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Confirmed: The TOA League Split is Happening


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quote:Originally posted by SoccerfanatiQ

Actualy isn't it the real probleme for soccer in Canada, overlaping ? Every body is pulling his way, that leaves a weak CSA

Like PDL and Super Y is controled USL right ? CSL is control by ,seriously I don't know ?

If TOA or anybody who had sense in this country to form a real natioal D2 and all the provincials soccer associations (D3)would get togheter and elect a real chairman. A team of executives from all over the country who knows international soccer and ready to pay for them !

I know i'm simply dreaming !

Eric posted something about this, professionals leagues controled by their countries Federations. Of course, the CSA has no league at all, nothing to control.

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quote:Originally posted by Vancouversoccerman

They do...each league in USL has their own set of territorial rights that don't overlap. For example, I believe it's possible to have a PDL team in a USL-1 market with a different owner.

There are a few cities in the U.S. with multiple PDL teams. I think L.A. has about four PDL and three W teams... and there are Super Y teams everywhere. Any idea how they try and sort that out?

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quote:Originally posted by canucklefan

Eric posted something about this, professionals leagues controled by their countries Federations. Of course, the CSA has no league at all, nothing to control.

Actually FIFA controls all leagues and associations. Each FA doesn't "control" a league, but oversees it (transfers, referees, friendlies,etc.).

So while the CSA can legitimize a domestic league, it doesn't have to establish (ie: capitalize) one. The old CSL was set up by a group of concerned and motivated people in 1987, and the CSA was there to enforce FIFA rules. So when they had money problems (eg. tv contract, travel expenses), the CSL cannot make the CSA bail them out.

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quote:Originally posted by Vic

There are a few cities in the U.S. with multiple PDL teams. I think L.A. has about four PDL and three W teams... and there are Super Y teams everywhere. Any idea how they try and sort that out?

It is quite simple and no different than any other franchise operation. A potential franchisee negotiates a "territory" with the USL. It can be a state or province or larger or it can be for a portion of a single city. These territories (and the fees that are paid to the USL for them) can be enlarged or reduced each time the deal is up for renewal. The deal can be for exclusive rights (no other USL franchises) or limited (no other USL1 teams for example or maybe PDL teams must pay a fee to the rights holder).

I believe the Whitecaps used to hold the USL rights to all of British Columbia. That was renegotiated at some point and now I believe the Highlanders hold the rights to Vancouver Island.

The only real barrier is whether the league and the teams in the area feel there is room for another team within a given area. Maybe Toronto could support multiple USL1 teams but a business case would have to show it had a reasonable possibility of success.

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quote:Originally posted by redhat

Actually FIFA controls all leagues and associations. Each FA doesn't "control" a league, but oversees it (transfers, referees, friendlies,etc.).

It's the FA who determines how many clubs will play in first division, the 2nd etc. It's the FA who determines how many are relegated and promoted. If a player from X team gets a red card, its the FA who determines the number of games the player will be suspended. I agree the FIFA controls the Federations, but it's the Federations controls the way it is in their countries.

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^ That's my point, if the CSA wants to, they can put together or support a committee to run a pro league here, that committee will report to them directly, so that will make the league an official national league, even if all the provinces are not represented.

Of course territorial MLS and USL rights wouldn't apply in this case because it would be an entirely different league, so Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver can have as many clubs as they want.

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CPSL has been talking and talking about their vision of a national league foreover. They have all these great ideas but no REAL viable plan to actually expand from coast to coast.

The current owners do not have the $$$$ to invest in this league and are barely making ends meet. The CSL will never be more than a grassroots league servicing primarily southern Ontario.

The CSA should step up to try and lead soccer in this nation once and for all.

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The CPSL/CSL has twice sent a representative from Toronto to Vancouver to court the PCSL. They were singularly unable then and are still now unable to list any real benefits that would be derived by the PCSL or its member teams from joining forces with the CPSL/CSL but the costs to the PCSL and its teams would multiply by orders of magnitude. Definitely a non-starter and the situation has not changed, indeed the PCSL is an even stronger organisation now than it was then. The CPSL/CSL business model is hardly a shining example for others to follow, it really has nothing to offer other leagues.

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Whatever is going on behind the scenes with all this someone is doing some pretty good talking that much is clear. And I imagine the Vancouver & Montreal contingents are making assurances to their partners that they're commmited to this venture even after they move onto MLS.

Tampa joins in. Baltimore steps up. Persons in Ottawa kicking tires. Who's next and how soon?

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quote:Originally posted by Richard

Even with just Kerfoot and the Saputos behind it there is probably more money collectively than there is behind the remaining USL-1 clubs but I may be wrong.

No you're not ! I think the count is now:

9 TOA teams</u>

  • Atlanta
  • Baltimore
  • Carolina
  • Miami
  • Minnesota (? there)
  • Montreal
  • St.Louis
  • Tampa Bay
  • Vancouver
7 USL1 teams</u>

  • Austin
  • Charleston
  • Cleveland
  • New York
  • Portland (gone after '10)
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rochester

The reason why I mentioned Portland will be gone and not Vancouver and Montreal is that both of them are willing to fill the hole created by their departure with their academy if MLS rules allow that. But did someone heard the same about Portland yet ? That's gonna give a huge blow (THE one ?) to USL. That would make the USL1 a 6-team league of which 2 of them are gonna be Cleveland and Austin (sic). You can promote USL2 clubs as long as you want, that will just result in more Cleveland-style organizations and markets, it won't make this league better then what the breakaway league is on the way to look like. But then there's Ottawa & Hamilton, then perhaps Detroit. Where will the Ottawa team land ? The ability of Papadakis et al. to convince new ownership groups (min. 2 more, but 4 is the number for respectability) to join the "brand new" USL1 AND establish them correctly and for good in the next... let's say 2 years, will be key for the future orientation, role and purpose of the First Division of the USL.

But all in all, as it is currently, the TOA group looks like they have nothing to be jealous of the USL1, both in terms of ownership and the number of teams involved. That's why if I was Ottawa, I'd rather target the TOA group than the USL1 one.

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They both look pretty damn weak to me and that is why the whole thing makes no sense and I still think the Impact and Caps will be in the USL next year after some sort of reform/reconciliation. If the TOA was taking all of the strong USL teams then the USL would be sunk but they are splitting the strong teams in half and supplementing them with weak teams and new teams that I have a feeling may be similar to Austin and Cleveland last year. If we end up with both USL and TOA next year I predict we will have two crappy leagues below last year's USL level. Eventually one or two of them might improve and become strong leagues but next year is going to suck.

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quote:Originally posted by Richard

Tampa, Baltimore to join new professional soccer league - BC Soccer Web

The Tampa Bay Rowdies and Crystal Palace Baltimore have joined the new professional soccer league announced last week, beginning play in the United States and Canada in April 2010. The addition of Tampa Bay and Baltimore brings the new league to nine teams.

Huge blow to USL-1.

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quote:Originally posted by Richard

Tampa, Baltimore to join new professional soccer league - BC Soccer Web

The Tampa Bay Rowdies and Crystal Palace Baltimore have joined the new professional soccer league announced last week, beginning play in the United States and Canada in April 2010. The addition of Tampa Bay and Baltimore brings the new league to nine teams.

Huge blow to USL-1.

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I disagree that both leagues look weak or diluted. Truth be told, I think the TOA has much more stable ownership who understand how to run a club the way it should be.

TOA

Atlanta - long running franchise with a fairly new SSS.

Baltimore - somewhat unproven, but ties to Crystal Palace lend credibility.

Carolina - solid owners, competitive since day 1.

Miami - USL attendance aside, Traffic Sports = megabucks.

Minnesota - long running franchise, nice stadium, loyal fan base

Montreal - Joey Saputo. Megabucks.

St.Louis - Jeff Cooper. Megabucks.

Tampa Bay - unknown /unproven

Vancouver - Greg Kerfoot. Megabucks.

USL-1

Austin - unproven ownership playing on a gridiron, drawing flies. Destined to fail in MLS territory.

Charleston - great club with a great SSS, but drawing very poorly.

Cleveland - financial ruins, up for sale after just one year at D1.

New York - unproven ownership, destined to fail in MLS territory.

Portland - Great organization. Shame to part ways.

Puerto Rico - Competitive, but the distance is murder on travel budgets. Furthermore, the island territory had a massive financial meltdown two years ago (before the banking crisis here) that saw massive unemployment and a halt to almost all government services. As such, its long term survival has to be called into question.

Rochester - a formerly great organization that is presently mired in more lawsuits and financial troubles than Enron. Attendance is nowhere near what it once was. I remember a few years ago when the announcers on FSC referred to Rochester as "the Manchester United of the USL." I think now it's more on par with Sheffield Wednesday.

Someone on the Southsiders board brought up a good point... wouldn't it be great if the Victoria Highlanders PDL club moved into the TOA?

That would give you Vancouver, Montreal, Victoria and potentially Edmonton and Ottawa all playing together in one league.

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^^^

Depends on the economics. The way things are playing out, it's plausible that USL 1 will not be playing at a level on par with the TOA. The new league has the resources to buy all of the best players from USL if they wanted to, and pay higher salaries. It's also conceivable that any new TOA teams would have to be backed by a big money owner in order to compete.

Meanwhile, USL could still be appealing to the Mom 'n Pop type operator (think Toronto Lynx) who wants to bring pro soccer to their city, but doesn't want to spend the same type of money you need to compete in MLS or the TOA league. There still aren't a lot of people willing to invest in soccer in Canada, so having a few smaller-budget USL teams spread across the country isn't necessarily a bad thing.

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