Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Islanders also left off NASL fall schedule

Islanders also left off NASL fall schedule

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As has been widely rumoured, the Puerto Rico Islanders’ absence from the NASL will continue through the fall season.

The league released the fall schedule on Monday. And while the New York Cosmos brings the total of teams in the circuit to eight, the Islanders are still absent.

“We are committed to growing the NASL brand steadily, so rather than rush the Islanders back into action before they are ready, we are giving them time to work through the ongoing process of stabilizing their franchise,” said Commissioner Bill Peterson in a statement released by the league.

The league advised it would have nothing to add to the statement it sent to media.

The Islanders were left off the league’s spring schedule to reorganize but had promised to return in the fall. NASL has gone to a split-season format in 2013, which will see the winners of the spring and fall seasons play for the Soccer Bowl. The split season format allowed the league the Cosmos a chance to firm up its organization and not join NASL till the fall season.

But, a couple of weeks ago, Peterson braced NASL fans for a prolonged Islanders absence — when he told The 11 (CLICK HERE) there was a chance the team might not be ready to come back in the fall.

The Islanders are an expensive road trip for teams. And, while Edmonton is also isolated in the northwest, there are possibilities for expansion teams down the road that would be close to the Alberta capital. It’s unlikely NASL will ever find an expansion team close to Puerto Rico. The truth is an NASL without Puerto Rico could be an easier sell to potential expansion investors than a league with Puerto Rico.

Still, for the nostalgic fan, it’s a sad moment. The Islanders got to the semifinals of the 2009 CONCACAF Champions League, and lost in penalties to Mexican powerhouse Cruz Azul.

FC Edmonton will have weather as a home-field advantage in the fall season. It will host a home game on October 27 against Tampa Bay. Every one of the Eddies’ home games takes place on a Sunday afternoons, including a Labour Day weekend clash against the New York Cosmos. The prime start times are key as the club needs sellouts at a refurbished Clarke Stadium in order to press its case for a new soccer stadium in Edmonton. The City wants to see an established demand before going further into the process of building a stadium.

FC EDMONTON SCHEDULE (all kickoff times TBD)
Aug. 3 @ Carolina
Aug. 11 SAN ANTONIO
Aug. 18 ATLANTA
Aug. 24 @TB
Sept. 1 NY COSMOS
Sept. 7 @Minn
Sept. 15 FORT LAUDERDALE
Sept. 22 MINN
Sept. 28 @Atlanta
Oct. 6 CAROLINA
Oct. 13 @San Antonio
Oct. 20 @NY Cosmos
Oct. 27 TAMPA BAY
Nov. 2 @Fort Lauderdale

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One Comment

  1. yankiboy

    February 12, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Thanks a lot for the coverage of the Islanders situation Steve.

    Your interview with the commissioner was vital in preparing me for the inevitable bad news that my beloved club would not be competing in the NASL’s second 2013 season either.

    I think that most of the Islanders’ faithful have been honest enough with ourselves to know that the overwhelming indications were that the club was not going to be able to be ready in time for the clausura (second season).

    When the Commissioner Peterson told you a little over two weeks ago that Islanders may not be ready in time to play in August, that was the first indication from Miami that the league had made any statements about the club’s progress.

    Things don’t usually move quickly in Puerto Rico and with the new governor and the changes in the legislature–let’s just say that I’m not shocked that the Islanders are NOT at the top of the list when it comes to their agenda.

    That’s not being partisan-that’s just a reality. Maybe some other Islanders fans will share their thoughts. Just about any other Islanders fan is more qualified to assess the current situation than I am; I have zero qualifications.

    Just a clarification for those here who don’t know:

    I’m commenting as a non-Puerto Rican and someone who has never actually lived there. My assessment is based on nothing more than 15 years of being an interested, outside observer who considers it to be my “second home”.

    Reply

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