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The SBI View: Rocco Commisso offers few new ideas, fewer details with new proposal


Rocco Commisso has some good ideas.

He wants to eliminate perceived conflicts of interest throughout America soccer. He wants to provide opportunities for lower league clubs with less financial clout so they can one day compete with the millionaires that run MLS. He wants to introduce competitive bidding for television rights, rather than funneling them all through Soccer United Marketing.

These are all fantastic ideas that can help grow American soccer, but Rocco Commisso has no idea how to make any of his ideas a reality.

Commisso published a short series of letters between him and the United States Soccer Federation on Monday and those communiques don’t paint him in a great light.

They make him look like someone who doesn’t understand the bigger picture in American soccer, and are simply an attempt to drum up rage and publicity towards the demise of the New York Cosmos, and the NASL as a whole.

Commisso’s initial letter is simply a rehashing of every issue the NASL and its supporters have brought up for years. It calls out a suspiciously close relationship between MLS and the USSF. It accuses the USSF of favoritism between the federation and the MLS/USL “cartel” that directly led to the demise of the NASL. The kicker is the demand for a promotion/relegation system put into place for the 2020 season, with no detail on how he will make that happen. It’s nothing someone familiar with the conflicts in lower league soccer hasn’t heard before.

He wants a meeting between himself and U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro, and he wants it now, which is where he truly shows his lack of awareness of the landscape in American soccer.

“In conclusion, with the support of USSF, I stand ready and willing to put capital behind an attainable plan to finally make soccer one of America’s preeminent sports,” he wrote. “My sincere hope is that this letter jump starts a productive conversation about how we can achieve that goal by working together.

“Given the time sensitivities for the 2019 season, I am available to meet with you as early as next week.”

He caps this all off by offering a cash injection of $250 million initially that he clams will balloon to $500 million through outside investment. Though, as with everything in his proposal, he offers no specific plan on how this will happen.

He wants this meeting right away, as if the USSF and its leadership have nothing better to worry about besides the fate of a mostly defunct soccer league and its marquee franchise.

The problem is, they do have better things to worry about, things that soccer fans, in general, care about a lot more. Rebuilding the U.S. Men’s National Team after their horrendous failures last fall comes immediately to mind. Finding the right coach to lead the team into the future is a large part of that mission. Then there is the issue Cordeiro is working on at this very moment: the bid to host the 2026 World Cup.

“We welcome the opportunity to re-open a dialogue and to determine whether there is a mutually agreeable path forward that does not involve a multiplicity of legal proceedings,” Cordeiro wrote in his response.

“Unfortunately, I must continue to devote myself virtually full-time to World Cup matters over next the month or more.”

This isn’t meant as a slight against Commisso or his cause, it simply reflects the issue at hand for the federation. It’s something that will be resolved in about a month and a half at FIFA’s general congress, at which point, Cordeiro will have a little more time on his hands to deal with a rebellious owner down in the lower leagues.

Cordeiro offered to send a delegation to Commisso to discuss the issue in his stead, which didn’t sit well with the Cosmos owner. He also wants something more specific than the vague end goals presented with no plan on how to get there, something Commisso thinks he shouldn’t have to provide, especially not to a bunch of representatives and not Cordeiro himself.

“I am also disappointed that your response to my letter seems to say that even a meeting with an unidentified ‘leadership team’ will not happen unless I satisfy a pre-condition—presenting you a ‘detailed’ written proposal,” Commisso wrote. “There are several reasons why we are unable to comply with that request.”

He then goes on to express concerns of confidentiality and the need for haste so that the NASL can resurrect itself for the 2019 season.

In the latest response from U.S. Soccer Federation CEO Daniel Flynn, it’s reiterated that Cordeiro is travelling for the United 2026 bid, and has no time to meet.

“I am responding to you on behalf of Mr. Cordeiro,” wrote Flynn. “As I believe he stated in his previous letter, he is traveling out of the country in support of the World Cup Bid. This week, he is between Jakarta, Copenhagen and Dubai! This pace of travel is likely to continue up to the vote on June 13.”

Which leads to Commisso’s true agenda. Yes, he wants reform for American soccer in a way that will enhance his interests as a lower league owner. Yes, he wants to see a successful national team program that can become a force in future World Cups. But that isn’t the goal of publishing these letters.

Commisso knows this meeting won’t happen in the timeline he’s asking for. He simply wants to paint the USSF as villains who are out to get him and what’s left of the NASL. It’s going to enrage the pro/rel zealots and the anti-MLS crowd. It drums up publicity, and assembles a small militia for his cause, and that’s all he wants.


  1. first, we observe that tk is serving “boo nasl” kool-aide if anyone wants some.

    my two cents: well of course, rocco is right.
    – a suspiciously close relationship between MLS and the USSF √
    – favoritism between the USSF federation and the MLS/USL “cartel” that directly led to the demise of the NASL √

    and furthermore (and i did not know this before) but if it’s true that all tv contracts must go through sum and there is currently no competitive bidding for tv rights, then the situation is far worse for nasl.

    so, what we have here is a sum/mls unified board controlling tv contracts, yes? and mls/sum like single entity and rocco likes club ownership. (his model is like a threat to their model.) so mls/sum can use their great power to reduce/eliminate tv deals for nasl, yes? and mls/sum/ussf can use their great power to change the d1/d2 requirements to further close the door on nasl, yes?

    to me, it is hard to dispute that rocco is right. basically, if rocco favored single entity, the mls/sum/ussf clan would invite him in. but rocco is a “club ownership” guy and so they use their combined and great power to shut him out. i think that’s all that’s going on here and it’s too bad.

    i disagree with those who say nasl was poorly managed. no, i think “the fix was in” for nasl. the mls/sum/ussf clan put nasl out of business. deliberate and pre-meditated. the recent nasl lawsuit against ussf was probably correct.

    recall: “NASL sues U.S. Soccer Board members, including Gulati, Garber, Cordeiro”

    “According to the NASL, the league wasn’t sanctioned due to the members’ commitments to both MLS and Soccer United Marketing.

    The complaint alleges that the defendants looked to “freeze out” MLS competitors, like the NASL, while signaling out Gulati and Garber for advancing “MLS interests while enhancing their own clout and influence”.”

    to me, rocco is probably right. his main points are probably all correct. the lawsuit is probably right. there probably is lots of conflict of interest among mls/sum/ussf. and “cooperation” amongst them with the goal to protect single entity and keep out club ownership. not sure but that might be illegal (thus the lawsuit).


    my final two cents: whether or not mr. cordeiro is too busy doing wc 2026 business travel i think is quite irrelevant. they weren’t going to listen to rocco anyway, busy or not. is that not apparent? because the fix is in, yes?

    and finally, the detailed proposal. obviously, this is just a tool to keep rocco out. they don’t even want to read it. they already know they don’t want club ownership.

    rocco said:

    ““In conclusion, with the support of USSF, I stand ready and willing to put capital behind an attainable plan to finally make soccer one of America’s preeminent sports,” he wrote. “My sincere hope is that this letter jump starts a productive conversation about how we can achieve that goal by working together.”

    and this is perfect. normally, this would be received very well. normally, this would initiate discussion with renewed enthusiasm for planning and changing things. normally, ideas would be exchanged.

    but i guess the mls/sum/ussf clan just have too much clout these days, no club ownership guys are going to have a voice here anymore, i guess.

    • and in fairness to tk, i guess i am serving “yeah nasl” kool-aide, if anyone wants some.

      • but i’m not really pro-nasl (i like both nasl and mls), i guess i’m just pro-soccer and anti-collusion. i think it’s wrong that they cooperated to eliminate nasl.

  2. Why did he pull the Cosmos out of MCU if he cared so much? He could have tried to grow and maintain the crowds. Now they are hopping between joke stadiums. He and Silva are so completely full of s**t it’s not even funny. They want a piece of the pie and they don’t want to put the effort in. Where were they in 2000, 2005, 20010 when the league needed owners!!!
    They were running other money making schemes and scams. Soccer here was still a loser. Now it’s not and the weasels want in.

    At this point, after all that has been said, and if anyone has even the slightest knowledge of the game here, its history, where it stands, and where it has come from, and you still back charlatns like Silva and Rocco then you are a complete fool. Respect is something you don’t deserve. Let the adults and people with brains handle this.

    If your lame response is he has some good ideas all I will say is that some of the greatest dictators and monsters in history all started their reigns with some good ideas…..being able to follow through, implement, persevere, and work together is where it all fell apart. Guys like Rocco and Silva are snakes. The gullible, young and ignorant who can’t understand that are the bane of society. It’s why they gravitate to the likes of these guys and politicians and salesman like Klinnsman. They are seduced by the fantasy, but have no concept of reality.

    Internet genius. Masturbating to themselves since the early 2000’s.

    • Yeah the young and ignorant and add to that list no other to Mr. Silva’s puppet :Mr. Eric ” angry ” Wynalda.

  3. What Rocks and his NASL brethren will never realize is that they are not competing with MLS. They are competing with the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, CFB, CBB, non-revenue college sports and local sports, in addition to the unlimited list of other things people can entertain themselves with online or in their local community. Maybe instead of trying to do the NASL for the 3rd time, he should do something like invest $500M in SSS stadiums for USL and USL D3 teams in return for a stake in those leagues. Something tells me he’s just going to be super mad and shout about how unfair the situation he’s in played out.

  4. LOL…..he has good ideas….but can’t make them real!!!!!!!!! That should be the sig for every internet genius (hahahahaha) out there. That is why Rocco’s aidience are the young, emotional, ignorant, and delusional. Real adults know fanatsy and delusion and don’t waste time on things like this. Perfect for the net and to manipulate the dullards and get them riled up! Post, post, post…..sites like this love u. U will post relentlessly and give them the traffic they whore after, but adults know better. I’m sorry your eo is hurt Rocco. U foolishly lost a ton on the Cosmos venture. U should have vetted properly, but you let your ego and emotions (and slanted/twisted nostalgia) take over and you look like a fool.
    Now you want to rant and litigate to find a way to get your money back. It is what rich folks do when they make blunders like yours. The little kids and emotionally limited and ignorant won’t help ya. Your lawsuits won’t either. I think you are a good guy who made a big mistake, but that is your fult. Silva is simply a snake who has always wanted to find a way in on the money here on the cheap,,,after everyone else did all of the hard work.

    I think you just let your emotions, nostalgia and ego get in the way….and now you are trying to find/force a way to recoup.

    We know you will never do a real interview with anyone who will call you out, or ask real questions, because you and your hilarious, contradicting, absurd rants are to easy to pick apart… internet kids, clowns and the ignorant are your self made audience. How sad.

    Your fault. No one else. Whine, cry and litigate! All u have now.


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