Home NASL & USL More NASL & USL Peterson: NASL has “to do a better job” in Canada

Peterson: NASL has “to do a better job” in Canada

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After the NASL spring season launches, Commissioner Bill Peterson, along with the owners of FC Edmonton and the Ottawa Fury, look to form a task force to help attract more potential investors to the league.

Peterson said in a conference call Wednesday that “we know we have to do a better job there (in Canada).”

Currently, NASL sits at 11 teams, with two Canadian markets included. Peterson said he envisions a future with 20 teams, with four or maybe even more teams being Canadian. But after a series of discussions with the Canadian Soccer Association in August and September of 2014 about expanding the footprint on this side of the border, there hasn’t been much in terms of action.

Compound that news with Peterson’s confirmation that the Virginia Cavalry’s franchise will not go forward until a long-term stadium plan is in place, and the feeling could be very sober. As well, the state of a Los Angeles franchise, originally expected to begin play in the 2015 fall season, is now in limbo. But Peterson is still bullish on expansion, and says he’s never had so many people lined up to get into the league as he does now.

“We’ve never had more interest from potential ownership groups that are qualified to own a team.”

But he says lots of due diligence has to be done; the potential owners need to prove a stadium plan; they need to show commitment to their local soccer community. And, Peterson admitted some have backed out of the process after showing initial interest. He still remains bullish on further expansion into the Pacific time zone and into the American Midwest.

In terms of Canada, he doesn’t believe the plunge in the value of our dollar, which makes it more expensive to operate in a league where most of the teams are in the United States, has curbed interest or the commitment of FC Edmonton or the Ottawa Fury. He says that business people understand that currencies fluctuate, and that there are down and up times.

“This year, it will cost more for FC Edmonton and Ottawa to operate in our league; but in a year or two it could change.”

Peterson said the changes both Ottawa and FCE have made to their lineups are only signs of further investment; there’s no sign that a dollar that’s worth less than US80 cents is forcing those teams to pare down their operations.

“The owners are committed to winning and growing their clubs,” said Peterson.

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One Comment

  1. left back

    April 1, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    You have to wonder what this years Womens World cup will do to FC Edmonton. The Canadian dollar is one thing… being out of sight and mind from May 25 – July 26 is another. The team will literally disappear from the Edmonton sports landscape for 2 full months during an important time for the team. Kinda feel like this year is a bit of a ‘make or break it’ year for the team as well. They went on a nice little run at the end of last year and gained some momentum but… this year will be interrupted by the WWC and i don’t know if playing games up in Ft. Mac will help the profile of the team.

    I fear that the Fath group is just pouring money into a bottomless pit… you can only have so many losing seasons… on the books and on the park…. before the pin gets pulled… i have this feeling that this year or possibly next will be the end… i think the only saving grace my be if they add expansion teams closer to Edmonton thus saving a lot of $$$ in flights.. which is a major drain on the pocket book for the owners….

    Anyway… this year will be a difficult one for FCE with the team out of town for so long… i hope that they will survive as i follow them closely.

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