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NASL reiterates commitment to moving forward following Rowdies, Fury departures


The NASL took a big hit on Tuesday afternoon, but those in charge of the league say they are committed to growing the league even further despite a pair of recent departures.

Both the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Ottawa Fury FC confirmed their NASL departures on Tuesday as both clubs will feature in the USL beginning in the 2017 season. The moves see the duo join Minnesota United in leaving the NASL, while several other clubs face uncertain futures due to financial issues.

With the San Francisco Deltas set to join in 2017, NASL commissioner Bill Peterson says the league remains committed to adding new teams long-term while continuing to grow through 2017 and beyond.

“As a league in North America, the NASL operates in an environment where owners are free to take their clubs wherever they choose,” Peterson said in a statement. “All we can do is acknowledge that reality and move forward with our business, which is exactly what we’re doing right now. We have never had a stronger and more unified group of owners who are committed to the league’s model, its structure, and its long-term vision. With a half-dozen serious expansion discussions in progress, the league looks forward to adding new owners who share in the Board’s vision.

“We have ambitious plans for growth, and we’re proud that the flexibility of the NASL model remains an extremely attractive proposition for investors seeking to become part of an authentic, competitive soccer league. While we don’t want to take anything away from what is sure to be another exciting postseason, we’re focused on ensuring that, in 2017, the NASL is one of the most competitive soccer leagues around.”

The NASL wraps up regular season play on Sunday.


  1. in reality it doesn’t matter weather you play in USL nasl the whole game for business soccer owners like Bill Edwards is to get to the MLS that’s where the big money is I’m happy for Tampa Bay rowdies are an American iconic soccer bran that needs to be saved for Future soccer generation aficionados…

  2. I have never been a big MLS was too tough to compete against guy. The free market leagues had the Sounders, Timbers and Whitecaps. In addition to other very well supported teams that performed very well. It was good soccer. It didn’t happen.

    The problem is, was and always will be. If people don’t feel like their team has a good shot of winning, people don’t support.

    MLS has done a great job of getting to a point where everyone knows they have a shot and they were still able to get quality into the league and make money too.

    DC worst team in the league, becomes best team in the league. Timbers don’t make the playoffs, the year after greatness. Colorado won it all and seem like a favorites to do so again. TV contracts going up exponentially. So many examples. Did the Sounders make the playoffs 8 years in a row, can you bring up examples of failures, or whine about the structure or this and that? Sure, and some very valid points can be made.

    In the end MLS has done a great job. The other leagues have failed, except USL which hitched its wagon to MLS and no one very opposed to MLS has a valid reason why. Again they had the Sounders, Timbers and Whitecaps.

  3. A continuing problem of Div 2 and 3 pro soccer is that everyone has to be on the same page in terms of current business process and future goals. If you have teams who can’t make payroll, are giving up control of the team to the league and are not committing to a performance bond for the next season, you have issues. Minor league hockey has the same problem with the multiple leagues and levels.

    An owner must decide if he/she/it is comfortable as a minor league team. I think the owners of NASL who are trying to compete with the MLS are tilting at windmills.

  4. Yeah something has to give here. This reminds me of my beloved MISL in the late 80’s before we lost everything. There are still some very good organizations and cities in the NASL that deserve to thrive. But going head to head with MLS and the USL is a futile endeavor.

    • It reminds you of a league the folded in 1980s. Yeah me too.

      I don’t think the acronym was MISL though, someone help me out. I think the Cosmos dominated it, and while other cities did well, but most did not.

      ( I wish all US soccer well, especially the leagues were it is tougher to be a fan, been there and it really separates real fans from just fans…..but this was never going to turn out well and it isn’t)

  5. 1985 called, it wants its house of cards back…

    I don’t relish this news, I just want NASL, and especially NY Cosmos, to just acknowledge the reality of today’s professional soccer landscape. You can’t even claim to be america’s second division with a straight face, so stop acting like you’re the only game in town.


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