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NASL Commissioner Downs Says League Expansion is Delayed but Still on Track

2012 May 31
by Brian Quarstad

NASL Commissioner David Downs at the NSC Stadium in Blaine, Minn. - Photo by Brian Quarstad

In a recent article by the aurthor of Soccer Made in St. Louis and contributor to IMS, Dave Lange, he quoted NASL commissioner David Downs as saying St. Louis had been targeted for expansion by 2014.

“The NASL is currently seeking a qualified owner to enter a team representing St. Louis into our league, and would hope to have an agreement in place in time for the 2014 season.  We strongly believe that the size of the city, coupled with its passion and history for the sport, makes it a perfect location for a successful NASL team.”

While the league had previously mentioned St. Louis as a potential city the immediacy of Downs’ comment caught some off guard. Lange has written about the possibility of pro soccer in St. Louis as well as possible venues and ownership.

Downs made several statements recently that have started to clarify what the NASL’s plan is in regard to expansion.

In mid April, the NASL commissioner told reporter Steven Sandor of The11.ca that first and foremost in the league’s expansion plan that was approved by the board of governors, owners of the teams, was a footprint in the Western United States.

According to the guidelines created by the USSF in August of 2010, the league must have 10 teams in the 3rd year of play (2013) and U.S.-based teams must be located in at least three different time zones in the 6th year (2016). The NASL currently has 5 teams in the eastern time zone and 2 in the central. Edmonton is the third (mountain) but Canadian teams are not specified in that particular requirement.

“For us, the number-one priority is the west coast of the United States and filling out the Midwest,” said Downs. “But, with the success Montreal and Edmonton have had in our league, it is clear Canada is a fertile ground for professional soccer, and we would be remiss not to look at other opportunities there.”

And those American markets? Downs confirmed that NASL’s sights are set on San Diego, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Sacramento and the greater Los Angeles area (Anaheim, Riverside).

In fact the following weekend Downs tweeted from New Mexico. When IMS recently talked to the NASL Commissioner he admitted that he was indeed talking to potential team owners: “Yes, absolutely. It’s a fascinating area and better soccer than a New Yorker like me would have liked to believe. Obviously the New Mexico Lobos were ranked #1 in the country most of the year last season. They were undefeated until they got bounced out of the tournament. So that’s a city that is definitely under consideration.”

Just a few days earlier in Cary, N.C., Downs was interviewed by reporter Neil Morris of Indy Week in Cary, N.C. In that interview he stated that he expected to make an announcement on two new NASL teams for 2014 and expected to make that announcement in the next 30-45 days.

“The league has finalized contractual terms with one club and is in the latter stages of negotiations with the other,” Downs told Morris. “One is an existing soccer club while the other is a startup franchise.” Downs did not expand on the meaning of “existing soccer club” which could also mean a youth club.

Aaron Davidson, CEO of the NASL, also told Morris that one of those teams will be stationed in the western U.S. while the other will be located within the NASL’s current main geographic footprint. Davidson also said that NASL hopes to add two more clubs before the 2013 season.

Last week Downs told IMS that while he is “still quite hopeful those announcements will be coming in the next 45 days,” he thinks it will be closer to the end of June before they will have anything to announce. “That means the dates on those announcements have slipped since I (originally) thought those announcements would be coming in 30 to 45 days that I talked about three or four weeks ago,” said Downs.

Downs said the league has almost exactly a dozen target cities where they are hoping to expand first. “A dozen would be almost the perfect number, yes. It’s approaching the deadline in which starting a successful team for 2013 by scratch would at least be difficult. But we are well on target for teams that would want to start in 2014. We are having meaningful conversations with a number of cities.”

But is St. Louis one of those cities who Downs suddenly put on the list when he mentioned it to Lange?

“I don’t know anything that you don’t know, that we are eminently close to making an announcement about St. Louis,” said Downs. “I’m just saying it’s identified as a target, and 2014 seems like a closer entry date than 2015.”

“The league wants to expand to 20 teams by 2020. The Board of Governors have ratified an expansion campaign and St. Louis is clearly one of the target markets. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s either the highest priority of the long list of target markets nor would I say we are the farthest along there of any of our target markets. It is an undeniable fact that it is a hotbed of soccer in the U.S. and has been for years. It’s a top 25% population size market and it should be able to support an NASL team comfortably. We are actively engaged in searching the community for an appropriate ownership group. Do I think that will happen in time for the 2013 season? Probably unrealistic. Do I think it could happen by 2014? Probably more realistic.”

“In fairness, the day the season opened (April 7th) I’m not sure I had a conversation with anyone from St. Louis in the previous 6 months. That’s clearly not the case today.”

50 Responses
  1. Bart permalink
    May 31, 2012

    So, 2014 is the targeted expansion date? As the English archers aimed their bows high in the sky, so that the arrows would rain all over an area, so is NASL plucking cities out of the sky as viable markets.

    Once the mighty Davidson gets involved in the conversation, it is all about putting on some pretty tall wading boots, and the poop will get deep, sticky and smelly.

    The financial model has not changed. Traffic still needs to be the sugar daddy, or NASL will have to find another sugar daddy that is “enamored” enough to maintain the funding.

    I got it, how about Jerkunika? He has $100,000,000, he can do it yes he can!

  2. Footy76 permalink
    May 31, 2012

    I think all the parental NASL expansion cities are good choices for the exception on San Diego I think if you are going to put a team near the Galaxy you should give a the chance for Chives to move there. I think it would better serve U.S soccer as a whole to give them a chance to move to a better city. I also think commissioner Down has miss the two more populated and/or cities with rich soccer culture like San Francisco, CA and Victoria, BC

  3. Footy76 permalink
    May 31, 2012

    I think all the parental NASL expansion cities are good choices for the exception on San Diego I think if you are going to put a team near the Galaxy you should give a the chance for Chives to move there. I think it would better serve U.S soccer as a whole to give them a chance to move to a better city. I also think commissioner Down has miss the two more populated and/or cities with rich soccer culture like San Francisco, CA and Victoria, BC .

  4. Yankiboy permalink
    May 31, 2012

    “Once the mighty Davidson gets involved in the conversation, it is all about putting on some pretty tall wading boots, and the poop will get deep, sticky and smelly.”
    -The Barrister of the the Telstar Ball (aka, Bart)

    Wow, Counselor. I gotta say that you had me confused there for a few seconds. I thought that you were describing some of the USL Tamper Bay Front Office types statments.

    Coz ya know–the first year of USLPRO was “wildly successful” (even though they shed 4 clubs between last year’s launch and uhm, last winter).

    Oh Bart, how do I love Thee, let me count the ways. I have no idea what we would do without you, around here. Please do not ever go away. 😀

  5. Bart permalink
    May 31, 2012

    @ Yankiboy

    I never said that USL did not make some stupid mistakes with the “Caribbean League” that they tried to form.

    USL did not, however, pretend to gloss over the problems with Brazilian cash gained from slave labor on the sugar plantations.

    I tend to believe that but for Davidson, the gutless wonderman, NASL is indeed showing good form this season. The teams (but for Nestor’s group) certainly have walked the walk. San Antonio is kicking bootay this inaugural season.

    Since the focus does not appear to be a “which is better, USL versus NASL” conversation these days, I would submit that each has dug their own WWI trenches and appear comfortable in their roles.

    And that, I would further submit, is a good thang.

  6. May 31, 2012

    I bet we can beat Brazil in basketball.

  7. Yankiboy permalink
    May 31, 2012

    @Bart:

    Sometimes guys at the top paint some rosy pictures (not saying that I agree with you about D2 or AD.) And they happen to be based in Tamper. And have nothing to do with the (new) Rowdies.

    I look forawrd to seing the how the new USLPRO club down in Tamper does. I’m actually committed to paying attention to their PDL & W-League sides, coz I’m so curious to see how this is going to play out.

    Just sayin’.

  8. Lego7 permalink
    May 31, 2012

    I’m tired of speculating about expansion. Just make the announcement once everything has been solidified financially and all parties involved have come to a mutual agreement.

    Publicly announcing on record when you will make another announcement is so silly to me.

  9. MrTuktoyaktuk permalink
    May 31, 2012

    I agree with Lego7 – announcing future announcements doesn’t inspire confidence. Press conferences with smiling team owners and league officials shaking hands, with “City xx in 2014” banners in the background do.

  10. Soccer Boy permalink
    May 31, 2012

    Is Las Vegas really a practical location for a league that plays outside and a majority of the season runs during the summer months? While it might be a great way to condition a team to play in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, I am not sure it is a good idea. I hear it gets a little hot there during the summer.

    New Mexico would be an interesting location. It is located in a state with no professional teams in any sport, however, Albuquerque is the largest city and only has a population of just over 500,000 people.

    San Diego would be an interesting option. I know the San Diego Flash have had a lot of success on the pitch since they were reborn, and would make for a good team to move up the soccer pyramid. I would also imagine airfare is reasonable during the months of May-September. (If IMS wants to give me the credit card, I would volunteer to do a fact finding mission this fall/winter.)

    I am curious if there are any Mexican teams looking to move into the NASL. I know there is an “American team” ratio USSF requires for D2. However, if you are looking at growing the fan base, it would be a good location to expand. (Okay, I know there are million reasons why Mexico might not work, but I am just thinking out loud here.)

  11. thesuperrookie permalink
    May 31, 2012

    BQ- I know this is slightly off topic, but do we know if the Wilf’s have been approached about the Stars by the commissioner?

  12. May 31, 2012

    Not off topic at all and I’m pretty sure I referenced to this in in another article. But yes, the NASL has approached the Vikings in what I recall Downs said were initial and very informal talks. The Vikings are fully aware of the Stars situation as I’ve been in contact with them about this for some time now. The league and Stars have been in contact with them and I believe someone from the MLS4MN has been in contact with them as well. We are all working on that angle. Seems like the most logical if they do truly want to bring an MLS team here.

  13. Danwolf permalink
    May 31, 2012

    I see Negative nancy is trying to get his speech in.
    I am definitely hoping St. Louis works out. I’m moving there at the end of the summer. New Mexico is interesting. I could be a major success but it could be a major failure, only time will tell. But hey i like the odds with no MLB, NFL, NHL, or NBA to rival it. San Diego makes sense. LA and NY are the 2 cities that i feel could have multiple teams (due to them being Cities within Cities).

    Hopefully Everything will work out.

  14. Stephen permalink
    May 31, 2012

    The MLS will move Chivas eventually… the question is where? San Diego and Las Vegas seem to be the top candidates. In my view, the NASL is positioning itself to snatch the market MLS chooses not to take. Smart move.

    I would think Pheonix Monsoon are set to join as they were talking NASL a few years ago. That would also put a team in a new U.S. time zone.

    Another team in LA? That would be a daring decision as the LA Blues and Chivas are already having trouble breaking through the Galaxies shadow. St. Louis would make sense if you can find a long term investor for a minor league team. The attendance wasn’t dreadful and really only died because it was “we’re bringing MLS,” until they weren’t. Sacramento? Putting a team in a market being gobbled up by the San Jose Earthquakes seems like an odd decision.

    I’m wondering if Detroit or Indianapolis have been in the discussions at some point? They seem to have a growing soccer undercurrent.

  15. May 31, 2012

    Come on Stephen, the Monsoon were talking NASL and instead went NPSL. Maybe they got the letters mixed up or something. 😉

  16. Stephen permalink
    May 31, 2012

    No, that was always the plan. They were going to get a team on the ground in the lower divisions and look to join USL Pro or the NASL later. That according to articles in 2010. Maybe they gave up that idea? It would be news to me.

  17. Lego7 permalink
    May 31, 2012

    No matter how many people hate on Chivas USA, myself included, there is no indication that MLS would ever want to consider moving them. I’m sure Garber wouldn’t want to repeat another San Jose and the Mexican owners have stated they are committed to being a LA team only. I think there’s a better chance of them changing their brand rather than their city.

    What will and should turn Chivas USA around is a combination of rebranding (similar to Sporting KC), a new stadium in the LA area, a winning product on the field, and smart marketing towards a broader target audience (non-hispanic) but with a hint of recognition towards the city’s cultural history.

    Personally, I like the name Club Deportivo LA.

  18. leper permalink
    May 31, 2012

    So 30-45 days is the new 60-90 days? Got it.

  19. Yankiboy permalink
    May 31, 2012

    Am I the only clown who follows the expansion chatter with thoughts of “Oh, please, please, please–let it be someplace that I can get to in under five hours, from my place, by car!”???

    TOOL that I am, I actually do that. Really.

  20. Strikers Return permalink
    May 31, 2012

    @BQ – Come on BQ, we know you’re the suorce that everyone trusts in lower division soccer. You must have some info on the who and where of these expansion teams! Downs has been saying for well over a month now that they had an agreement in place with a team. What on earth can possibly be taking so long to announce if that is the case? Only reasons I can come up with are someone is having second thoughts, or it’s an existing team in a league that is trying not to rock the boat for as long as possible. Everyone’s noticing Wynalda’s Cal FC now, any chance that he gets some money behind him and jumps his team up to NASL?

    I think we’re getting dangerously close to the point where there isn’t going to be an ideal amount of time for a clean slate start up of a team for 2013. The Scorpions have demonstrated immeasurably the value of having a full year + of time before their first kick.

    I hate to admit it, but this is smacking of last minute desperation to get to 10 for next year’s USSF requirements. It’s a damn good thing the Stars and Silverbacks got those fat checks for hosting rights, and that it looks very much like the Railhawks are going to have two sellouts for MLS opposition. Hopefully that coupled with the strong Silverbacks attendance will convince Traffic to stick it out another year behind all these clubs.

  21. Bart permalink
    May 31, 2012

    @Strikers Return

    I can assure you that those checks received from the MLS teams did not remotely make a dent in the negative cash flow.

    Moreover, I would submit that even if NASL stayed with 8 teams, USSF would still sanction them. At this point, there has been no indication that NASL has done anything but put forth a good season. That is good for the sport, the fans and USSF.

    Unless Traffic bolts, NASL will be around a few more years, which should be a comfort to the D2 soccer geeks on this board.

  22. Footy76 permalink
    May 31, 2012

    @Lego7 Then Chives is doooomed !!! As Long as they are in the same city as the Galaxy they will be forever in the shadows of the Galaxy no matter what they do and God help them when the day comes and MLS decide to get rid of the training wheel they call single entity. I order to get out from under a shadow you have to move away from the object that is casting the shadow.

    @Stephen Sacramento is 2 hours and 4 minutes away from San Jose too far to travel for an Earthquake game. I think would be a good move I’m not endorsing it 100% but it not the worse pace to put a team.

  23. Lego7 permalink
    May 31, 2012

    @Footy76: If that’s the case, then why don’t the Mets or the Clippers move away from what’s casting a shadow over them? It’s about rivalry. Rivalry within a close proximity, which is what the MLS is trying cultivate. There’s a reason Garber is all about a second team in New York. Cities like that and LA have big enough markets that allows for more than one team and still make it work. Not many markets in the U.S. have that kind of bragging rights.

  24. smatthew permalink
    May 31, 2012

    @yankiboy
    You aren’t the only one. I keep hoping one of these expansioncities will be within reasonable driving distance from Minnesota so us Star’s fans won’t have to fly to see our club play on the road.

  25. DMAN permalink
    May 31, 2012

    The question to me is how many USL Pro teams will be moving to NASL? Rochester, Orlando?

  26. Bart permalink
    May 31, 2012

    @DMAN

    I understand that USL Pro will fold next season and all of the top notch teams, such as the Charleston Battery, Rochester, Orlando and Harrisburg will be transitioning to NASL.

    COMTEC, a South African soccer agency, will be providing equity to these teams as they make the transition. COMTEC is a nationally known talent agency that specializes in third world talent mongering and is owned by Sirgat Pichat, one of the wealthiest Industrialists in India.

    Sir Pichat ( having been knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2002) has a special interest in acquiring the controlling interests in D2 and D3 soccer in the United States, having gained his degree at Cornell in the 1960s.

    It appears that Downs will remain as the NASL Commissioner, and in return for the equity stake in USL Pro, Papadakis, Holt and Economides will be retiring after working on a consulting contract that will last for 36 months.

    Davidson has asked Sir Pichat if the Queen will give him the honor of knighting him for his work as an English barrister not licensed to work anywhere but NY and formerly Texas. His genius achievements as an English barrister has not gone unnoticed by the Queen and her staff. Prince Phillip has been most impressed with his ability to take a knee when royalty enters.

    This is a great opportunity for soccer in the United States. With Downs firmly in control of the lower soccer divisions and with COMTEC providing hard equity to help offset the Traffic funding, it is entirely conceivable that USSF will be getting graft payments by both parties in order to ensure that they can pay full time salaries for each and every youth soccer coach in the US.

    Lots of money is about the change hands. I hope you have your hand out, along with the rest of the soccer world.

  27. Edward permalink
    May 31, 2012

    I don’t know why people are so convinced that Chivas will be moved. MLS has made no indication that they’ll force a move, and the owner has made no indication that he has any inclination to move the team. There has been some talk about them looking to build their own SSS somewhere in the greater LA area, but that’s as likely as far as they’re going to be moving any time soon. Chivas is really no more of a threat to take over a potential NASL market than say, the Sounders, the Fire, or the Impact.

    Phoenix Monsoon doesn’t have a place to play or a wealthy enough owner to move to the NASL. As it is, they’re struggling to make it through their NPSL season.

    Anybody who thinks the Earthquakes are “gobbling up” the Sacramento market clearly has no clue what they’re talking bout. Granted, they’re a bit hampered by a small stadium, but the Quakes still have plenty to feast on within the Bay Area before they even start to worry about a seperate market two hours away.

  28. May 31, 2012

    So in other words DMAN, not again. We’ve had this discussion many times, I’ve printed it in articles, it’s been responded to in comments and in the case of Orlando, we even have Rawlins saying it on video on this site. He has no interest in NASL. Commissioner Downs has said Orlando has no interest in NASL. Rob is quite happy as things are in his market as his costs are lower in USL PRO. He’s not drawing as many fans but he no longer needs to.

    Rochester and Orlando will not be moving to NASL. There is nothing wrong with USL PRO. It’s a different business model that some like and others don’t.

  29. enm007 permalink
    May 31, 2012

    So, Brian, what you’re saying is it just might happen…

  30. May 31, 2012

    Is Hamilton on the radar at all? These announcements make me a little uncertain, because the little banker in me, wants to see the requirements in place first. Having a soccer specific stadium that seats a minimum of 5,500 seats, an owner with over $20,000,000.00 to their name, proper advertising and marketing strategies, sponsorships and target demographics.

    You guys might try to eat me alive about what I will say next, but bear with me. What if the NASL tried to avoid getting lost in a big city, and tried to be the big fish in a little pond? Green Bay Packers, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Alaska Aces, etc…. Regina is 200,000 people, the stadium seats 33,000, sold out every single game, and one of the most profitable sports teams in North America. Look it up.

    If a team can be the identity of the city, and the city has an emotional attachment to the franchise, then it is possible for a city of 80,000 to get 7,000 in a stadium. Or as Canadians like to call it, the CHL.

  31. Yankiboy permalink
    June 1, 2012

    DB: I’m not going to feast on you becasue I think that smaller markets are very inportant to the future of the NASL.

    I am not convinced that Baltimore can sustain an NASL club. That’s my opinion. I never thought that Palace should have moved up to the second division. had they stayed in USL2, they may have had a chance to survive.

    It will be interesting to see how many Albuquerque, Nashville or Tulsa or OK City type markets eventually make their way into the league.

    So I definitely get what you are saying when you toss Hamilton out there…

  32. Bart permalink
    June 1, 2012

    Wait a minute here, smaller markets? That is supposed to be the perview of D3, in their effort to stay out of the big boy D2 and D1 markets.

    I would speculate that Albuquerque, Nashville, Tulsa, OK City and even Birmingham are better D3 markets than D2 markets.

  33. June 1, 2012

    “I would think Pheonix Monsoon are set to join as they were talking NASL a few years ago. That would also put a team in a new U.S. time zone.”

    Oh, my God, you have no idea what’s been happening with the Monsoon, do you? They don’t have the money to be in the NPSL. They’re having to forfeit games because they could only round up six players, they’ve had two home venues already and had to cancel a game because they couldn’t go back to the second one, they’re supposedly under new ownership, have no staff, no wins and almost no goals scored.

    The Phoenix Monsoon are a non-starter.

    Also, Chivas USA could have gone to San Diego or Houston at startup. They want to be in LA.

  34. Footy76 permalink
    June 1, 2012

    @Lego7
    Totally different those are well establish sport and technically New York is not getting a second soccer team they are getting a team that actually plays in that city not just carring the name like the New York Giants so it is really a first team. (Its Technical mambo jumbo) Have you seen the Chives attendance for the last 3 years and when you watch their matches the crowd looks sparse. Yes true the city can support two teams if soccer becomes more popular or as long is there that little thing called single entity they may not make a profit or stand on its own if single entity stops. I know I am thinking far down the line I know but its hope and dream!! Hope and dream!!! But then again if clowns put on soccer jersey and were to start playing soccer I would watch it just for $h!ts and Giggles .

  35. Footy76 permalink
    June 1, 2012

    @Edward true Chives is not moving anytime soon but they should move.

  36. Yankiboy permalink
    June 1, 2012

    @Bart: OK. When the USL Tamper types decide to make peace with me and name me the Director of USLPRO expansion, I’m gonna send you a free t-shirt and some other nice USL swag.

    [DISCLAIMER: The following scenarios are PURE FANTASY–So nobody affiliated with either of the two, laudable and hishgly respected organizations should get salty–THE FOLLOWING IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY-No announcements of the securing of my consulting services is eminent.]

    I like the idea of putting Tulsa together with Oklahoma City (coz that’s all USLPRO needs is lacking–another club with “City” in the name).

    If Miami decides to bring me into the fold, then I like the idea of bringing in Nashville and Birmingham. If I am successful with that power move then I will send you an autographed (by ME, of course)Traffic polo shirt.

    Afterall, i should through you a walnut for your suggestions. I might even be able to persuade my superiors to give you some sort of honory title, like “assistant to” whatever my money title will be…

  37. Strikers Return permalink
    June 1, 2012

    @Bart – I have no idea what amounts the Stars and Silverbacks respectively received, but considering the severe budget cuts to Traffic owned teams this year, plus the slready shoe-string budget of the Stars, I think it is more meaningful than you believe. Consider, both teams didn’t hesitate at all selling these games, claiming they were offers too good to refuse. If the money was really that meaningless, then it should have been an easy decision to delight fans by hosting those games. Your logic seems off on this one.

    I agree that the NASL would keep their sanctioning next year with only the existing teams playing – IF – they had a clear plan in place for definite expansion for 2014 beyond just Ottawa. And again, that would assume no other teams failing. Your confidence in Traffic to contniue sticking it out at that point far exceeds mine. It’s very easy for me as a fan of Traffic’s supposed flag-ship team (still believe Traffic isn’t invovled in ANYTHING down here at this point anymore though) with the SEVERE budget cuts we’ve seen this year in everything from player salaries to now ZERO advertising (and all traffic personnel gone from Strikers FO) after all the positive things they did last year, to say I think Traffic’s already has an exit date in mind. And I think the other parties in this league as well as the commish are doing everything they can at as fast a pace as they can to try and get the league to a position where they can continue to operate once Traffic does pull out (or stays with just one team which at this point I think should be obvious to everyone is in Cary).

    Here’s my just for fun prognosticating (sp?) – Wynalda has someone behind the scences with him, and once this Cup Run is done, they’re going to make a splash by announcing the team will be rebranded as the LA Aztecs and will join the NASL next year. If I’m right everyone owes me $5 each! LOL

  38. Lego7 permalink
    June 1, 2012

    I would actually be pleased with the prospect of a team in OKC or Tulsa. Or maybe somebody bring back the Roughnecks. I would definitely go out to watch them. Oklahoma needs a pro team.

    Thunder up!

  39. Stephen permalink
    June 1, 2012

    Thank you KT! I had no clue what was happening with the Monsoon. I do wonder though, who is Down’s talking about when he says Pheonix is still on the radar?

    Oh jeez did I have a reading slip. I read Sacramento and thought San Fransisco. Oopsie.

    I myself do worry about the NASL’s health as well. FTL looks abysmal. Minn is still league owned and drawing better, but not good enough in Blaine.

    The Rowdies… I can’t gauge at all. Nestor rejected the Rapids offer to purchase the hosting rights to the USOC, despite expecting to lose money to do so. Seriously, what kind of businessman ALLOWS himself to lose money without hesitation? He is either: 1. A truly hardcore soccer fan, 2. Is just waiting for a move back to Hillsborough or, 3. Throwing in the towel after this year and wanted to go out with a bang.

  40. Brian permalink
    June 1, 2012

    I can tell there’s NO ONE in St. Louis trying to put together investors for an NASL team. The 2 guys that have been mentinoed, Jim Kavanaugh and Tony Glavin, are involved in other ventures. Kavanaugh just invested in the STL Blues NHL team and Glavin is more interested in taking his STL Lions PDL team to the USL PRO level.

  41. Stephen permalink
    June 1, 2012

    For the record:
    1. He has signed on players for long term deals (not really that big a deal, I guess).
    2. Has done a LOT of advertising for a D-2 team (TV spot has been running all season on ABC Family and the like).
    3. Hired a new play-by-play announcer last week. Darek Sharp is a well-liked personality on the dominant sports radio network (620 WDAE). He also does Tampa Bay Storm (Arena Football) games. This may be a nod at trying to get the Rowdies discussed more in the local media and expose them to a new audience?

  42. Bart permalink
    June 1, 2012

    @Stephen

    Nestor is not that hard to read:

    Take a woman, contain all the drama and emotion, then remove any reasoning, logic, intelligence and sensibility, and you have a model for a Rowdie owner.

    Of course it helps to advertise that your main business is organic in growth and all of the veggies served up are grown on their own farm just a mile away from the restaurant, and then acknowledge that you lied about it.

    I wonder if they take those empty French wine bottles and fill them up with rotgut, telling the world that it is a great Chateau…..?

  43. June 1, 2012

    @Brian, I guess that settles it all then if you say so which seems to you like the defining word.

  44. Rob Routson permalink
    June 2, 2012

    Everytime I read an article or hear about natural grass replaced by turf I cringe.

  45. Brian permalink
    June 2, 2012

    @Brian – Wait a second, Jeff Cooper is on the other line. I told everyone that his NASL venture was going to be 1 and done before the season even started….THANK YOU!!

    Here’s another thought…if Tony Glavin takes his STL Lions team to the USL PRO division….AND another NASL team starts in STL…can both teams survive?? Personally, I think it would do more harm than good.

    I also know that Glavin has expressed interest in doing BOTH a USL PRO team and an MISL team….and keeping many of the same players year-round.

    But you don’t see the league commissioner making statements about that, because it’s all SPECULATION…..just like the NASL talk is.

    Maybe you should do a story on the possibilities of the MISL returning to STL…because they’re just as good…or the same, as the NASL returning to STL. But at least there has been actual meetings take place, plenty of phone calls to league execs, and a ton of emails exchanged.

    The only difference is, no one is making statements on record because it’s still in the infant stages. But if you ask the USL/MISL people if they’d love to have a team in STL, they’ll say the same lines that Donws said about having an NASL team in STL.

  46. June 2, 2012

    @Brian
    “Here’s another thought…if Tony Glavin takes his STL Lions team to the USL PRO division….AND another NASL team starts in STL…can both teams survive?? Personally, I think it would do more harm than good.”

    Well, we’ve seen that play out in San Antonio with the NASL and USL both saying they wanted to have teams and one ended up funding their own stadium and forming a team with the NASL Scorpions. According to USL they will actually play out that scenario in Tampa in the next several years when they add a team to the mix when there is already a NASL team there in the Rowdies. Of course it can’t be good for either team as we all know how tough it is to make it with minor league pro soccer or for that matter minor league sports.

    “Maybe you should do a story on the possibilities of the MISL returning to STL…because they’re just as good…or the same, as the NASL returning to STL. But at least there has been actual meetings take place, plenty of phone calls to league execs, and a ton of emails exchanged.”

    Dave Lange has explored some of those possibilities both here and on his Soccer Made in St. Louis site. Dave’s article on Downs expansion talk to St. Louis is what prompted this article. I questioned why St. Louis was suddenly listed when it was never mentioned previously. It just seemed odd to me so I asked the question.

    I believe Dave has plans to continue his look at this subject (pro soccer in whatever form) as it concerns St. Louis.

    Lastly, we have done articles here on the St. Louis Lions and we are big supporters of the team as well as Tony Glavin and James Shipley. Great people at the helm there.

  47. Brian permalink
    June 3, 2012

    Brian – I know Dave, Tony and Jim…..Tony very well. Whatever happens, I sure hope it’s ran much better than the last organization, which tried to operate two teams – same venue and the same season. Failure…..but not because there’s not a fan base in STL. It failed because of the people than ran the organization.

  48. Footy76 permalink
    June 3, 2012

    Call me crazy (crazy!!) but like I said in the post befor if the NASL is going to expand to the west I can’t see them not going through cities like Victoria BC, Sacramento CA , Los Vegas NV, San Diego and San Francisco CA the three most popular and populated cities on the west coast. I think it would be a good idea to use those cities so they could tie in FC Edmonton in to t of the west coast.

  49. Kelble permalink
    June 12, 2012

    ^ It could also be a disaster. I would not touch Las Vegas with a ten foot pole. I see them only a MLS market and a long shot for even that. You could only play in an indoor facility there. The average temperature in the summer can get to over 100.

    San Diego? Well the Xolos own that market and the fans there are not going to care about a NASL club. It is debatable if even a MLS club could make it now.

    San Fran is not a minor league market. The old SF Seals drew maybe 100 or 200 a game. And you would be competing with the Earthquakes for fans.

    Downs also seems to be changing his tune since he once said the NASL would not look into markets with MLS teams. The greater Los Angeles area already has two MLS clubs. You’d think he would of learned looking at the epic fail that is the LA Blues. The LA area does not care about minor league soccer.

    And Downs seems to be chasing ghosts with STL. I think the NASL might be misjudging the actual interest in their league. It will be fascinating to talk to David Downs in 2014. There will be a lot of lessons to be learned from that conversation.

  50. yothat permalink
    June 12, 2012

    WSA Winnipeg in Canada is looking to move up from the PDL to NASL or USLPRO in 2014. It makes more sense to join the NASL with FC Edmonton and the “Ottawa Fury Franchise”, build rivalries, lower transportation cost.

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