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Commissioner David Downs Discusses Recent Events in the NASL – Part II

2012 September 18
by Brian Quarstad

Seamus O’Brien of the New York Cosmos with Commissioner David Downs.

In Part 2 of this interview, Downs speaks to the league’s expansion plans which have been slower than originally expected and states that he still expects more teams to be announced before the 2013 season with the outside possibility one or both would be ready to play next year. He also answers questions about rumors that have been circulating that the New York Cosmos may not be ready to play by 2013, and he addresses the possible name change for the Silverbacks to the Chiefs and speaks to the concerns that some were expressing about that name.

IMS: David, we talked several times this season about expansion plans and you had certainly hoped to have a number of new teams announced by now. It seems we are sort of coming down to the wire if new teams will be announced for 2013. Where are we at with NASL expansion?

Downs: We very strongly believe we will have two more announcements in the next couple of months prior to the start of the 2013 season. It’s not 100% certain that either or both of those teams would be able to play as soon as 2013. We haven’t totally closed the door on either one of them playing in 2013 so I’m maybe being a bit coy about the way I say that. Obviously we haven’t publicly announced what  those teams are. We do want to leave the door open just a crack for the 2013 season to add more teams. And the drop dead date for telling you that there would be new teams added for next year would be our board meeting at the end of October. It’s really then that we will know everything: The fate of the Stars, which teams if any are joining us for 2013, which teams are holding off for 2014, will all be resolved by the time the board meets. It will certainly be the date when we can’t wait any longer for teams that will join the league for 2013.

IMS: That date would be so the league can plan for next season I presume and for information that the USSF needs to have?

Downs: For everything. For putting the schedule together, for knowing what sort of budget we will have and what funding we will have to make. It all comes to a head on the date.

IMS: There were also some rumors in the last couple of weeks that the Cosmos might not be ready by 2013 as they still haven’t announced their venue choice yet for next season.

Downs: There’s been no change since the announcement in July and we expect that to be coming imminently.  In that announcement they will reference in full details their schedule and ticket packages. That should all be forthcoming by the end of October because it is all one giant puzzle. Obviously it’s a consequence for us too, not knowing if we do a full round robin and how many games we will be playing.

IMS: Perhaps something that is a bit more difficult to talk about is a situation that came up with Atlanta. They have evidently acquired the rights to the name “Chiefs,” the old NASL team that played there, so they are having a contest to see what name is most popular with the fans. So in fact the team could be named the Atlanta Chiefs next year. There was already a lose kick back on that, both on Facebook and on Twitter, concerning the use of that name that will be viewed by some as a derogatory toward Native Americans.

Has the NASL front office had any talk about that and how do you feel about that?

Downs: The NASL has not been involved in Atlanta’s decision to put the name out there and see what the fan reaction is to it. Obviously one form of reaction is this sort of concern and I think it would be wise for Atlanta to take that under advisement. There are many teams out there in the United States that have nicknames that reflect a American Indian heritage. Inherently a team name is supposed to be powerful and noble and all those good things, so I’ve never believed for a second that a nickname that reflects anything that would intended to be derogatory in any way towards anybody.

Having said that I’m very sensitive to the fact that it’s clearly in the eye of the beholder and I shouldn’t be the one to be judging. So we will take the feedback that we get and see how that plays out into the overall situation and I for one am not convinced. I happen to think the Silverbacks name is pretty good and they’ve built up some good brand equity. If I was one of the fans voting I’d probably vote to keep the Silverbacks name but I’m not in charge of that situation.

In Part 1 of this interview, Downs reveals that the Minnesota Stars FC have two different parties interested in the team at this time. He also disclosed the the league has met with executives of the Minnesota Vikings, not so much for ownership of the Stars but more to talk about soccer and the future of the sport in Minnesota. He also speaks to the fan reaction to the news last week that the NASL would be going to a split season format in 2013.

79 Responses
  1. John permalink
    September 18, 2012

    i like david downs comment on the chiefs

    it suppose be positive if nasl can try to relate to history of native americans and remember our past then it wont be bad

    lets hope cosmos play next year especially in brooklyn
    queens is really being annoying by causing stir wihtth the mls stadium

    i say brooklyn should take their moment
    with construction of nets stadium then a soccer stadium-brooklyn will have construction employment boom

    i think nasl is expanding they need a team in calgary-calgary united the indoor team should become a outdoor team

    i say downs should go after st louis but i think it should be the st.louis scott gallgher team

    if NASL does expand west it should be five teams at the same time

    i prefer san diego sockers than flash because the sockers are always winning i say lets see if they are competitive in NASL
    I want anaheim bolts to add to the rivalry
    i also say las vegas quicksilvers should make a return
    Albuquerque and austin should join the expansion

  2. Bart permalink
    September 18, 2012

    Hoooyah hooyah hooyah hooyah, Hoooyah hooyah hooyah hooyah…(to be sung by the beat of a drum around a camp fire in the Chief’s tribal tent)

    How much more politically correct do we need to be? The CHIEF? Doesn’t Prez Obama have that name as the Supreme Military Commander as well?

    Down in Georgia, President Zachary Taylor ran them injuns smack out of the mountains and dag nab into Okie country. Even the Atlanta Braves get nailed from time to time, but it does not diminish the brand.

    But, hey, if the KC Chiefs and the Washington Redskins can get away with it, then so should the Silverbacks.

    The Silverbacks, what a slight to that monkey…….

    Sigh…….

  3. September 18, 2012

    would have liked to hear Downs’ comments about Phoenix and Tampa from USL and whether there is any chance for USL and NASL to come together in the future or for the teams from the different leagues to play each other during the season.

    again, sounds like a broken record for readers of insidemnsoccer, but, the divisiveness among minor league soccer leagues is a problem in moving forward and MLS has not stepped up at all to help out.

  4. gordieloewen permalink
    September 18, 2012

    At a time when most colleges and universities are abandoning their racist native team names, it would be a shame if the Silverbacks were to revert back to one. Take any other race or ethnic group and make them in to a mascot and people would be screaming, but for some reason, it’s okay to reduce the indigenous people of this continent to cartoons and ridiculous caricatures.

    What is it with Atlanta and American Indian mascots? What local tradition and heritage are they honoring with these names? Is it the history and memory of the local native populations that suffered complete genocide or the history and memory of the indigenous populations that were lucky enough to simply be forced at gun point to move six states away?

  5. John permalink
    September 18, 2012

    yeah mls nasl and usl pro need to have strategic expansion they cap their league at 24 12 in east and 12 in west

    then they choose which markets to enter with overlap

    i think its georgia ways of amending the past

  6. Bart permalink
    September 18, 2012

    @gordieloewen

    How can you call naming a team the “Chiefs” as being racist? How does this in any way denigrate the American Indian, or my favorite, the Fortune 500 Chief Executive Officers?

    The great USofA was built on the premise that the English and European settlers had the right to the land. After all, the Indians were essentially nomads and moved based upon the season (except for those Cherokees). President Taylor had to eradicate them so that this great country could grow.

    After that, our forefathers went down to the Texas territory and whupped up on some mesicans so that we took all of their land for Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and parts of California. I have been told by a very good Hispanic friend that they are now taking back their land, which may very well be true.

    I think we have a lot of reasons to not be proud of everything our forefathers may have done, but calling a team the Chiefs is not one of them.

  7. Iggy permalink
    September 18, 2012

    On Atlanta name issue, I vote Atlanta Chiefs FC, with new crest based on Atlanta city seal.

    Team issues statement that Chief in this case means “leader” in general: as in Chief Executive Officer, Fire Chief, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Police Chief, etc.

    This allows club to tie into well recognized name while updating it in a positive manner.

  8. tomASS permalink
    September 18, 2012

    Go UND GREAT AND BRAVE FIGHTING SIOUX!
    ( and that’s coming from a Gopher fan )

    Go Burnsville Braves!
    Go Grand Rapid Indians!

  9. ERic permalink
    September 18, 2012

    Hasn’t the Silverbacks name been used longer than the Chiefs was?

  10. Fotbalist permalink
    September 18, 2012

    Thanks for the interview! I like ‘The Commish’ Downs. He is truly invested in the success of the NASL and soccer in general. I like Johns expansion excitement. But “WOW” John you’re even more optimistic than I am. lol

  11. John permalink
    September 18, 2012

    the problem with d2 and d3 is that the leagues name ownership has seen fluctuation

    i say nasl expand to 24 by 2018 USSF requirement wants NASL to expand face because by 2016 they have to double the league

    so by 2018 NASL can get stability but i really want the sockers in NASL

    USL Pro is expanding fast by next year they will have 13 teams and i see by USL PRO having 16 to 19 by 2016

    both leagues saw contraction during the 2010-2011 period now both leagues are on the growth stage

  12. Kel permalink
    September 18, 2012

    It will be interesting to hear Commish Downs thoughts on the rumored MLS-USL affiliation agreement. Pat Ercoli from the Rhinos says he is hearing it is a done deal and they are only working out the details. Either whole MLS reserve squads play in USL-Pro or a minor league baseball type affiliation with MLS players on USL-Pro clubs.

    The thing that was striking was Ercoli said the NASL was a “renegade” league and that MLS was not interested in working with them and went with the USL.

  13. John permalink
    September 18, 2012

    yeah they should block that affiliation it changes and mess the whole structure shoot USSF should ban such a thing

    i say all three leagues do three years of expansion than seven years of stability and lets see if we can get pro/reg

    but the mls and usl affilation would not work because it messes up NASL

    I think this a slap in the face for NASL

  14. John permalink
    September 18, 2012

    the thing i like about NASL is they dont see themselves as a minor league if you notice none of NASL teams do affiliation if MLS

    with a USL Pro and MLS affiliations it just shows USL cannot stand on their own

    it also shows that america and canada is so big that so many players are not seeing playing time that is why we need more team expansion

  15. John permalink
    September 18, 2012

    NASL is not a renegade league every team in that league has a big ego

    every team in NASL think they can compete in MLS and win it

    you can even hear such a town when the ny cosmos leader spoke about global brand

    truth i think the affiliation will not happen because it just makes the whole NASL vs USL fight in 2009 and 2010 pointless

  16. Bart permalink
    September 18, 2012

    @ John, John, John…..my, my my… let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, lest our feelings get hurt.

    How about calling it like it is? If USL and MLS get together, it would seem that the logical evolutionary step would be, over time, to have relegation between the two leagues. After all, MLS would already be playing in USL and vice versa.

    This way, NASL can be the best and most egotistical league below MLS/USL. (Oh wait, I forgot, they are already…)

  17. John permalink
    September 18, 2012

    lol yeah but NASL then needs to improve quality quickly before everybody moves to usl because of their affiliation with mls

  18. September 18, 2012

    For the kabillionth time, while an American Indian connotation is just ONE of the potential meanings of the WORD “Chief,” it’s THE AMERICAN INDIAN IMAGERY CONNECTED WITH IT THAT’S THE ISSUE, YOU MOOKS.

    It’s THAT – reducing someone to a stereotype – that’s the issue, not the word spelled c-h-i-e-f-s, which can have several meanings.

    Also, John: Calgary United become an outdoor team? They probably have a total net worth of $4.59 (CDN) and, no, “everybody” is not going to move to USL. God, you’re just incredibly, incredibly naive. Every single thing you write comes from someone that has no idea how anything at all works. Nothing.

  19. Gaelforce permalink
    September 18, 2012

    Why does it always turn into NASL v USL? Stop the fighting and support both leagues.

    @BQ – Brian do you reckon that the 2 teams mentioned are San Diego Flash and northern Vaginia or is there a possibility of someone else popping out to surprise us?

  20. Bart permalink
    September 18, 2012

    @Gaelforce

    Actually, I am looking forward to supporting the new women’s pro league that should debut in 2013. The teams will be peppered with the fine talent of the US Olympic gold medal champions and the Canadian bronze medal champions.

    That is the league you should start following. These folks earned it and deserve it.

    And that ain’t a NASL versus USL thang…..

  21. September 18, 2012

    Gaelforce, I would hope it’s not Northern Vaginia but northern Virginia.

    Ooops! :-0

    But I do think Northern Virginia and some other city, more likely in the midwest from what I’m hearing. But honestly, I really don’t know for sure. I have put plenty of inquires out there and at this point haven’t really come back with much of anything.

  22. Fotbalist permalink
    September 18, 2012

    @ John – I agree with you that this affiliation business is ultimately hurting the leagues; especially the lower division teams. As for some of your other points, I’d say that even I think you are a little toooo optimistic about the expansion of NASL & USLPro. And normally, I’m the one getting slammed for being overly optimistic.

  23. John permalink
    September 18, 2012

    i hope it st louis scott gallgher team or tusla roughnecks

    i hope san diego sockers join NASL

    i think San Diego Sockers and San Diego Flash should consolidate with the sockers as the main organization and the flash as an amateur affiliate

    also their are rumors that chivas might relocate stateside to nevada or arizona

    i hope not arizona because USL got the market and fc tuscon might go pro 2012

    if chivas do move stateside i hope to vegas that NASL can get the LA Aztecs

  24. Fotbalist permalink
    September 18, 2012

    On a different note, I really like John’s idea of USSF setting some expectations of both growth and stability.

  25. WSW permalink
    September 18, 2012

    LA Aztecs will be resurrected
    San Diego team
    Sacramento
    Phoenix

    As far as Pat Ercoli CEO Rhinos of USL his knowledge of soccer is so infantile it’s not even funny on his interview on Soccer is a kick in the grass show he says NASL is a renegade-dictatorship league and he said he wants USL to be affiliated with MLS so it could form into MLS2….I guess he doesn’t know what a soccer pyramid is.

    Also USL will probably not expand with new ownerships just MLS reserve teams with shows their desperation. IF theyhave MLS reserve teams how will USOC competition look like when a MLS reserve team plays a MLS team which team will rollover?

  26. John permalink
    September 18, 2012

    i know the u.s open cup is what makes mls different from the other professional sports and i think mls knows that

    that is why they are hesitant know and back than about purchasing usl

    does anybody knows about chivas relocation to nevada or arizona
    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/jul/15/glance/
    i find it funny that chivas lease at home dept center is up the same time las vegas national sports complex is trying to finish

    if rochester rhinos does come to nasl they should consolidate with the indoor rochester lancers and rename themselves the rochester lancers

    wsw im feeling you la aztecs resurrection
    chivas to vegas-but rebranded
    san diego sockers to nasl
    anaheim bolts to nasl
    calgary united to nasl
    real phoniex to usl pro

  27. September 18, 2012

    pro soccer is stagnant right now in the U.S.: no new MLS franchises in the funnel coming soon to play and pro soccer in the minor leagues is divisive with too much in-fighting.

    this is too bad because generally speaking-soccer has been trending up while the other big sports are trending down.

    MLS must help organize the pro minor leagues to help fight the stagnancy. a solution to rally american sports fans to have faith in pro Soccer would be for MLS to come up with a 12-15 year plan for promotion/relegation in which teams can start to prepare financially in case they can win their league and move up or decide to pass on moving up after winning.

    MLS promotion/relegation will have to figure out a way for teams to pay off a certain dollar figure year to year after making the promotion so that they know exactly the terms of what the payments will be and how the payments end.

    i’ll probably put this together in an article soon.

  28. John permalink
    September 18, 2012

    i know nfl is being tackled with lawsuit and huge relegation
    NHL is in a labor dispute

    i say mls should exploit the NHL labor dispute

    i find it funny that it will be hard to have a mls labor dispute

  29. John permalink
    September 18, 2012

    i know the u.s open cup is what makes mls different from the other professional sports and i think mls knows that
    that is why they are hesitant know and back than about purchasing usl
    does anybody knows about chivas relocation to nevada or arizona

    i find it funny that chivas lease at home dept center is up the same time las vegas national sports complex is trying to finish
    if rochester rhinos does come to nasl they should consolidate with the indoor rochester lancers and rename themselves the rochester lancers
    wsw im feeling you la aztecs resurrection
    chivas to vegas-but rebranded
    san diego sockers to nasl
    anaheim bolts to nasl
    calgary united to nasl
    real phoniex to usl pro

  30. John permalink
    September 18, 2012

    if chivas do not rebrand to la aztecs what about LA Goats or Goats LA with this logo

  31. September 18, 2012

    forgot to add-no new popular players on the horizon coming to MLS. how much longer can the league be about the same few popular players…donovan, beckham, henry and the lesser-known guys.

  32. John permalink
    September 18, 2012

    i know i dont know why they market players like montero, cj sapong, mccathy, sean johnson

  33. WSW permalink
    September 18, 2012

    @Americanize

    I would like to see a article about how different NASL is structured compared to MLS

    and ideas how Pro/rel can work in US.

  34. Danwolf permalink
    September 19, 2012

    I think for Promotion Relegation to work in the USA, I think we need to adapt some of the Japanese Model. If it was my choice, my rules would look something like this.
    In order to be promoted to MLS from NASL.
    1. Your Ownership group must be worth x amount of dollars.
    2. Your Club must have a SSS or a MLS approved stadium. (minimum of 18,000 seats.)
    and so on.
    3. You must win your Conference or come in 2nd in your conference and beat the MLS team your trying to replace.
    4. so on………
    In order to be promoted to NASL from USL-Pro.
    1. Your Ownership Group must have a owner worth more then 20 million Dollars.
    2. Must have a SSS or NASL approved Stadium that has a minimum of 9,000 seats.
    3. You must win your conference or come in 2nd in your Conference and beat the NASL team your replacing.
    4. so on….
    USL-Pro.
    1. If your an Expansion team you start in USL-Pro Until MLS, NASL, and USL-Pro are full.
    2. Must have a Stadium of 5,000.
    3. Must have a Owner that is worth 10 million.
    4. so on
    All 3 leagues should have a Eastern and Western Conference.

  35. Danwolf permalink
    September 19, 2012

    I would love to see it happen but i don’t see it ever happening any earlier then 2025, if ever.

  36. Edward permalink
    September 19, 2012

    Are you kidding me with these posts? US Soccer is stagnant because there’s no immediate expansion prospects? NASL needs to expand to 24 teams by 2018? Dear God, it’s almost enough to make me look forward to Bart’s comments.

    I mean wasn’t the point of breaking way from the USL to get AWAY from the constant turnover of poorly vetted expansion teams that folded within a year or two? I’ll gladly take a year or three of no expansion than the same old parade of California Victorys and Leigh Valley Steams.

    Honestly do a little research, get a little basic knowledge going on before you start running your mouth. You have no excuse for being ignorant of what the USSF D2 standards when they’re on this site.

  37. September 19, 2012

    Thank you Edward. Hey listen, I love it that you guys read IMS and post. I am very grateful, really. But usually the comments here are well thought out and most have a good understanding of the background. I feel like we got derailed on this one a really tracked off course from the content of this article which is what these comments are really for. Yes, the article talked about NASL expansion and I understand everyone wants to speculate about where that might be.

    Lets talk facts and not dreams for a moment and see if I can’t bring a few of you guys back down to earth. As Edward was referring to, prior 2010 there was a 75% fail rate of D2 teams. That’s right! 3/4’s of all the teams launched either dropped down or dropped off the face of the earth. And that was exactly why USSF stepped in and made the D2 standards. Those D2 standards make it tough to own a team. Dreaming is nice and wishing is nice, but as Burgess Meredith said in Rocky, “You can wish and one hand and crap in another and see which one fills up first.”

    It’s not easy finding owners at those standards and that are willing to lose that sort of money. Hopefully, that will change in the future, but pro soccer in the US is still a losing proposition, including Barts women’s leagues.

    I also believe that the new ownership group of USL has an interest in changing footprint of Francisco Marcos. That footprint allowed a team to purchase a USL franchise. USL would them make a franchise fee off of them and would then allow them to drop off the face of the earth. I truly believe the new ownership of the USL is interested in making their pro league more stable.

    So back to reality guys. And no John, I don’t allow links to Big Soccer here.

  38. Fotbalist permalink
    September 19, 2012

    @ Edward – COMPLETELY AGREE. THANKS FOR THE SANE POST.

  39. CoconutMonkey permalink
    September 19, 2012

    @Danwolf

    On the surface it looks like Japan is perfect example of how to start and grow a league, but you have to consider just how different the situation is over here.

    For starters, the majority of J League clubs have been around long before its, or the old JFL’s- foundation as amateur/semi-pro company clubs. It was a large group of clubs making the commitment to jump to fully -or almost fully- pro that the league was able to get its start.

    So, the formation of the J.League wasn’t the creation of 10 franchises out of thin air then adding expansion teams like MLS, but rather a natural progression to a more professionalized league out of loads clubs already playing like England’s football league.

    Then there’s the infrastructure:
    Most clubs play in publicly owned stadiums (either prefecture or municipal) in shockingly nice locations with easy access to public transit. We might scoff at an NASL/USL team playing in a high school or local D3 university stadium, but it’s quite rare for a J.League club to own their own ground. And you can bet they’re not the only groups using those stadiums.

    Anyway, what I’m getting at is that, much like the rest of the footballing world, Japan got to where it is now because it was really the most natural way to do it. Don’t get me wrong, the growth of the game in Japan out here has been beyond expectation and has a lot of ideas worth looking at.

    But North America hasn’t done bad for itself either. Its just that our challenges are a lot different.

  40. September 19, 2012

    AEG sale now adds more drama to U.S. pro Soccer’s growth. They’ve been the biggest stalwart/supporter financially over the history of MLS.
    does AEG only own the Galaxy and Home Depot Field, or do they still own parts of other MLS teams?

  41. Etch permalink
    September 19, 2012

    Every team that has reverted to its old NASL nickname has been somewhat successful
    In my opinion because the name reconition works with both soccer and non-soccer people.
    It is almost like free advertizing. It puts fans in the stands. I never liked the Silverbacks name.
    I played against a team called the Silverbacks in the over 40 league. The name is a ploy on being older and grey haired. The Chiefs is much better and actually, if handled the right way, could bring great honor to the Cherokees in the Southeast. It could also be a bad thing.
    A chief is a great leader who should be honored and respected. I could be an oportunity to begin a dialog with the local tribes. FYI: I am part Cherokee and just begining to find out more about my roots.

    Keep it up! Rowdies, Earthquakes, Strikers, Sounders,Timbers,Whitecaps.
    Soon Cosmos; What about Sockers ?
    Dallas Burn didn’t do it for me FC Dallas also does not. Tornado was better
    Toronto FC come on. Blizzard was better.
    Non soccer people have no clue what FC stands for.

  42. September 19, 2012

    The answer to the AEG questions is easy to look up.

    But for those who don’t want to bother to take the time and have someone else take the time: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/aeg-owner-las-kings-staples-015733774–nhl.html 🙂

  43. September 19, 2012

    BQ,
    I thought they sold the Houston Dynamo. not sure if that article is accurate or if sale hasn’t gone through. my memory may be off, too.

  44. Tom permalink
    September 19, 2012

    Before D2 adds all of these expansion teams (assuming they can get all of the cities and ownership groups to wait and be patient) shouldn’t they finally pick from all of the TV networks which one is going to pay them millions to televise their games and finally start to narrow down the list of national sponsors? You either have to choose Coke or Pepsi, Home Depot or Lowe’s (the Stars can save Menards for their local TV contract…), Target or Wal-Mart, etc… Sorry for being a bit snarky, but I just read many of these posts and that’s 15 minutes of my life I’ll never get back. Minor league soccer is improving but it has so, so, so far to go – and I didn’t even bring up pro/rel :))

  45. Dave permalink
    September 19, 2012

    @ Tom – thanks for the laugh. The comments really started turning strange. And then pro/rel was brought up. There has to be some sort of Godwin’s law for pro/rel and soccer. Once it is brought up, every argument is lost.

    And John, if you are having a laugh trolling us, please tell us. You cannot be real. No one is that daft. Not even WSW. 😉

    P.S. I think any MLS/USL affiliation would be a great thing for American soccer. The most important thing for us is to get players from the academies to MLS. They need a place to play. If that hurts the NASL and leaves them out of the picture, so be it.

    And John, I can assure you the Open Cup is the furthest thing from MLS’s mind when they consider the USL.

  46. Gaelforce permalink
    September 19, 2012

    I’m of the opinion that MLS have told the Cosmos to go to NASL for a few years to build the brand again while the stadium gets done. I’ve no proof of course but after the success of Seattle, Portland, Vancouver and Montreal it makes so much sense. If they do affiliate with USL their reserves wont be D2. That helps no one. Is the USA the only country where the levels on the pyramid are owned by different companies? I think its counter productive and the USSF should have them meeting on a regular basis to work together and grow the sport.

    @BQ – would the midwest team be Indy? Lots of talk about that on Facebook

  47. tomASS permalink
    September 19, 2012

    not being one that is very well informed at this level of soccer, I appreciate all the banter. I have picked up a lot of info here. My only problem is my storage capacity is running low and lord knows how fragmented the format is.

    Carry on

  48. Footy76 permalink
    September 19, 2012

    @John good pick on NASL expansion cities calgary united, Las Vegas quicksilvers
    Albuquerque and Austin. First time in a long time I heard someone pick cities that make sense but how about this Winnipeg their CLF team is moving and there is a empty stadium same with S.F all the stadiums need is a little remodeling. I wonder if Canada get 8 teams in two different leagues will FIFA force them to forum their own league. I heard FIFA rather have each country have its own league.

  49. Footy76 permalink
    September 19, 2012

    I think Atlanta Silverback should change its name to the Atlanta Chief FC. As long as it done respectfully it would be a good thing. Bart is right naming a team Chiefs is not the worst thing we done to the Native American. Iggy is right too this could be a positive and up lifting thing if done right. To me it does sound better tha Silverbacks. Here the a ideal why don’t they name it after the county that Atlanta is in Fulton FC and while we are at it we should change the San Antonio Scorpions to San Antonio Thunder. I also think if true the USL/ MLS affiliation is a good thing it USL want an affiliation and MLS need a place for reserves teams to play no one come out empty handed. At the same it time raising the leave of play and promote more interest in the game both for fans and investors
    @DanwolfI I like that you must beat the team you are replacing an and stadium standers and an owner criteria. I add a little bit more to an already perfect plane

    1. Your Ownership group must be worth x amount of dollars.

    2. Your Club must have a SSS or a MLS approved stadium. (Minimum of 18,000 seats)
    3. You must win your Conference or come in 2nd in your conference and beat the MLS team you’re trying to replace.

    In order to be promoted to NASL from USL-Pro.

    1. Your Ownership Group must have a owner worth more then 20 million Dollars.

    2. Must have a SSS or NASL approved Stadium that has a minimum of 9,000 seats. (With a working plain in place to expand to 18,000)

    3. You must win your conference or come in 2nd in your Conference and beat the NASL team you’re replacing.
    4. so on….

    USL-Pro.
    1. If your an Expansion team you start in USL-Pro Until MLS, NASL, and USL-Pro are full.

    2. Must have a Stadium of 9,000. (With a working plane in place to expand to 18,000)

    3. Must have a Owner that is worth 10 million.

    4. so on
    All 3 leagues should have a Eastern and Western Conference

  50. Bart permalink
    September 19, 2012

    Wow, I think I need a cigarette after all this bedroom talk….!

    Commenting on the article, I think Downs could be one sexy guy if he grew a beard! Those Edmonton girls would go wahoo on him the next time he want to take a skate up there.

    We all need to be a little more objective, and a lot less subjective on how team name changes reposition and brand an asset.

  51. GaelForce permalink
    September 19, 2012

    UEFA are experimenting with a cross-border Netherlands/Belgium women’s premier league. If the trial works, they’ll allow more cross-border leagues. The interest here in Ireland is that there’s a possibility we’d be able to create a league for the whole island or join with Wales and Scotland to form a Celtic League as has proven successful in Rugby. I doubt UEFA would make Canada create their own league, especially with the 5 teams being on different levels – Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto are in MLS with Edmonton and soon Ottawa in D2. Joey Saputo didn’t pay all that money to play a team pulling in 2000 a game in St Johns.

    As for the Las Vegas Quicksilvers, Calgary Utd etc, what’s the point in discussing them? Pulling cities out of your arse isn’t going to get them a team. Having a rich owner behind them and a facility is. Carolina, Minnesota and Atlanta might not even still be around if it wasn’t for Traffic stepping in and that was because they were existing teams with facilities ready to go.

    Realistically, we know San Diego Flash and Loudoun County have been in touch with NASL. David Downs has mentioned Sacramento, Indy, Phoenix and LA. The USL teams that have the resources to go up are Rochester and Orlando, maybe Charleston and LA Blues could be crazy enough but all seem unlikely right now. There seems to be little evidence or proof of anything else right now.

  52. September 19, 2012

    @Footy76. I like the fact that you came up with a plan and broke things down from league to league according to how you think it should be.

    I think your design could be a lot more flexible. I don’t think it’s very realistic right now, but could be 20 years from now.

    I don’t think the size of the stadium should matter. I think if a team wins the Division, they should get the option to advance to the next highest Division or stay in their same Division. If they decline the advancement to the next highest division, the next team in order (first team to get option would be team who lost in the Final) should get the option, until one team takes it.

    The financial costs to moving up should match what an expansion team is worth in that particular year and the team that moves up should have an agreed set of payments to make for a set number of years.

  53. Soccer Boy permalink
    September 19, 2012

    “There are many teams out there in the United States that have nicknames that reflect a American Indian heritage. Inherently a team name is supposed to be powerful and noble and all those good things, so I’ve never believed for a second that a nickname that reflects anything that would intended to be derogatory in any way towards anybody.”

    I agee 100% with Downs on this issue. Others should take note.

  54. Kyle permalink
    September 19, 2012

    I’m I the only one who finds it a bit ironic “AmericanizeSoccer” is dreaming of promotion/relegation? Shouldn’t you be advocating the closed system, playoffs and player drafts?
    Also, “The financial costs to moving up should match what an expansion team is worth in that particular year and the team that moves up should have an agreed set of payments to make for a set number of years”- this is a terrible idea. Hypothetically speaking if a team made it up, then got relegated right away, we’d have a worse fail rate than the previously mentioned 75%. Teams would never be able to pay expansion fees for D1 while playing D2 (or lower).

    But I digress. I think it’s a great thing that the NASL is exercising restraint in the way they are handling expansion. It’s definitely a step in the right direction that we have not had a lower division team “fail” this year (yet). Though one thing I didn’t see in the article was any progress on finding other benefactors for Atlanta and Carolina. Has any headway been made on the funding of those two teams? Overall, it seems to me that soccer is heading (and I’m sorry to spread optimism) in the right direction. I hope that in the not-to-distant future, we won’t be worried that after each season a team or two might not be around to start the next. I think a little continuity would do us all a little good. Anywho, BQ, excellent site, and excellent reporting. This is my preferred place for my soccer news and I’m always happy to read all that’s on offer! Keep up the great work!

  55. Edward permalink
    September 20, 2012

    @GaelForce
    I doubt UEFA would force Canada to do much of anything, especially considering that Canada is in CONCACAF.

  56. Gaelforce permalink
    September 20, 2012

    Sweet loving Jesus! Clearly I know enough about the world and football to know Canada is in North America which is more than can be said for some of your presidential candidates and their knowledge of geography! It was clearly a typo and I meant FIFA.

  57. tomASS permalink
    September 20, 2012

    @Gaelforce – after a day of UEFA Champions league play I completely understand. Many Americans confuse Minnesota as being a southern province of Canada eh?

  58. September 20, 2012

    @axissoccer – I think is positive if nasl can try to relate to history of native americans and remember our past.

  59. Jay Long permalink
    September 20, 2012

    @Gaelforce and TomASS: I can’t tell if you guys are joking or not. Canada IS in North America and Minnasotah is NOT a part of Canada?

    You guys are just goofing, right?!?!? 😉

  60. September 20, 2012

    tomASS almost always has tongue in cheek and Gaelforce is from Ireland, if I recall correctly and just simply made a typo putting in EUFA for FIFA.

  61. TampaBay RowdiesFan permalink
    September 20, 2012

    Loved and appreciated everybody’s comments and insights toward the present circumstances and the future of pro-soccer involving the NASL, MLS and USL-Pro leagues. It’s amazing what can be learned listening to others’ thoughts. What a great site this is!

  62. September 20, 2012

    @Kyle. You make a great point about the possibility of failing quickly after getting promoted due to a financial breakdown after the promotion, but, this is the risk a Division 2 or Division 3 owner would have to risk if they want to go up in divisions. That is why I said that it shouldn’t be mandatory, but an option.

    Also, you are right that it is ironic I am talking about promotion/relegation with a name like Americanize Soccer. But, i certainly don’t think everything needs to be changed.

    My opinion is that without Soccer being mainstream in the U.S., a promotion/relegation system is one of the things that will speed the process and help it to get to mainstream status more quickly.

  63. Jay Long permalink
    September 20, 2012

    Personally, I think it is positive if posters would post comments for us present day Americans–including those loveable Canadians and all of our neighbors in this wonderful, western hemisphere–to relate to that have nothing to do with the historical past, present and/or future of a certain clothing lines and or retailors.

    I’d like to have help remembering our very recent past when we just posted comments and musings here without any references to websites that are pimping gear.

    But that’s just me…

    [And just for the record, I erh, uhm seem to remember Supreme Naval Officer threads on another, now defunt, professional indoor soccer franchise in the Tidewater area of Virginia that were named after a ferocious but misunderstood sea creature–so I really don’t get the hoopla and humorously revisionist history in the press release about their deal with the indoor club that’s based in the OC–but hey– I digress…]

  64. GaelForce permalink
    September 20, 2012

    Yes it simply was a typo and I meant FIFA. My train of thought was simply on the current trial run that UEFA is trying with the Dutch/Belgian women’s leagues. Of course in world football, there’s evidence of cross border teams already in existance. Liechtenstein’s teams play in Switzerland, Monaco plays in the French league, Wellington in the A-League and even Derry City here in Ireland play in the League of Ireland even though the city is in Northern Ireland (Governed by a different association) Realistically I think Canada is a long way off supporting 5 more teams at the same level as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. However it would be great to see cities like Hamilton, Winnipeg, Calgary and Victoria join the NASL and USL Pro eventually.

  65. Jay Long permalink
    September 20, 2012

    “My opinion is that without Soccer being mainstream in the U.S., a promotion/relegation system is one of the things that will speed the process and help it to get to mainstream status more quickly.”
    -AmericanizeSoccer

    Bro, you ALWAYS lose me on that little bit of crazy that you are offering us to sample.

    Pro/rel is gonna HELP soccer’s acceptance here, in the US? How so???

    Just imagine if the Indiannpolis Indians moved up to MLB from the International league after being crowned league champions or the Norfolk Admirals (oops-there’s that word, again) moved up from the American (there/s that word again) Hockey League to the NHL after winning the Calder Cup:

    Call me a different kind of “coo-coo” but somehow, I just can’t see the incredibly WOEFUL Houston Astros and Columbus Blue Jackets organizations and fans (in general) of those two sports in this Good Ole US of A embracing that in any way, shape of form.

    The Cleveland Cavaliers and their genius, finacnial wiz kid owner ain’t trying to hear that his NBA franchise is getting relegated and is going to be replaced by the PBL Champs the Central Illinois Drive or even his very own NBDL Canton Charge if they win their league title.

    And those are sports that have a long history of actually caring about in this country.

    Your theory that pro/rel will help hasten the acceptance of a sport that the US has always been liukewarm to (at best) makes me wanna party with you Playah, coz I’d love to induldge in some of that stuff that you seem to have access to (and in large quantities), my Man…

    I haven’t had the chance to actually ever get up in one but it’s perfectly clear to me that their ain’t no party like an AmericanizeSoccer “pro/rel” themed party!!! Can a Brutha get a whoop-whoop!?!

    Please put your boy, Yanki-Yank on the next guest list, Playah!!!

  66. tomASS permalink
    September 20, 2012

    @yankiboy with the Long Jay – I’m always the smartass. I never took that course about how to win friends and influence people. Thus, my political career has really been stunted; that, and I’m afraid Google would release info on web sites I visit. 😉

  67. yankiboy permalink
    September 20, 2012

    @Gaelforce and tomASS: As indisputable and undefeated World Champion of ttypos, I realized that GF just got his wires crossed.

    I wasn’t so sure about TA’s suggestion that the Minnasotah types are considered to be citizens under the jursidiction of Canada–hey–you guys’ biggest college sport–by a long shot–is ice hockey–so of course we figured that we had lost you guys a long time ago. And you guys talk kinda funny–ya don’t talk “regular” American and you are on a different time than a lot of us.

    I was actually lookin’ for my passport when I was thinking about travelling to the Nessie to see Puerto Rico play the Stars.

    Just sayin’ Bro…We have reason for some confusion. I am relieved to hear that we can still claim yousins…

  68. tomASS permalink
    September 20, 2012

    @yankiboy – when you come just wear a warm tuke eh and don’t be a hoser aboot it !

    My real point was, it seems many from away down south often confuse we Flannel – Landers as practically being Canucks. Our plaid is bettter. Our snowmobiles are better. They only thing they really have us on ( now unfortunately because of Obama care) is their beer content is still higher unless one drinks the crafted home brews from around here.

    Oh it also sucks to have an over-sized mall as the state’s number 1 tourist attraction. The only thing we don’t tax up here is clothes…….go figure.

    Alright back to the original subject matter….whatever that may have been. Sorry BQ- my Ritalin wore off early today.

    Liverpool vs. Moo U this weekend YNWA!

    When You Walk Through A Storm Hold Your Head Up High……

  69. GaelForce permalink
    September 20, 2012

    Can someone translate those last two posts into Hiberno-English for me?

  70. John permalink
    September 20, 2012

    so MLS trademark two new york soccer team name
    also with resistance from queens residents about stadium and cosmos keeping mouth shut

    i see no communication between organizations

    well lets wait too November to hear announcements

    i say if queens is giving you trouble move to brooklyn

    i felt queens was going to be trouble in the beginning

    and when the cosmos was doing their marketing push in 2010
    brooklyn was more accommodating

    they have a culture that can support soccer

    the question is finding place

    i say somewhere near Barclay center-somewhere in brooklyn closer to manhattan

    new york cosmos needs to speak more before they become irrelevant

    i say the cosmos should start marketing now like they did in 2010

  71. footy76 permalink
    September 21, 2012

    @GaelForce I understand what you are saying realistically there is no way those city I talk about is going to get a team anytime soon. But forgive me if I don’t jump up for joy in excitement for the expansion cities that are lineup. San Diego Flash Phoenix and LA sound like alright city and seem like they have some promise. Those other expansion mentioned like Loudoun County Sacramento, Indy sorry but Personally I think S.F Las Vegas Quicksilvers, Calgary United sounds better cities. But you work with what you are given.

    @GaelForce Your right about making Canada do anything but there is the evidence to say otherwise. Throughout Europe even the small country like Wales, Netherlands, Switzerland have their own league. You mention the argument that women’s soccer and rugby use cross country play in some places in Europe those sports may not be popular and I think cross play was done more for a survival thing. You also mention the argument about how clubs were in different leagues, but if you look MLS and NASL they have both have clubs that play below league stander and the only difference between the Canadian club in different leagues is that some are D1 and D2 not that much gap between them ,so it would not be a big deal to throw all the clubs into one league. Canada need its own league and I’m just saying if FIFA or however it happens that MLS and U.S soccer becomes an open league and Rel/Pro would make sense the same argument that U.S fans make for open league and Rel/Pro is the same argument that can use for Canada starting their own league. If Open League and Rel/Pro ever happens?????

  72. footy76 permalink
    September 21, 2012

    @AmericanizeSoccer.com I’m always thing about the business side and finish product and that’s what sport is first business. If Pro/Rel happen and with no salary cap you either going to have to have a club owner that has a lot of money to throw away or strong supporter winning is not going guaranteed success. You can just win in D3 maybe get far in D2 maybe??? But after that you going to need lots of money or strong fan support because fans put butt in seat that brings money to buy the player that you will need to compete in D2 and D1. If you look at soccer now you see the haves and have not and the gap is widening. Size matter a 9,000 stadium is not being you enough revenue to compete. What about TV right if it’s a direct contract with the club fine if its league that something else is hard to sell a league with 9,000 seat stadiums that may not be sold out that’s not the slick product TV is looking for. Without stadium regulation we would be taking down the level of a league and soccer just for small or medium size city to have a club just for the sake of having a club. If they can bring a fan base of 18,00 I think there is a good chance they can’t compete

  73. GaelForce permalink
    September 21, 2012

    Not sure what excitement you want to get from a city without even giving them a chance. In that case, Rochester might be classed as similar to Indy/Sacramento/Northern Virginia. If the Rhinos were only coming into the league you might think “Oh Rochester, thats a so-so idea for expansion” yet Rochester has probably been one of the most exciting sub-MLS teams ever. I don’t see how San Fransisco, Calgary and Las Vegas sound more exciting. The NASL needs stability, not cities getting teams for the sake of it. That has been proven not to work and the USSF standards are in place to ensure that the owners are strong and commited.

    As for your second point, 2 of the leagues you mentioned – Wales and Switzerland are involved in cross border play. Swansea and Cardiff City play in the English leagues and all of Liechtenstein’s teams play in Switzerland. As for Rugby, it’s one of the top 3 sports in this part of the world! The Pro12 Rugby league is all the best sides from Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy. The reason for it is that each country can have 2/3/4 big teams in one big league instead of 10 below average ones each in 4 leagues which appears to be similar case to Canada and Puerto Rico.

    As for the difference between the MLS and NASL Canadian teams, that’s easy. It’s about $40million. That’s the price Joey Saputo paid to play in the MLS against LA Galaxy, Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls. He’s not just gonna turn around and let the CSA absorb him into a league where he suddenly has to play the Regina Mooses or whatever. Never gonna happen. Its for that reason too that Pro/Rel is never gonna happen. You don’t pay that money to fall into the 2nd division.

  74. NASL-MLS permalink
    September 23, 2012

    N A S L / MLS Revival

    San Diego Sockers

    Miami Strikers

    Tampa Bay Rowdies

    New York Cosmos

    Los Angeles Aztecs

    All These Teams Will Be Successful in Professional Soccer At Present Time.

    Cheers,

    🙂

  75. John permalink
    September 23, 2012

    fort lauderdale strikers is better than miami strikers

  76. footy76 permalink
    September 23, 2012

    @GaelForce As for your firs point I would be more excided if those three had had the same lay out a Rochester but I don’t think they do. Indy might me similar in size to Rochester but I don’t know never been to Rochester or Northern Virginia. I also have not heard of any clubs in Indy or any of the other three city that dose somewhat as well as the Rhinos. Rochester would be ideal they been in the soccer game dating all away back to 1967. As for Northern Virginia I seen the planes and very good plan I might add I just question the location it’s seem to be out in the middle of nowhere. I understand that NASL need stability hey!!! you take what you can get and if an owner the money to throw at a team so be it. I also understand even MLS has team out in the middle of nowhere and faraway suburb and they have trouble even with the tons money being thrown at them by single entity. I respect the risk these own are taking but I hope they have the money to survive. I think city like Northern Virginia should have a club but I don’t think ever club should compete in the big times it just not feasible far as for scheduling, travel and club rosters are not that big enough for league, CCL and USOC as is you would have to water your roster down to compete. I do think every city need a club but I think that’s what D3 is for let them build up their fan base and attendance that way they bring something to the table. That’s what makes Orlando to exciting they are building their brand and a stadium as a fan I take very seriously and am very excited. I hate to say this but what sells soccer to some causal fan and TV is the international player and supporter in the crowd. A 9,000 seat stadium is not going to be product that they can sell and it especially if it’s not sold out. That’s why Galaxy, Timbers, RSL, Sounders are on the TV more than the other clubs its sellable. Not saying a small team with a small stadium is not important just saying the lower division is a better niche.

    As for your second point, I stand corrected I did know some clubs choose to cross play and I was under the impression by an article I read that some rugby clubs are having trouble with their attendance. Never meant to say rugby was not popular just not enough in some cities to support itself. “It’s for that reason too that Pro/Rel is never going to happen. You don’t pay that money to fall into the 2nd division.” I with you on that, that’s why I think if it is ever going to happen it is going to happen from the top down. The reason I said mix the two different leagues my thinking was that some NASL club would be able to compete with MLS head to head if put in the same league if the quality is there. For example like if Islander, RailHawks and Rowdies were Canadian clubs and compete in a league with Whitecaps, TFC, and Impact those clubs would not beat NASL all the time. Like I said in one of my last post the same argument you use for Pro/Rel is the same argument you can use for Canada having its own league it just make sense will it happen is another question.

  77. September 26, 2012

    Nasl expansion to Indianapolis. Put it on the board and mark it down. If they announce 2 New teams we get one of them.

  78. John permalink
    September 26, 2012

    wait nasl in indy
    is it a rumor justin or is it true

  79. September 26, 2012

    Well every rumor has some truth to it. Indy gets over looked in these expansion talks. Nasl goes where owners want to create a team. No owners then st Louis doesn’t get a team or any other city. It’s a business.

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