North American Soccer League (2010): Wikis

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North American Soccer League
NASL2010.png
Countries  United States
 Canada
Confederation CONCACAF
Founded 2009
Number of teams 10
Website NASL.com

The North American Soccer League (NASL) is a proposed professional men's soccer league in the United States and Canada. If sanctioned, it would form part of the second tier of soccer in the United States and Canada league pyramid along with the USL First Division, behind Major League Soccer in the hierarchy.

The league was founded in late 2009 after multiple teams broke away from the United Soccer Leagues organization following the sale of USL to NuRock Soccer Holdings earlier that year.[1]. The official name of the league was announced on November 23, 2009.[2]

NASL currently has ten prospective members, comprising former clubs from the USL First Division, the USL Second Division, plus expansion franchises. The inaugural season was expected to begin play in April 2010,[3] but the United States Soccer Federation refused to sanction the new league. [4]

As of January 2010, the USSF has elected to operate an interim USSF Second Division league for the 2010 season, [5] comprising twelve teams from both the NASL and USL-1. The NASL group is expected to re-apply for sanctioning for a 2011 season sometime in late 2010.

Contents

History

On August 27, 2009, multi-national sports company Nike agreed to sell their stake in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) to Rob Hoskins and Alec Papadakis of Atlanta, Georgia-based NuRock Soccer Holdings, instead of to the USL Team Owner's Association (TOA), a group comprising the owners of several USL First Division clubs and St. Louis Soccer United.

After the purchase, several prominent TOA members began to voice their concerns about the state of the league in general, its management structure and ownership model, the leadership of USL president Francisco Marcos, and about the sale of the league to NuRock, which the TOA felt was counter-productive and detrimental to the development of the league. Within several weeks, a number of TOA member clubs threatened to break away from USL and start their own league; this threat became official on November 10, 2009, when six USL-1 clubs along with St. Louis applied to the United States Soccer Federation, the Canadian Soccer Association, and FIFA for approval to create a new North American Division 2 league[6]. On November 20, 2009, one team from both USL-1 and USL-2 announced their intentions to join the new league.[7], taking the membership of the new league to nine teams.

The official name of the league was announced on November 23, 2009.[2] According to the official press release, the NASL name is intended to "pay respect to the players, coaches and leaders who were pioneers for men's professional soccer in North America, many of whom remain involved and committed to the growth of the game in various capacities throughout the U.S. and Canada". Prior to the announcement of the league's name, it had been unofficially referred to in the media as the "TOA League", after the USL Team Owners Association (TOA) members who founded the league.

Teams

The following teams had intended to take part in the inaugural season of the new NASL in 2010[8] before the USSF refused to sanction the new league.

The Carolina RailHawks, Miami FC, Minnesota Thunder, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps all played in the USL First Division in 2009, and comprise the set of TOA teams that initiated the original breakaway from the USL. The Rochester Rhinos, also formerly of the USL First Division, was not part of the initial breakaway, but joined the league on November 30, 2009. The Tampa Bay Rowdies were scheduled to be a 2010 USL-1 expansion franchise, but switched to the NASL shortly after the league was officially formed. Crystal Palace Baltimore played in the USL Second Division in 2009, and joined the NASL at the same time as Tampa. The Atlanta Silverbacks last played competitively in USL-1 in 2008, and spent 2009 on hiatus from the league prior to joining the NASL. St. Louis Soccer United is the parent company of A.C. St. Louis, and was part of the initial TOA group that formed the league.

However, this list of teams will most likely not be the actual list of teams competing in the NASL in 2011. The league has yet to be sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation or the Canadian Soccer Association, has not yet finalized its membership, and with future changes likely, the membership of this league and both the USL First and Second Divisions remain in flux.

FC Edmonton is scheduled to begin play in 2011 when the Vancouver Whitecaps move to Major League Soccer. Also, the Minnesota Thunder ceased operations due to financial problems, and were replaced by a team owned by the National Sports Center in Blaine, MN.

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Proposed teams for 2011

Team City/Area Stadium Founded Joined Color Head Coach
A.C. St. Louis Fenton, Missouri (St. Louis) Anheuser-Busch Center 2009 2010 Green, White, Yellow Claude Anelka
Atlanta Silverbacks Atlanta, Georgia RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium 1995 2011 Red, Black TBA
Carolina RailHawks FC Cary, North Carolina (The Triangle) WakeMed Soccer Park 2006 2010 Orange, Blue, White Martin Rennie
Crystal Palace Baltimore Baltimore, Maryland UMBC Stadium 2006 2010 White, Red, Blue Jim Cherneski, Pete Medd
FC Edmonton Edmonton, Alberta Foote Field 2009 2011[9] TBA Dwight Lodeweges
Miami FC Miami, Florida Lockhart Stadium 2005 2010 Blue, Orange, White Zinho
Montreal Impact Montreal, Quebec Saputo Stadium 1992 2010 Blue, White, Black Marc Dos Santos
NSC Minnesota Stars Blaine, Minnesota (Twin Cities) National Sports Center 2009 2010 Blue, Gold Manny Lagos
Rochester Rhinos Rochester, New York Marina Auto Stadium 1996 2010 Black, White, Gold Bob Lilley
FC Tampa Bay Rowdies Tampa, Florida George M. Steinbrenner Field 2008 2010 Green, Gold Paul Dalglish

Staff

The following individuals have been at the forefront of the TOA's publicity, and were named as members of the NASL's 'front office' in a press release on November 10, 2009.[10]

  • Selby Wellman - President
  • Joey Saputo - Chairman of the Board of Governors
  • Jeff Cooper - Interim Commissioner

Wellman is the American co-owner of the Carolina RailHawks. Saputo is Canadian businessman and sports executive, currently chairman of Montreal Impact. Cooper, an American, is a former lawyer and current chairman of St. Louis Soccer United, A.C. St. Louis, and Saint Louis Athletica. The NASL is also currently engaged in a search for a full-time commissioner.

Controversy

The USL has issued several press releases questioning the legality of the teams choosing to break away, suggesting that litigation to protect its interests and those of the USL-1 teams from any breach of contract is imminent.[11] The USL has also claimed that the NASL and the TOA ownership group "is tortuously interfering with USL-1 team owners that are contractually obligated to participate in the 2010 season" and "has made several misleading statements in a variety of press releases to taint the reputation of USL and its long history of developing the sport of soccer in the United States and Canada".[12]

The NASL disagrees with the USL assessment, and the USL has not filed suit against the new league as a whole. The USL sued three of the constituent teams (Crystal Palace Baltimore, Tampa Bay, and Rochester) for breach of contract, claiming that the teams had committed to playing in USL in 2010.[13][14] However on December 21, 2009 the suits were dropped in favor of binding arbitration.[15]

In January 2010, the USSF announced that it would be running a second-tier league in 2010, putting the NASL on hold for at least a year.

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.thetelegraph.com/sports/nasl-33446-returing-.html
  2. ^ a b NEW MEN’S SECOND DIVISION PROFESSIONAL SOCCER LEAGUE ANNOUNCES NAME: NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER LEAGUE
  3. ^ "It’s not MLS, but St. Louis gets an outdoor men’s pro soccer team". stltoday.com. 2009-11-10. http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/free-kicks/free-kicks/2009/11/its-not-mls-but-st-louis-gets-an-outdoor-mens-pro-soccer-team/. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  4. ^ . http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Whitecaps+2010+soccer+season+jeopardy/2392924/story.html.  | title=Whitecaps 2010 soccer season in jeopardy | publisher=Vancouver Sun | date=2009-12-30 | accessdate=2010-01-08 }}
  5. ^ "US Soccer Federation To Oversee Combined NASL/USL League". Goal.com. 2010-01-07. http://www.goal.com/en-us/news/66/united-states/2010/01/07/1731779/us-soccer-federation-to-oversee-combined-naslusl-league. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  6. ^ "Teams Split From USL-1; To Form New League In 2010". Goal.com. 2009-11-10. http://goal.com/en-us/news/66/united-states/2009/11/10/1616579/teams-split-from-usl-1-to-form-new-league-in-2010. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  7. ^ "Palace Join New Professional Soccer League". Crystal Palace USA. 2009-11-20. http://www.crystalpalaceusa.com/home/378338.html. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  8. ^ "TOA forms new league for 2010". Whitecaps FC. 2009-11-10. http://www.whitecapsfc.com/archive/feature11100901.aspx. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  9. ^ http://www.canada.com/sports/Edmonton+lined+soccer+franchise/2289284/story.html
  10. ^ "TOA forms new league for 2010". Whitecaps FC. 2009-11-10. http://www.whitecapsfc.com/archive/feature11100901.aspx. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  11. ^ "USL Statement regarding USL-1". United Soccer Leagues. 2009-11-10. http://usl1.uslsoccer.com/home/381192.html. Retrieved 2009-11-23. 
  12. ^ "USL statement regarding Tampa, Baltimore". United Soccer Leagues. 2009-11-20. http://usl1.uslsoccer.com/home/383511.html. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  13. ^ http://thekartikreport.wordpress.com/2009/12/09/breaking-news-usl-sues-rochester-rhinos-tampa-bay-and-baltimore-for-breach-of-contract/ news from USL
  14. ^ http://www.uslnews.com/ official website
  15. ^ http://www.impactmontreal.com/images/NewsArticleAttachments/TOA%20Press%20Release%2011.10.09.pdf Press release announcing formation of new league

External links


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