NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson doesn’t believe player quotas achieve what’s supposed to be their ultimate goal — to develop domestic players.
“We don’t think it (a limit on international players on rosters) accomplishes what it’s supposed to accomplish,” Peterson said in a season kick-off conference call on Wednesday. “We would like to see it removed.”
But he said the quotas are mandated by the U.S. Soccer Federation, and can’t be removed unless the USSF would give its blessing (not likely).
In NASL, each team can carry seven international players. In Canada, American and Canadian players are domestics. In the U.S.. American players are domestics and Canadians are internationals. But, instead of talking about those distinctions, Peterson would like to see an NASL where there are no quotas; general managers could sign the best players available.
He said an atmosphere of open competition for spots would be the best way to force domestic players to improve themselves.
The open-competition, laissez-faire take on the game was the key theme of his talk with the media. He spoke about how NASL can make itself a destination league by offering players “total free agency;” and how the competitive spirit drives the owners.
He said the NASL model gives players “more opportunities to control their own destinies.”
“We don’t concern ourselves if it is better or worse than Major League Soccer.”
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