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New second division soccer league revives NASL


The league that folded more than 20 years ago is set to return, though in name only. The USL breakaway league officially announced Monday that they would revive the name North American Soccer League to use for the new league forming next season.

“By becoming the NASL, we are paying 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 our game in various capacities throughout the U.S. and Canada,” Selby Wellman, owner of the Carolina Railhawks said in a press release.

At this point, there are nine teams in the newly-formed NASL: the Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina, Crystal Palace Baltimore, Miami FC, Minnesota Thunder, Montreal Impact, St. Louis, Tampa Bay Rowdies and Vancouver Whitecaps. The new league is still waiting for approval from the U.S. Soccer Federation, and will soon appoint a full-time commissioner.

What do you think about the revival of the NASL? Can this league survive? Will it be successful?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Next up on the ‘reform US soccer’ agenda is a revamped US Open Cup so it is actually an ‘open’ competition with no play-in matches.

    All the inter-league match-ups will be much more competitive because each will want to prove they are better – and we’ll have meritocracy in sports, finally!

  2. Add the Rochester Rhinos into the NASL – just announced as the 10th team. We been screwed out of the MLS By politics now maybe we can make a come back – already have a new pitch what can be expanded up to 30000 plus with no issues. Was kinda sick of the USL anyhow!!!

  3. Thank You!!! Finally, someone gets it… Promotion/Relegation WILL NOT HAPPEN in the U.S…. EVER!!! It’s not in the DNA of the American sports fan, nor should it be. We don’t have to do everything European when it comes to soccer.

    As long as MLS gets a new contract in place with the players’ union (which is the immediate concern), continues the move out of NFL stadiums and into their own (thus turning more of a profit and keeping it), and keeps stability in order to allow for growth of the league organically, the quality of play will improve… slowly but surely.

    Most of ya forget that this league is only 14 years old… they don’t have 80+ years of history that leagues in Spain, England, Italy, etc. can point to.

    Two questions for all of you guys to consider:

    (1) When the 20 or so teams broke away to form the EPL in 1992… don’t you think they would have loved not be part of a pro/rel system? The guarantee of being in the EPL and not getting dropped to the second division would be appealing, not to mention more profitable. It would not surprise me if they discussed it and approached the FA about it, only to get shot down. (If anyone can give me details of the forming of the EPL, please fill me in… I wasn’t much of a soccer fan back then).

    (2) How many of these “purists” who want the single table and pro/rel for MLS actually watched a minute of MLS? And if MLS, in a moment of tremendous insanity, put in pro/rel and a single table format, would then watch MLS regularly? I suspect none.

  4. I do think that the reason why Montreal and Vancouver are supporting the NASL is that itll serve as a league to play their farm teams in, i wouldnt be surprised if TFC jumped ship on the CSL and put a farm team in there as well (or also kept a team in the CSL and had a farm team). Makes perfect sense especially as Vancouver has a fantastic residency program in whcih they will need to provide players with experience and playing time and such a league would allow for it. Itd be great to scout players as well as train them in. Im all for it.

    Dont think we will ever see the pro/rel system and im ok with that.

  5. so.. how do two leagues with 7 and 9 teams play a full schedule? is it only 18 games? or each team plays each other 4 times? i wonder if they are in the process of trying to lure more teams over to the NASL, thus making the USL obsolete? personally i liked the USL system, but i guess it did not work for the owners..

  6. Man, far too many people just drinking the kool aid on Promotion/Relegation. N-E-V-E-R happen. Not 5, 10, 15, 30, 50 years from now.

    Garber may throw you a “it’s got some difficulties but we continue to explore possibilities” bone but there’s just no chance, and it’s a silly discussion because it ignores the geographic/economic realities of the U.S.

    For example there are 100 professional English teams in a country that is 20% smaller in size than the state of Georgia!! And it’s the #1 sport in that country whereas it’s about 4, 5 or 6th here. And maybe we’ll have 20 teams by the end of the next decade.

    And remember some history. The EPL only began in the 90’s when some 20 or 22 teams broke away from the rest of the English Football league and formed the EPL. In other words, it was a bottom up operation with over 100 years of history for most of the teams involved and generations of families ingrained with that footie culture.

    So, you can dream about P/R or even single table but it would only hinder growth of soccer in the US to satisfy a small (very small) percentage of purists.

    That is all…


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