Peterson: NASL has “to do a better job” in Canada By Steven Sandor Posted on April 1, 2015 1 0 676 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Bill Peterson PHOTO: NASL 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.