New Ottawa NASL franchise won’t be affiliated with Impact By Steven Sandor Posted on June 16, 2011 3 0 890 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter The new NASL ball. Jeff Hunt and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group are preparing for a press conference Monday to announce an NASL expansion club for the Capital region. And, like FC Edmonton, the Ottawa side won’t have any affiliation to another Canadian pro club. That was confirmed by league sources Thursday. The Ottawa team will begin play in NASL in the new, redeveloped Lansdowne Park project, which QMI Agency pegged to be open and ready for the 2014 season. Under United States Soccer Federation rules, to keep Division-2 status (which will be reviewed ahead of next season), NASL must have 75 per cent of its teams be American-based. But, sources have told The 11 that NASL can apply for an exemption. Why is that important? Both Montreal and Vancouver have retained their membership statuses in NASL, even though, by 2012, both will be in MLS. Montreal is believed to be working on having some kind of affiliated team in NASL after the Impact goes to MLS, but the Ottawa team won’t have any formal link to Joey Saputo’s team. Right now, FC Edmonton is isolated in the northwest, with no other franchise in the same time zone. The club would like to see a closer neighbour to help with road trips, with so much of NASL based in the southeast. Calgary would be an ideal dance partner. San Antonio, Tex. is set to join NASL next season. A return of Division-2 soccer to Baltimore is also expected.