was drawn up earlier than most years.

15 Responses
  1. Silly permalink
    November 21, 2011

    We have seen this provisional thing before. Hopefully they don’t pull the rug of from under us again, only to wedge it back under a couple of weeks later.

  2. November 21, 2011

    Good news…. for now. Hopefully things go smoothly until March and they can remove that “provisional” tag. Onward to 2012!!

  3. WSW permalink
    November 21, 2011

    another roller coaster ride of a offseason.

  4. November 22, 2011

    “Neil Buethe, U.S. Soccer Media Relations Director, had previously told IMS that decisions on all the professional leagues under the umbrella of the USSF would be reviewed in that meeting.”

    Does this mean that D3 Standards are finally forthcoming?

  5. WSW permalink
    November 22, 2011


    I hope so.

  6. November 22, 2011

    Wow, you guys are stretching it. First off lets not hijack this post into a USL bashing piece. I thought those NASL supporters would be happy with the news.

    Please go back and read the original article.

    While I’m not saying that D3 shouldn’t probably have some standards, at the current time they do fall under the General Standards of all professional leagues in the US. So there is no reason to believe that the USL did not file their annual report and will be renewed for D3 in the US for 2012.

    Unless the NASL has a team that does what Wellman did with Carolina last year and bail at the last minute, there’s no reason to believe the NASL will not get sanctioned.

  7. Bart permalink
    November 22, 2011

    As stated previously, this all boils down to the February meeting, not this last weekend’s meeting. Further, as BQ indicates, as long as NASL toes the line and maintains what it claimed in its updated annual information, they will have a season next year.

    So let’s see what happens once those big fat $750,000 Letters of Credit get returned to the individual teams. I hear Bern’s needs a good remodeling.

  8. Soccer Boy permalink
    November 22, 2011

    This is good news. I do not need anymore drama in my life! I thought the NASL did some great work this last year to show they have class: match balls, trophy presentations, well-maintained WWW site, great communications, having a commissioner who meets with the fans, etc. Keep up the great work NASL!

  9. thesuperrookie permalink
    November 22, 2011


    Bern’s doesn’t need a remodeling. It needs some more Kobe beef.

  10. Soccer Budgie permalink
    November 22, 2011

    I think it is good news, too. and especially address the NASL’s route to participate in the US Open Cup. Excellent news in that regard. Cheers!

  11. Bart permalink
    November 22, 2011


    For the record, Kobe beef is best served Japanese style, thinly sliced and raw at the table with a hot cooking stone in the middle for you to cook to your temperature pleasure. It requires elegance, grace and style.

    Bernies is a fire trap, waiting to ignite its brandy drenched, martini soaked wood walls.

  12. November 22, 2011

    not trying to cause waves with sanctioning, but which team, if any, would you say could pull the rug out on the league and do what Carolina did last year? Is there enough support from Traffic to keep things going? I know you have reported that Traffic was going through some tough times this year.

  13. Strikers Return permalink
    November 23, 2011

    As long as Traffic is willing to stay in the game, there was never any reason to suspect anything other than this announcement, despite Bart’s wishes. Who knows, before the 2012 season kicks off, there might just be one less team in Traffic’s stable. Long time til April. That would only further strengthen the league’s position by taking some pressure off Traffic. Thanks for the story on sanctioning BQ! Can’t wait for next season, now with Open Cup games to look forward to as well!

  14. Bart permalink
    November 23, 2011

    @Strikers Return

    All I am looking for is a clean and updated steak restaurant, nothing more. OK, and maybe an updated wine cellar as well.

  15. Fotbalist permalink
    November 23, 2011

    I think this is simply good news. Firstly, we really don’t have any drama now as we did last year. Perhaps BQ can attest that last year around this time phones were ringing off the hook, inboxes were filling up faster than reporters could read, etc. This doesn’t seem the same to me.

    In addition, I second ‘Soccer Boy’ and ‘Soccer Budgie’ the sound functionality that NASL was able to establish in one year is actually quite unprecedented in NA soccer history. Lastly, for the me the ‘go ahead’ for the Open Cup participation is great, great news.

    Looking forward to 2012!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

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