NASL Submits 8 Team Application

Thursday, November 11, 2010 | View Comments
Remember last year's second division sanctioning saga, the creation of the new NASL from teams that split from USL-1 and the resulting bickering that lasted for months before US Soccer stepped into to force the parties together for one more season?  That was fun.

This year's version of the drama looks to be much more streamlined, straight forward, and peacful; with USL's end run around D2 sanctioning through the creation of USL-PRO, the NASL is the only organization applying for Division 2 status.

The league submitted their application to the US Soccer Federation yesterday.  Per the guidelines for sanctioning, the application needed eight teams; six were certain prior to the NASL's annual general meeting, with two surprises rounding out the six solid clubs.

Here's the press release:

North American Soccer League Concludes Successful AGM and Finalizes USSF Application

Teams in Minnesota and Atlanta Added for 2011 Season

November 10, 2010 -- The North American Soccer League (“NASL”) recently concluded its 2010 Annual General Meeting held in MiamiFlorida on November 7th and 8th.  The meeting was highlighted by the approval of two additional teams for the 2011 season - the NSC Minnesota Stars and the Atlanta Silverbacks - and their inclusion in the application to the United States Soccer Federation for sanctioning as a Division II league.  The completed application, which was originally submitted with six teams on September 28, 2010, was submitted to the Federation immediately following the conclusion of the meeting.

The application also includes San Antonio (which will commence play in 2012) and an additional team to be announced (which will commence play in 2013).  The NASL is looking forward to favorable consideration of the application by the Board of Directors of the USSF at its meeting on November 21 in TorontoCanada.
“This is an exciting time for the NASL as it nears the finish line in its two year quest for second division sanctioning from the USSF.  We were encouraged by fans to return second division soccer to Atlanta after a two season hiatus and are thrilled that over twenty years of continuous professional play in Minnesota will continue in 2011 and beyond ” said Aaron Davidson CEO of the NASL.

Club owners and general managers will continue working on developing the schedule for the 2011 season over the coming weeks. The NASL plans to release the opening weekend schedule of games later this month.

About the NASL

The North American Soccer League (NASL) was established in November 2009. The NASL member teams include: Atlanta Silverbacks  (resuming play in 2011 and  2022 FIFA World Cup ™ Bid City), Carolina RailHawks, FC Baltimore( 2022 FIFA World Cup ™ Bid City) , FC Edmonton, Miami FC  (2022 FIFA World Cup ™ Bid City), NSC Minnesota Stars, Montreal Impact (joining MLS in 2012), Puerto Rico Islanders, Rochester Rhinos, San Antonio (beginning play in 2012), AC St. Louis, FC Tampa Bay (2022 FIFA World Cup ™ Bid City) and Vancouver Whitecaps FC (joining MLS in 2011). The NASL has applied to the United States Soccer Federation for sanctioning as an independent second division league starting in the 2011.


If you've been paying attention to the NASL, you know that the surprises are Minnesota, a club run by the non-profit National Sports Center and in desperate need of investors, and Atlanta, which has been on hiatus since the end of the 2008 season.

How NSC Minnesota found the cash to meet USSF requirements, which include a majority owner with at least $20 million of net worth, no one is sure.  I expect Brian Quarstad of Inside Minnesota Soccer will uneath more details moving forward.

Rather than the fight for control of D2 we had last year, we instead have simply uncertainty on the merit of the NASL's application.  They have the requisite number of teams, but there are questions surrounding the financial health of certain teams.  The expectation is that the USSF will review the application while in Toronto for MLS Cup next week.

Also worth watching moving forward, provided the NASL is sanctioned, is how the divergent models of the USL and NASL fare respectively.

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