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NASL submits final bid to USSF for Second Division sanction


The USSF Second Division Pro League is no more, and the second incarnation of the North American Soccer League is aiming to assume the mantle as the second division soccer league in the United States.

The NASL tabled a bid that included six teams back on September 28, 2010 — two fewer than the eight that the U.S. Soccer Federation requires — with the aim to amend that application and finalize it once the season was concluded.

That new, amended application has been submitted by the NASL this week, after the conclusion of the 2010 Annual General Meeting that was held in Miami Florida at the beginning of this week. In it, two more teams have been added for competition in 2011: the Atlanta Silverbacks and the NSC Minnesota Stars.

Also included with the new submission is San Antonio as the expansion side to start in 2012, and the addition of another team that will be announced at a later date to begin play in 2013. With the Board of Directors of the USSF scheduled to meet during MLS Cup weekend in Toronto, the application will be reviewed and a decision regarding sanctioning likely handed down at the end of November.

What do you think of the latest Second Division news? Think the NASL will get sanctioning?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I appreciate that everyone has their dreams about what soccer in the US will become.

    Pro/rel is not going to happen.

    Unless you think having a A-League/USL/NASL team’s owner pony up $50 million to join MLS is promotion.

    Look at it from the standpoint of the owners :

    1 you ponied up $40 million, now the next guy just

    has to win an inferior league to get your spot ?

    2 your team will go from being worth tens ( hundreds with Seattle ) of millions of dollars to practically zero because you have a bad season ?

    Yeah, Joe Roth, RedBull Inc, AEG are ALL on board with that !

  2. Rochester left because it just made sense to do so. It more then met the requirements to be in a so called “D2” league…..after Montreal leaves for MLS , you basically have a league that draws 1K or less…TRAFFIC is holding the league up right now, none of the teams have any kind of stability …..not saying USL-pro is any more stable, but the quality of the teams will be just fine, and most USL-pro teams will draw more then NASL teams next year and the following years,especially after Montreal departs…basic requirements for D2 league is ….5K stadium…20 million net worth of ownership group….and 750,000 metro area population….none of the requirements matter to the fans except maybe having a stadium that looks nice for soccer. NASL has good intentions,there just over there heads and trying to save face right now. They probably will get D2 sanctioned , and thats great if it really matters .

  3. I’m not sold on the Silverbacks being back in business next year. There has been no statements from the Silverbacks….you would thing that news like this would at least be on their website, but yet there is nothing. Something doesn’t add up.

  4. They are not “automatically the third division”, they applied for third division status. It was a way for them to get around the second division requirements.

  5. Or, instead, of having the group of teams with the best paperwork submitted become the second division, we could have pro/rel so what teams in what division is decided by performance. I know it’s not practical this moment…but just saying.

  6. I like your ideas. I have been thinking similarly. I could actually see the US cut into 4 regions at least. Almost like the PDL to cut travel costs. The winner of each region could go to a playoff at the end.

    I know USSF wants DIV II to be a national league, but that is the only way I see it happening. National presence, but played regionally. DIv III could be a regional only league.

  7. AAA baseball teams aren’t owned or operated by MLB or their teams. The leagues are affiliated but separate from MLB with their own group of owners. The MLB and minor league teams have agreements…one provides players and coaching oversight while the other provides the players a specific level of play, a place to play, and in some cases, a place to live. The minor league teams receive some compensation but still have to sell tickets, find sponsors, etc. to pay employees and some players (not all necessarily come from the big club), promote the team, keep the ballpark looking nice, and maybe make a sheckle or two.

  8. While we need a true second division…having one on a national scale is problematic. The expense of travel was a big part of Cleveland’s demise; Pittsburgh, Richmond and Charlotte all dropped to have a chance at breaking even or making a bit of money. Buses are much cheaper than airplanes. The WPS has the same problem. The quickest way to become a millionaire…buy a soccer team when you’re a multi-millionaire.

    MLS wrestles with the travel expense…it will be awhile before they can afford to underwrite a league below them.

  9. Only in the standard footnote. Rochester’s in there as well, and they’ve announced they’re going to be in USL PRO. So being listed in that particular bit doesn’t mean anything. Sadly.

  10. Agreed! I’ve been hoping for a while that they’d go that direction but I’ve never seen anyone else mention it. Seems to make the most sense. There are a lot of cities that want to be a part of MLS but anything more than 20 clubs would be too much. An MLS 2nd division would be the perfect way to go. And with MLS running it, at least you know that it would be stable.

  11. You can forget about CPB. They are done and dusted. Couldn’t even pay the bill for scarves they bought before/during the season. It’s not “official” yet, but this will do. RIP CPB.

  12. AC St. Louis and CPB were not included in the 8 team sanctioning bid. Looks like the NASL bid is heading forward without them.

    I dont see St. Louis jumping up in some haphazard attempt at MLS expansion or being welcome in USL Pro. Would be sad to see that market misfire so badly. Still a lot of quality soccer in Maryland without CPB though.

    Very excited to see movement in Atlanta.

  13. Anything to create a stable 2nd division. Do these clubs have academies as well? It would be great to mine the talent in smaller markets (which actually contain pretty big cities). The expanded talent pool, with the opportunity to learn from seasoned, if not spectacular, professionals is probably one of the better aspects of the NASL/USL/Div2.

    Pro/rel would be great, but convincing owners to endanger their clubs in a relegation battle after shelling out a $40M franchising fee will be tough. In my dream world MLS, there are 2 to 3 divisions with expansions entering in the lowest division at no cost, then fighting their way up.

  14. You’ve got…

    A.C. St. Louis
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Carolina RailHawks
    Crystal Palace Baltimore
    FC Edmonton
    Miami FC
    Montreal Impact
    NSC Minnesota Stars
    Puerto Rico Islanders
    FC Tampa Bay

    2012 – San Antonio
    2013 – ??? (I’d guess Ottawa, perhaps)

  15. This NASL debacle and the Sounders moving up to MLS ruined the very successful USL Div 2 Cleveland City Stars. Someone within USSF/MLS needs to do what needs to be done to get a pro team back in Cleveland. We perenially produce some of the best high school and college teams – it is an area that deserves a pro team. The historical results of pro soccer teams in Cleveland show this.

  16. A second division at a national level can only be done by MLS everyone else just doesn’t have the resources to pull it off. Until MLS gets to the point that they can now turn their attention to creating their own second divsion.
    I say make DIV2 in the interim a two league system east and west with inter league play in the summer. Reduce travel costs and make a 5000 Seat SSS as a minimum requirement. Cookie cut these venues make them all Similar to Blackbaud in Charleston or like Atlanta. I think the reason all these second division teams fail is because of travel cost.

  17. Yea why not, set them up like AAA Baseball. Great way to develop young talent and bring professional soccer to smaller markets. Yes please.

  18. Everything except promotion/relegation. Although if a MLS team were to fold up they could easily be replaced by the team from the second division with the most success.

    Although when I think about it, I don’t know if I want the MLS to decide if 2nd division players can go overseas/etc.

  19. Once MLS hits 20 teams they should start their own 2nd division (MLS2) using the same business model as MLS but on a smaller scale to take teams to smaller markets. That way Open Cup becomes better, makes loan moves easier, and opens the door to promotion/relegation.


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