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Commissioner: NASL does not want to be an affiliated developmental league

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NASL commissioner Bill Peterson doesn’t believe the new USL-MLS partnership will affect his league at all.

“We’re concerned about building our business, connecting with fans and having some very competitive games,” said Peterson, who runs what’s officially recognized as North America’s second division.

On Wednesday, MLS announced a partnership with the third-division USL Pro. MLS teams can affiliate with USL Pro teams, start their own USL Pro affiliates, or keep their current reserve setups, with games scheduled against USL Pro teams. Canadian Soccer Association President Victor Montagliani has stated that if the three Canadian MLS teams launch affiliates in Canada, they would be seen as part of those clubs’ structures and would not be sanctioned as Div. 3 clubs in this country.

Peterson said that NASL does not have an interest in being an affiliated minor or developmental league.

“They (USL and MLS) are sophisticated people,” said Peterson. “They know what’s good for them. And for them, they decided to change into a model that’s more of a developmental league. Our teams are in it to win it. What they’ve done here is create a developmental league, or more like baseball, a minor-league system. We don’t want to change course for our players, fans. For us, we want excellent competition, and our priority is not to be a developmental league, but a league where you want to win.”

He warned that players who are signed to low-end entry-level MLS deals may also find their options are even more limited than before. Instead of being waived and having the chance to find work, they could end up being stashed in USL, with no hope of getting back to the top tier.

“From the MLS side of things, I can see why this good for them. Each team can have more players under contract. They can hold on to more players. But, for the players, this limits their free-market options, when they find that they have been relegated to playing for a minor-league team.”

NASL will launch its new split-season format in 2013. The spring season will begin with seven teams. The expansion New York Cosmos will join for the fall session. The Puerto Rico Islanders, who dropped out to reorganize their operations, may or may not be back for the fall session. The winners of the spring and fall leagues will face each other in the Soccer Bowl.

“Puerto Rico is making some progress,” said Peterson. “It’s going to come down to timing. It’s a question if they can get everything done in time, before we release the fall schedule. If they don’t get it together, they will be pushed back to next spring.”

Peterson didn’t say this — but there is a feeling around NASL that not too many tears would be shed if the Islanders didn’t come back. The other teams would be freed of their most expensive, punishing road trip of the season. And, with Indianapolis, Ottawa, New York Cosmos and the D.C. suburbs all coming into the league over the next two seasons, losing one distant market is a tradeoff many would be willing to make.


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44 Comments

  1. Fabricio

    June 4, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Oculus, the NY Cosmos do have an academy system that mirrors Europeans teams. The MLS academy system is piss poor which is why you hardly see any players from the MLS academy playing pro, so don’t talk out of your ass. The NASL was formed in 2008 not two years ago. You will see NASL compete alongside MLS teams in next year’s Champions’ League.

    Reply

  2. Ken Jamieson

    February 5, 2013 at 5:51 am

    MLS has been operating a reserve division for a few years now. It has been plagued by rescheduling, cancellations and overall lack of interest by fans and the clubs that run the teams. By abdicating responsibility for running this league to USL, MLS clubs are merely pawning off their responsibility. USL actually believes it is gaining a leg up on the NASL in this transaction when, in reality, they are losing credibility and autonomy by entering into this arrangement with MLS. Cities that hitherto thought they could demonstrate to MLS their fitness for expansion (i.e., Orlando) will now be lumped in with MLS reserve sides populated by players not good enough for real professional soccer.
    Another aspect of this will be the gradual replacement of USL-Pro franchises with MLS reserve sides. How long will the Los Angeles Blues survive in a league with reserve sides from the Galaxy and Chivas USA? Already the Blues struggle to attract more than a couple hundred fans a game. It is only a matter of time before USL-Pro becomes the MLS Reserve Division in everything but name. Thus the only league that will provide fans outside MLS markets with live professional soccer will be the NASL.

    Reply

    • wesbadia

      February 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      There are at least two top European leagues that see their first division reserve teams play in lower divisions within the country: Spain, Germany. Both of these systems have operated smoothly and largely as intended when they were created. The third division teams do not “lose credibility” because of second tier MLS players playing against them. At the same time, I’d argue that they don’t gain too much from it other than increased competition.

      Also, I fail to see how it would cost the USL-Pro teams their “fitness for expansion” when they’re proving they can compete with at least MLS reserves. If anything, the point you make argues directly against your previous point about losing credibility. How does the inclusion of reserve teams (which you accuse of watering down competition, assuming that they’re lower quality than USL) cause lost credibility on the part of USL while also convincing Garber against MLS expansion in those cities? They’re juxtaposed thoughts. Either the reserves are quality sides and they attract more fans from USL cities for those games (thus raising awareness for USL), or they prove to be subpar by which causes USL’s profile to be raised because they’re “legitimately competing with players from a top flight club”. It’s a win-win to me.

      The worst that could happen would be the USL teams lose miserably to the MLS reserves, but the last time I checked on-field performance wasn’t a requirement for MLS promotion (take Montreal in their final NASL season as an example). What Garber & Co look at is the viability of the business model and management/ownership. Almost always are the technical and coaching staffs replaced when teams are promoted to MLS; not to mention an overhaul of the roster. And, lest we forget that USL and NASL teams have readily beaten some top MLS squads in USOC over the last several years. I don’t think competition against reserves will be an issue…

      If anything, added competition will make USL-Pro more accountable for their player management and acquisitions. Even if half the league is made up of MLS reserve teams, the immensely added quality to the league (I’m assuming) will be paramount to raising the quality of both leagues. So many people forget the value of increased competition. In the business world (including sports), it’s everything. Consumers of soccer will be better off, as will the quality of the game in the US and Canada. After all, all sport is a competition; more of it will make it better for everyone.

      Reply

      • thomas

        February 5, 2013 at 7:15 pm

        there’s several major qualitative differences between ‘B’ teams in the lower leagues of Spain and Germany, and the ‘reserve’ teams in US lower leagues.

        ‘B’ teams are operated as independent clubs for registration purposes, they are legally restricted from promotion, and there’s some question over whether they can survive the implementation of new Financial Fair Play regulations.

        MLS ‘reserves’ in USL are specifically not independent, are structurally prevented from promotion and will unfairly benefit from the parent business.

        In other words the Euro model promotes competition, the MLS model hinders competition.

        If MLS was more concerned with player development than control of the market, then training coaches would be a higher priority and loaning young players to lower league clubs wouldn’t be seen as a weakness.

        Reply

        • wesbadia

          February 5, 2013 at 7:44 pm

          Firstly, you make an unconvincing argument of why the MLS/USL model hinders competition. You provide no evidence or even logical reasoning for it. A mere statement doesn’t make it so.

          Secondly, there is very LITTLE difference between the European “B team” (as you call them) and the MLS reserve teams and how they both operate in the lower leagues. Contrary to what you said, European “B teams” are allowed promotion. The stipulation is that they cannot be promoted into the same division as the “A team”. Thus, 2.Koln cannot be promoted to 2.Bundesliga when their parent team (1.Koln) is playing in 2.Bundesliga. This would be virtually mirrored by the MLS/USL model, granted actual promotion/relegation does not exist in American soccer, but if you view expansion as actual promotion of a well-run organization, then this is to be true.

          Thirdly, the finances of a “B team” in Europe may be held separately, but the personnel are very much interchangeable, and the mechanics of the relationship operate very much like a reserve team. I do not see how you can spin reality to try to mean what you’re wanting it to mean…

          Fourthly, reserves “unfairly benefitting” from their parent team is unlikely. If anything, the reserve teams will actually incur more costs under this model because of increased travel. As it stood in the past years, the MLSRL was split into dual leagues and did not play inter-league games. Thus, western teams only played western teams, likewise with eastern teams. Now, you have the Colorado Reserves traveling to Harrisburg, PA to play. At the same time, you’re making a team like LA or Phoenix (the former of which have had immense travel woes in the past) actually REDUCE their costs because they’ve picked up an additional team in their region to play in meaningful games. Moreover, as the partnership progresses by presumably fully incorporating MLS reserve teams into full schedules with the USL, travel costs will become even more mitigated for many of the USL teams.

          Finally, this partnership actually promotes the player loans to lower divisions, as you’ve tried to make as an argument against the MLS. Under the agreement, MLS teams can elect to loan out up to four players to their affiliate teams in the USL. This is a huge step in the right direction, and I cannot see how this isn’t expanded upon and emphasized even more in the future as things progress with the agreement.

          I honestly don’t understand the anti-sentiments towards this agreement. It’s a blatant win-win for MLS and USL. Like I’ve said before, the only one that will lose here is NASL, but that’s more to their own doing by not wanting to cooperate than the MLS/USL model set up in opposition to the 2nd Division.

          Reply

          • thomas

            February 6, 2013 at 12:53 pm

            that’s complete and utter nonsense.

            Rather than contradicting what I wrote, you actually prove by your deliberate miscomprehension that you can’t read properly, by the length of your reply that you can’t write properly and by your desperation to prejudge the outcome that you don’t think clearly.

            I’ll suggest to you that the real test will be how many upsets occur in the USOC. How many USL teams will beat NASL teams, and how many USL teams will beat MLS teams?

            As the link-up means fewer fully-independent teams, less competition and fewer meaningful matches any advantages to player development will be to the detriment of club development.

            That’s not win/win for MLS/USL, it’s extra time and penalties at best. Clearly your standard for success isn’t high, and with fanboys like you it’s no wonder US soccer is so far behind and struggling to catch up.

            Just one other point, the biggest single differentiator is that both ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams also play reserves, MLS reserves are their reserves.

            That Bayern Munich or Real Madrid successfully operate 4 pro teams on one budget (rather than failing to run 2-on-2) is to the advantage of those individual clubs but damages the German and Spanish league systems in the global market – because reserve teams are less attractive. Imagine Manchester Utd bought Manchester City to operate it as a ‘B’ team… no true fan of the sport would be celebrating that, and certainly not Richard Scudamore’s accountant!

          • thomas

            February 6, 2013 at 1:05 pm

            on the practicalities of running a reserve league, integration with pro teams undermines the credibility of the pro clubs without advancing the reserve teams.

            The front-line economics simply don’t work because a reserve team is by definition not as good as the first team, and is therefore naturally less attractive to fans. I mean, even Portland’s hardcore didn’t attend in the same numbers last season.

            To all intents and purposes a reserve team should be treated as amateur and comply with amateur regulations. If MLS reserves are to play in USL then the ‘Pro’ monicker is a joke: they’re not competing to be the best, they’re competing to be second worst.

          • wesbadia

            February 6, 2013 at 4:45 pm

            Contrary to everything you’ve said here thus far, your ad hominem attacks degrade your reputation for having any cohesive argument. They overshadow any logical points you may have made by making you look like you need to resort to personal attacks about “reading comprehension” and “proper writing” and “clarity of thought”. You’re undermining yourself. Moreover, they have nothing to do with the points I raise or the arguments I make… which, contrary to what you may think, are NOT, actually, are wholly untrue. Anyone here, I believe, would agree with me that I AM displaying a comprehension for reading and writing properly (I fail to see how a length of writing indicates my inability to write…), as well as my ability to think clearly (ie, rationally and logically) through arguments.

            Thus, I refuse to engage in a conversation with someone who would stoop to personal judgments instead of the facts of the matter… regardless of whether or not you actually included facts or rational arguments in what you wrote. Consider this a display of free market engagement; I’m not willing to cooperate with someone who has a lousy attitude and isn’t respectful to the people he engages with.

          • thomas

            February 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm

            is that some sort of twisted joke? If so I applaud your irony, if not I suggest a little bit of self-awareness would help you see how your words apply more accurately to yourself.

  3. Jayme

    January 25, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    I think the Nasl is in good shape with 3 teams coming in next year things are not that bad.

    Reply

  4. Herb

    January 25, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    PRI should join USL. Teams could save costs by combining PRI and Antigua on the same road trip.

    Heck, could be the start of a Carib division!

    As for USL vs NASL , somebody should do the research:

    1. Most players to MLS
    2. Attendance averages
    3. Head to head team performance, Open Cup and exhibition

    BTW Orlando plays Rowdies in the i4 derby in march, may also meet in Disney ESPN next month

    Reply

  5. Brian Quarstad

    January 25, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    I just want to make a clarification here. The BQ who is posting is not bq from IMS. Man! There’s not a whole lot of us around. BQ? Really?

    Reply

  6. wesbadia

    January 25, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I take issue with the comment about Puerto Rico being such a long distance from most clubs in the league. As evidenced by this map (https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209367662850509971604.0004ba353c93ee6677edf&msa=0&ll=37.300275,-87.275391&spn=52.159312,79.013672), you can see that Edmonton (the very club the author is covering) is actually the furthest team in the league. I have issues with Puerto Rico being in NASL for many reasons (distance being one of them), but I think it’s highly hypocritical to lambst PRI when Edmonton is the biggest geographical obstacle in running the NASL.

    Reply

    • Anthony C

      February 6, 2013 at 7:03 am

      The NASL should start considering and implementing western expansion. We have 4 new eastern teams entering the league but nothing out west. The closest team to FC Edmonton is Minnesota and that can’t be viable long term.

      Reply

  7. Michael Farrow (@MichaelJFarrow)

    January 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    The NASL is clearly just a continuation of the APSL. If the A-League and USL First Division could make that claim, the NASL can now.

    The USL are like a cancerous tumour. It would be painful to get rid of, incredible difficult to extricate them from the body of American soccer but, in the medium-to-long term, it would be of massive benefit to US soccer. This is just another organ they’ve managed to latch onto.

    Reply

  8. William

    January 24, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    This NASL is different from the original NASL. I don’t know if this will hurt or help the NASL. At this point, the NASL will likely just turn into a springboard league for the MLS.

    Reply

  9. footy

    January 24, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    I think the commish is right: it serves more purpose to the MLS teams than it does for the USL teams. It downgrades the league as a whole. They only get players on loan-deals but if you look at the entry-level salaries in MLS, they can’t be paying much less in USL OR NASL.

    I also believe that MLS teams will send players on loan deals more and more. And they will send them to NASL teams regardless of any affiliations. The need to stack-up talent and those players have to play at the highest level possible to develop.

    Reply

    • wesbadia

      January 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      Has it ever occurred to you that maybe the “highest level possible” IS the lower division? Why would an MLS team which has players making hundreds of thousands of dollars each (and which most of those players actually deserve based on skill) want to supplant those players with young, inexperienced rookies coming out of a broken NCAA system (mostly) when they can loan them to USL sides to have them develop over the course of a 28 or 30 game season?

      Reply

      • wesbadia

        January 25, 2013 at 4:23 pm

        My point is that without a loaning of players to lower division sides, those fringe, entry-level players would be playing 10 games against fellow reserves for a meaningless Reserve League trophy at the end of a shortened season. That’s what they’ve been doing for years now, and it’s not working. Clubs have expressed that. Players have expressed that. Getting them games in a league with teams that are actually vying for a legitimate trophy (as well as Open Cup competitions) will develop them more than 10 games in a RL season. Just ask Wondolowski or Larentowicz or Dike. There are plenty more like him all over this sport.

        Reply

  10. Oculus Sententia

    January 24, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    This man is a joke, NASL will never be on MLS level. Nor will you ever see players choose to go to NASL, over MLS. MLS, is 18 years old. NASL is 2 years old, and a 2nd division. His comments sound bitter, and angry. The fact is no matter how much the owners have in NASL, doesn’t mean they will survive. USL will have better players, which means a better product.

    Reply

    • Alberto

      January 24, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      Oculus don’t talk out of your own knowledge , NASL is way older than MLS , Pele played in New York Cosmos as well as Beckenbauer , and that surely was not 2 years ago.

      Reply

      • jpan007

        January 25, 2013 at 3:47 am

        Oh yeah he forgot NASL and Cosmos folded back then.

        Reply

      • Oculus Sententia

        January 25, 2013 at 4:41 am

        NASL is not way older then MLS, its not the original NASL. This NASL has only been around, for two years after their split from the USL.

        Reply

    • tamparaindancer

      January 24, 2013 at 11:35 pm

      Down the road, once MLS & the NASL have reached their maximum number of teams in their respective leagues….plus a few seasons more, I personally believe that we will see less and less difference in the quality of play between the NASL and the MLS.

      Reply

      • Oculus Sententia

        January 25, 2013 at 4:42 am

        NASL, will always be a step down from MLS. MLS is 18 years old. The NASL is 2 years old, with no academy systems, and a second division.

        Reply

    • jedinathan

      January 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      Obviously there are no documented examples, but I would be very suprised if there weren’t already players who have already made a decision to play in the NASL rather than seeking an entry level contract with the MLS. Easy call: there is no salary cap in the NASL, while there is in the MLS.
      Does this make it a better league? Not currently, but there is no reason to think that the NASL can’t compete on a close level to the MLS.
      The USL does not have better players. Simple as that. If you want to compete at a high level, why would you consciously stay at a lower level? This deal is good for USL owners only, as they benefit from the increased marketing, as well as some money for essentially training the MLS reserves. How many players have moved directly from the USL to the MLS, as compared to players going from the NASL to the MLS, over the past 2 years?

      Reply

      • wesbadia

        January 25, 2013 at 4:46 pm

        You seem to think that by the USSF granting the title of “Division Two” to the NASL that they automatically have higher quality than the USL. But lest we forget how that granting of title came about. When NASL split from USL in 2009, the USL voluntarily adopted the 3rd division title to prevent a potentially costly battle with NASL for the 2nd division name. The USL has been firmly established for over a decade as a legitimate American soccer league. They knew their overall quality was better than an upstart league which lost three of its USL teams to MLS in three years’ time, as well as missing out on the 2011 USOC competition because of USSF sanctioning.

        Where the USL and its teams have academy systems, direct contact with a REAL developmental league (USL-PDL), as well as stronger ties with the communities they reside in given the fact that most teams have existed for over a decade (some for two decades); the NASL is struggling to build fan bases in markets with older teams (ie, Carolina, Florida, Minnesota, etc). NASL teams also are not showing the initiative of establishing academies or connections to international teams (like MLS and USL teams have been doing). And, to boot, every new franchise that has joined NASL since San Antonio has expressed interest in one day being in MLS, which they quite obviously see as the nation’s top flight.

        There’s an obvious breakdown between the NASL leadership and its teams if the latter do not see the former as a potential 1st Division.

        To address your questions about players going from 3rd-1st or 2nd-1st — I don’t know. But seeing as how you’re raising this specific issue, I think you should be the one providing the evidence of what you’re trying to suggest; that more MLS players are coming from NASL than USL. I would just say that looking over the current rosters of the NASL teams it’s apparent that the league has a glut of former MLS players than anything else. So, using your own logic about the titles of division (and to come full circle here), what does that say about MLS stacking up against NASL if MLS cast offs like Zack Schilawsky or Jeff Cunningham or Pablo Campos who couldn’t hack it in America’s first division are now making huge strides in America’s second division?

        And, in turn, what does that say about MLS’ willingness to operate with USL while the NASL “regrettably declines” any type of partnership? If the NASL fails, it’ll fail because of its stubbornness to accept their place in American soccer and to partner with fellow (ie, NOT rival) leagues.

        Reply

        • Steven Sandor

          January 25, 2013 at 5:00 pm

          Just as a moderator, I think I need to note that FC Edmonton has a very strong youth/academy/residency program.

          Reply

          • wesbadia

            January 25, 2013 at 5:14 pm

            That may very well be. But what other NASL team does? Meanwhile every single USL-Pro club has an academy, most have residency programs. Even the upstart Phoenix FC has one.

          • BQ

            January 25, 2013 at 6:20 pm

            Very strong is an overstatement. Barca and RM have “very strong” youth academies. FCE doesn’t.

            Producing players to play at a low level in D2, doesn’t matter much. Until FCE starts placing players in MLS or good clubs in Europe, you cannot call it very strong.

          • thomas

            February 1, 2013 at 10:45 pm

            I’ve just read this article about match-fixing in the CSL
            http://www.cbc.ca/sports/soccer/opinion/2013/01/csa-cuts-ties-with-canadian-soccer-league.html

            It mentions the ‘Easton Report’ into a prospective professional soccer league by former international James Easton, which is due to be published shortly
            http://rethinkmanagementgroup.com/case_studies

            What are your thoughts on this?

          • Steven Sandor

            February 1, 2013 at 11:42 pm

            This report isn’t out yet, I haven’t had the chance to read it, so I can’t really say what I think about it. I don’t want to be jumping the gun speculating on what’s in there.

            What I will say is this: We already have Canadian Division 1 and 2 teams playing in American leagues. Even in hockey, our so-called national sport, we have a minority of Canadian teams in a league that moved its headquarters to NYC a long time ago. To me, a drive for a national league can only be successful if we eventually say what we want a national Div. 1, not 2 or 3. If this would be the first part of a bigger plan, I am intrigued. If it’s yet another Canadian stab to be OK with mediocrity (why have a national Div. 1 when we can have a 2 or 3 instead) then, well, that’s dangerous to me.

            If there’s no bigger plan in place, to me, it would he exceptionally hypocritical and paternal to force Edmonton, Ottawa or any other team aspiring for that level into an all-Canadian league while TFC, the Whitecaps and Montreal get free passes to play in MLS.

        • thomas

          January 25, 2013 at 6:03 pm

          What does it say about NASL stacking up against USL if MLS cast-offs like Zack Schilawsky or Jeff Cunningham or Pablo Campos choose D2 over D3?

          Suddenly the real test is USOC.

          Tampa Bay Rowdies vs VSI Tampa? Orlando vs San Antonio? some tasty matches in prospect!

          Reply

          • wesbadia

            January 25, 2013 at 6:28 pm

            It says that NASL is, indeed, a second division league… and should act the same size as its britches instead of attempting to supplant the 1st Division MLS. In five years, NASL will be kicking themselves for having turned down a cooperative agreement with the other American leagues.

      • BQ

        January 25, 2013 at 6:38 pm

        “Obviously there are no documented examples, but I would be very suprised if there weren’t already players who have already made a decision to play in the NASL rather than seeking an entry level contract with the MLS. Easy call: there is no salary cap in the NASL, while there is in the MLS.”

        There is no salary cap in the NASL for a simple reason. They don’t pay anyone enough to warrant it! NASL payrolls are in the 300k to 600k range. Do you realize a number of players retired from the NASL this year to take actual higher paying jobs in the real world? It is hard to live on NASL wages. Almost all have to take other jobs.

        Back in the old A-League days, there were some players who stayed there because they could make a decent salary and also play indoors. That doesn’t happen today. MLS salaries have gone up while D2 salaries haven’t really. Just look at NASL rosters. They are filled with MLS castoffs who couldn’t hack it in MLS. And shouldn’t any player always seek the higher level?

        “Does this make it a better league? Not currently, but there is no reason to think that the NASL can’t compete on a close level to the MLS.”

        Yeah, there is a reason; money and logic. One of which you really seem short on. The NASL doesn’t have the money to compete with MLS. End of story. MLS will pick off the best NASL markets(Atlanta, Minny, Florida, SA) and there will be nothing left. The NASL can’t even average 5,000 a game and you think they can produce payrolls and budgets close to MLS? No offense, but I think you need to get checked out. Something isn’t right.

        “Simple as that. If you want to compete at a high level, why would you consciously stay at a lower level?”

        Wait, didn’t you say some NASL players were doing that(without any proof)? Consciously staying at a lower level? You just contradicted yourself.

        And there is little difference between USL and NASL players. MLS is the huge jump up.

        “How many players have moved directly from the USL to the MLS, as compared to players going from the NASL to the MLS, over the past 2 years?”

        Not as many as you think. And it is not enough. Which tells you about the level of the NASL. The NASL is morphing into a castoff home for bad MLS players. Even their best players were MLS flops like Barbara and Campos. While the USL/MLS-Pro is going to be where all the young talent is.

        Reply

        • Steven Sandor

          January 25, 2013 at 6:53 pm

          BQ, again, acting as moderator, I can say you would be surprised to find out just how much some NASL players do get paid. There are players in this league who would cause problems for MLS because, if they moved, they would take a pay cut. Yes, it’s a minority of players, but there are some making far more than they would get in MLS.

          Reply

    • thomas

      January 25, 2013 at 5:56 pm

      man you are boring. The soccer wars have to end sometime.

      Legally, NASL is where MLS wants to be in 20 years time, economically MLS is where NASL wants to be in 20 years time. The different sides had different starting points, so they each must take a different route to the destination of an open market and free competition.

      USA won’t win the World Cup until then, so stop stoking.

      Reply

      • BQ

        January 25, 2013 at 6:16 pm

        “Legally, NASL is where MLS wants to be in 20 years time”

        Please explain since this makes no sense. Legally, the NASL doesn’t even met D2 standards and needs waivers.

        “The different sides had different starting points, so they each must take a different route to the destination of an open market and free competition.”

        Do you even know what the hell the NASL is? It is a D2 minor league. You are putting it on the same level as MLS which is insane. I repeat, INSANE! MLS is a MAJOR league.

        There is no “soccer war”. Even there was a war between MLS and the NASL, it would be a very short one. And we wouldn’t have to worry about the NASL ever again.

        Reply

        • thomas

          January 27, 2013 at 1:20 am

          hahaha, the terminology ‘major league’, ‘minor league’ and ‘bush league’ are inadequate descriptions in the context of a global sport.

          MLS is not ‘major league’ on the world stage, either in pure financial terms or in sporting terms. The salary cap doesn’t compare with other US sports and on the field of play hasn’t yet even produced a participant in the Club World Cup from the weakest regional federation.

          Sorry to laugh at you, but you really should take your narrow-minded blinkers off!

          Reply

      • wesbadia

        January 25, 2013 at 6:21 pm

        The “soccer wars” are being perpetuated by NASL and their hell-bent commissioner to go head-to-head with MLS to be the number one division in the US/Canada. Both MLS and USL have approached NASL on multiple occasions to partner, but NASL has repeatedly rebuffed those offers. They’ve set their course and made it clear. This is very much a one-sided war; NASL vs everyone else.

        Reply

        • BQ

          January 25, 2013 at 6:42 pm

          In that case. R.I.P. NASL This would be like the Faroe Islands going against the U.S.

          It is hard to go to war when most of your troops badly want to join the other side. Everyone knows that is what the Cosmos are doing. Playing games.

          Reply

          • wesbadia

            January 25, 2013 at 7:17 pm

            Exactly my point. The only one picking fights is the NASL leadership. Everyone else wants a collective partnership with the varying divisions. Which are sanctioned by USSF, I might add. Something the NASL separated itself from USL to obtain.

        • thomas

          January 27, 2013 at 1:12 am

          This is about more than single-entity and franchising vs independent clubs.

          The current MLS model was the necessary response to the failure of the original NASL. It failed not simply because of finanical over-reach, but because the TV execs who ran the league were defeated in their failed bid for the 1986 World Cup when Fifa decided to retain control over the rules of the game and refused to introduce quarters, a countdown clock, 25-yd shootouts and the player unions refused to accept injury-inducing fake pitches or their international retirement that playing in NASL meant as they were required to comply with the scheduling calendar.

          MLS 1.0 was failing until similar rule changes were abandoned and Garber was brought in on the basis that he would move towards integration with the international game.

          Garber continues to make concessions to Fifa and the international consciousness, but is steering a middle course in order to also appease the national consciousness of US sports audiences and win new fans for the game.

          The criticisms against ‘Europeanising’ the game are false – the necessary moves are about ‘internationalising’ soccer in the US.

          So the soccer war isn’t MLS vs NASL, it’s USSF vs Fifa, and in that context there’s only one winner.

          However, Fifa is a corrupt beast and therefore cannot act in a heavy-handed manner – its internal divisions are recognition that, for example, it would be counterproductive and self-defeating at this stage to impose sanctions on MLS for failing to comply with regulations outlawing trans-national leagues, rather it approaches the Canadian problem by supporting the game in ways which national leagues can emerge organically. And this can be seen in Montagliani’s refusal to sanction the reserve league – to have done so would stunt growth of the game under his watch and make his position untenable.

          The next challenge to MLS will come when the CSA gets more assertive and moves towards a fully professional national league are irresistible when it can point to 16 eligible participating teams in the Voyageurs Cup. Concacaf is a natural ally as it seeks to strengthen its’ regional club competitions by finding qualification routes for additional Canadian clubs – why is there only one Canadian qualifier in CCL?

          So, how long before Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal decide they can sell their MLS license for a massive profit to, say, Orlando or San Antonio, to dominate a fully-national CSL? Will Concacaf offer bait by giving winners of CSL qualifying positions? Will this be large enough without big TV deals for CCL? A large national TV audience is waiting for a US winner of CCL as validation of MLS and recent developments, and RSL’s run shows this is only a matter of time.

          In 2014 Ottawa will join NASL, making 5 professional teams in Canada, and having the knock-on effect of expanding the current 4-team Voageurs Cup. 5-into-4 doesn’t go, and 8 teams make a pro-CSL almost viable.

          Garber has tacitly conceded the logic of this path by backing rivalries, and this explains his tactics regarding the Cascadia Cup, essentially seeking to lock-in the Whitecaps. The choice is a matter for Vancouver fans – is Cascadia more important than Canada? There is no Cascadian national team, so the answer is emphatically ‘NO’.

          Of course everyone wants a strong D2, but that means US must want a strong Canada in the same way as Mexico needs a strong USA.

          Reply

      • culeeero

        January 25, 2013 at 6:56 pm

        Damn straight. All this posturing was trite back in 2010. We all want a strong second division, and if NASL’s goal of being as “powerful” as MLS is what it takes to make that happen, f’ing great. We all want a strong third division, and if partnering with MLS is what it takes, damn, that’s wonderful. This isn’t a pissing contest, it’s soccer.

        Reply

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