Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton FC Edmonton remains defiant: Owner remains confident that there will be an NASL in 2017

FC Edmonton remains defiant: Owner remains confident that there will be an NASL in 2017


The message from FC Edmonton co-owner Tom Fath is the same as it was at this time last week — that he fully expects that there will be an NASL in 2017, and that Eddies will be playing in that league.

“I am still fully committed to playing in NASL,” Fath said Thursday.

“The plan going forward is that the league will be playing in 2017.”

This stance is consistent with the fact that the team’s players are making public appearances at the new team shop, that coach Colin Miller has been signed to a three-year extension, and that the team is looking to hire new staff members.

Fath wouldn’t comment any further on the topic, keeping to his policy of not speaking publicly about league business.

Meanwhile, reports indicate that all but four of the remaining NASL teams are nearing a deal with USL, which would see them jump leagues. New York Cosmos players and staff posted their fond farewells on Twitter after they were informed that they were now free agents. 

Putting it bluntly; in the blogosphere and Twitterverse, the NASL’s demise isn’t being discussed — it’s being treated as an accepted fact. But, in Edmonton, far removed from the United States Soccer Federation/USL/NASL discussions, talk about these troubles has been limited to the Supporters’ Group and, well, this site. Mainstream media isn’t touching this story, yet.

After all, it’s hockey season — and Christmas is coming, which means any Oilers coverage in Edmonton will be augmented by stories about… the World Junior Hockey Championship.

Meanwhile,  USSF has delayed any decision about divisional statuses until next week. Going into this off-season, USL — which features a mix of independent clubs and teams affiliated with MLS clubs — was Division 3. NASL was Division 2. The Ottawa Fury will move from NASL to USL for the 2017 campaign — a move that was announced near the end of the 2016 NASL season, the same day that the Tampa Bay Rowdies announced that they would move to USL.

But, from the Canadian perspective, the divisional distinction is a superficial discussion. The Canadian Soccer Association’s stance is that these USSF distinctions really don’t matter in Canada, as all major professional clubs can compete for the Canadian Championship. 

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  1. Ken Jamieson

    January 2, 2017 at 9:44 am

    The NASL was undermined by the New York Cosmos and Traffic Sports, both of which put the league on an ill-advised collision course with MLS by trying to compete with the Division I league. In three and a half NASL seasons the New York Cosmos, who joined the league for the 2013 Fall Season, have burned through $30 million. Although they won three of four Soccer Bowl titles during this time; they have started a spat of spending not unlike that which killed the original NASL in the early 80s.
    What is ahead for FC Edmonton? A 6-team league (if we are lucky), or an exhibition season akin to the 2010 season. What I have read is that FC Edmonton’s refusal to leave the NASL, whether its for the USL or CanPL is based more in the fact that the team’s ownership has financial interests in the league which could provide it with much-needed cash from those clubs that abandon the NASL. At some point however, the club must be pragmatic and, should the viability of the NASL disappear, make a choice about its future and the future of the game in Edmonton.

  2. John Anderson

    December 9, 2016 at 10:14 am

    More than I think about it.. Wouldn’t mind the Eddie’s in the usl for a couple years. Hopefully the csa can broker a deal for the Eddie’s. There’s West Coast teams in San Fran delta, Sacramento, OKc, Ottawa,. Sounded 2, tfc2, white caps 2..

  3. Eddies Forever

    December 8, 2016 at 11:15 am

    From what I’m hearing there will be an NASL 2017 season despite the rumors, things happening behind the scenes and many will be surprised.

    • D Ro

      December 8, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      I hope you’re right!

    • marty

      December 8, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      uhhh… with what teams?

    • italk2u

      December 8, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      NASL—the Northern Alberta Soccer League!!???!

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