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NASL - How Many Years Before it Folds?


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It's been a while since I've posted as things have been hectic on a personal level, but as happy as I am to hear pro soccer is coming to Edmonton, I have to ask how long the NASL will last this time around.

Thoughts?

In regards to the Edmonton franchise, all I can say is that if the team is run on the same sports model as previous incarnations, or with the same marketing nous of the Everton-River Plate game, this team will be lucky to last 3 years.

Having said that, I'll buy season tickets though. And if any Edmonton area V's want to start a supporters group, pm me and we'll get a facebook and email group going.

Allez les soon-to-be-folded-Edmonton Drillers!

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MLS doesn't have endless spots open. They will probably stop at 20 maybe 22. There are lots of markets in the 1 million range for population that could work several regional NASL leagues. Break it up by region to keep travel costs down (NE, SE, NC, SC, NW, SW) and have a home and home tourney of the six top teams to end the year.

If they link up with some MLS sides to be reserve & development teams for them it could work out.

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quote:Originally posted by tmcmurph

MLS doesn't have endless spots open. They will probably stop at 20 maybe 22.....

People said the same about stopping at 16 and 18 (with the oft repeated urban legend about FIFA mandated limits). I see no reason why they won't keep on going up to 30 or 32 like in other sports in a North American context. The really big money in North American sports comes with national network TV contracts and there are still lots of large media markets to be catered to in the United States to build up a broadcast footprint suitable for that. The niche for the NASL will be AAA baseball type cities such as Rochester, Edmonton and Ottawa. PDL can take care of A and AA baseball type cities such as Victoria, Thunder Bay and London, Ont.

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At the moment the NASL seems to have won its battle with USL. However, one has to notice that the new NASL has many of the same problems that USL1 had, teams leaving for MLS in the near future, weak franchises, expansion franchises that it wouldn't be surprising to see fold. There is no guarantee that the new league will be better managed than the old and the fact that the biggest and most stable teams who were behind the creation of the new league will be leaving soon to join another league is worrysome.

If the NASL is able to manage and market itself better and build some solid franchises in cities where that did not exist before it could create a much improved version of the USL. If they are do not do a good job with the league and it folds we could be in a much worse situation then we were in with the USL. Whatever its faults the USL survived a long time and the league was pretty stable even if not all the franchises were. There is no guarantee the USL would want to get reinvolved with a 2nd tier league if the NASL fails. They might just decide to concentrate on the other leagues which probably make them more money and we may be out of a 2nd tier league once teams like Vancouver and Montreal jump to MLS. The people running the NASL have a lot of responsibility to make sure it works and I hope they decided to do things for the right reasons. I am pretty sceptical about some of the claims coming from them about why the breakoff occurred in particular the claim that Nike sold the USL to NuRock behind their back. Why would Nike not sell to the bidder that would give them the most money? I think a more likely scenario is that the TOA teams were trying to lowball Nike and Nike said to hell with them, lets sell to someone who will give us what we think the league is worth. If the NASL turns into a strong league better than the USL I don't really care about the reasons for the break not whether it was justified. If it doesn't turn out well though I think certain people will have a lot to answer for.

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Guest Jeffery S.
quote:Originally posted by BringBackTheBlizzard

People said the same about stopping at 16 and 18 (with the oft repeated urban legend about FIFA mandated limits). I see no reason why they won't keep on going up to 30 or 32 like in other sports in a North American context. The really big money in North American sports comes with national network TV contracts and there are still lots of large media markets to be catered to in the United States to build up a broadcast footprint suitable for that. The niche for the NASL will be AAA baseball type cities such as Rochester, Edmonton and Ottawa. PDL can take care of A and AA baseball type cities such as Victoria, Thunder Bay and London, Ont.

I agree with you on that: the way to make pro sports work in the US especially is to cover as many markets as possible. Sheer quantity of clubs is essential. I know this means more divisions, more unbalanced schedules. But as is all soccer knows in North America is playoffs and knockout round cups, there is no real trophy of significance for a single table. Meaning if soccer, and especially MLS, wants to get even close to competiting with the big 4 team sports, it has to cover the territory as well as them.

Meaning, as you say, as many teams as the league can reasonably find a way to play.

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The MLS is a ways off from getting the TV money that would allow or justify more than 20 markets. They have (or will have) 3 teams in California, 3 in the Pacific NW, a pile on the east coast, several in the south central, north central. They already have most markets covered with the exception of Florida (IF they could actually succeed in that area, another topic entirely).

Yes there are a few big markets left in the NA soccerscape but MLS has it covered pretty good so far.

I know MLS does things its own way but I'm thinking they will build up what they have and work from there once they reach 20. That leaves a lot of places that could support a div 2 team.

Enter the NASL. No expense for the MLS owners but lots of markets covered generating interest in soccer, possible links to a team for training, development etc.

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quote:Originally posted by Calgary Boomer

I'm hearing the NASL is getting a surprising amount of interest from potential clubs around the continent. The 2 that would be intriguing are Tulsa and San Antonio...the Tulsa Roughnecks name has already been registered. I wouldn't be surprised if they have as many as 16 teams for 2010.

That's great in a way but the TOA should be careful about too much expansion (assuming this all goes ahead and they are granted 2nd division status). They already are adding St. Louis and Tampa Bay. Baltimore is moving up from USL2. So there could be a real dearth of quality players available. New groups should be asked to wait until 2011 so due diligence can be done before they are accepted. The NASL2 will look shabby if they have a bunch of failed franchises in their 1st season.

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One of the major reasons for TOA disenchantment with the USL was precisely the USL's lack of due diligence with new franchise applicants. That combined with the fact that Greg Kerfoot and Joey Saputo are among the main drivers behind the NASL (both accomplished and highly successful businessmen with substantial resources), I am sure the TOA is doing everything they can to ensure the long term stability of clubs admitted to the NASL. Why would they not be?

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^ No one should ever underestimate the power of Traffic Group. That is both in terms of contacts in the soccer world and money.

The fact that the Miami club wasn't managed well was only because it was the local representatives that were running it. Like with Saputo, it's not whether they have the money; it's whether they are prepared to spend it. If the big boys in Sao Paulo decided that they needed to step in, there is no doubt that they have the financial resources to match the Saputo family. The difference is that with Traffic Group it's not easy to find out whose money it is because muxh of it is in the form of a professionally managed fund (sort of an MLSE). The fact that Saputo, Kerfoot and Cooper got involved after Traffic's attempt to buy the league also suggests this wasn't something being managed by the Miami group. There is a certain ruthlessness to this move that leads me to wonder if this is bigger than just a small breakaway league.

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With respect to concerns about the too much expansion too soon and a willingness to let in anyone claiming to have money, all I can say is that they did choose to call this new league the NASL!

Seriously, MLS can remain the quiet and boring leaders of respectability in North American soccer to be held up as the role model, while the frat boys below blast the stereo and keep all the internet forums buzzing with gossip and anger at all the financial irresponsibilty, turmoil, and "Wild West" antics.

The traffic group can bring plenty of Brazilians into Florida if needed, while the St Louis club should look to the players who were just released by the now defunct Cleveland club. The NASL is feasting off of the USL1's corpse, so there are players available.

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I think this league is more likely going to focus on player development. It has been stated frequently that the WhiteCaps are interested in developing their academy into a serious venture as is Saputo and the Impact. If you are going to go with that focus, why not hook up with Traffic? Traffic's academy and soccer club, Desportivo Brasil, is highly respected worldwide and has a link with Manchester United. Just take a look at this article from this past May.

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My sense would be that it is basically a hearing to allow both sides to present their cases and for a ruling some time shortly after.

I suspect there is lots going on behind the scenes and I doubt any of the key TOA members would have moved forward this far without some idea of where it was likely to go. These are hardly frat boys.

quote:Originally posted by SteveBeau

Meeting tomorrow December 6th in New York between the USSF,CSA, PRFF and TOA, USL:

http://www.soccermontreal.net/2009/12/ussf-csa-to-meet-with-toa-and-usl.html

I speculate on a few scenarios, what do you guys think?

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I was basing my remarks on the report from Brian Quarstad who is not often wrong but clearly was this time. I also assumed a degree of courtesy from the USSF which was evidently not there.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicele reports: "Rhinos owner Rob Clark just told me [Jeff DiVeronica] that there was no compromise reached at today’s meeting in the New York area that involved representatives from the USL, new NASL and the United States Soccer Federation."

“I know people were hoping for some sort of magic, but there was no magic,” Clark said. “There’s really not much to talk about. No compromise was reached. The NASL is moving forward with the application process and we’ll see what happens.”

http://blogs.democratandchronicle.com/devo/2009/12/06/no-magic-at-key-meeting-in-nyc/

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quote:Originally posted by Richard

I was basing my remarks on the report from Brian Quarstad who is not often wrong but clearly was this time. I also assumed a degree of courtesy from the USSF which was evidently not there.

Brian is usually very accurate, which is why I checked with the CSA, who informed me that the meeting today did not include the CSA or the Puerto Ricans. When I read Brian's post, I found it odd that the CSA would be there considering they were in Montreal the whole weekend attending an SGM. From what I knew, all CSA hands were on deck in Montreal, making it unlikely that they would be in NYC.

quote:Originally posted by Richard

Rochester Democrat and Chronicele reports: "Rhinos owner Rob Clark just told me [Jeff DiVeronica] that there was no compromise reached at today’s meeting in the New York area that involved representatives from the USL, new NASL and the United States Soccer Federation."

“I know people were hoping for some sort of magic, but there was no magic,” Clark said. “There’s really not much to talk about. No compromise was reached. The NASL is moving forward with the application process and we’ll see what happens.”

http://blogs.democratandchronicle.com/devo/2009/12/06/no-magic-at-key-meeting-in-nyc/

sorry to hear that grown men can't come to a reasonable accomodation. This process is going to be unpleasant I suspect.

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I expect the TOA feels that have a rather overwhelmingly strong hand with 10 clubs committed, most with very wealthy owners, versus the USL with, what is it... Austin, Puerto Rico and Portland who are MLS bound anyway if they can sort their stadium issue. The TOA has no need to negotiate anything really, they hold all the strong cards? Under the circumstances I don't think the USSF can refuse to sanction the NASL without causing a major dust up. It won't spell the end of the USL as an organisation, just their first division which they evidently don't feel all that strongly about anyway since they also refused to budge despite their weak position. They can sue all they like too, probably won't win against the TOA, just cost them a pile more money.

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quote:Originally posted by Richard

I expect the TOA feels that have a rather overwhelmingly strong hand with 10 clubs committed, most with very wealthy owners, versus the USL with, what is it... Austin, Puerto Rico and Portland who are MLS bound anyway if they can sort their stadium issue. The TOA has no need to negotiate anything really, they hold all the strong cards? Under the circumstances I don't think the USSF can refuse to sanction the NASL without causing a major dust up. It won't spell the end of the USL as an organisation, just their first division which they evidently don't feel all that strongly about anyway since they also refused to budge despite their weak position. They can sue all they like too, probably won't win against the TOA, just cost them a pile more money.

I agree completely. At this point, the USL have nothing to offer the TOA that they actually need. Short of a surprise rejection from the USSF, the TOA are in full control here and should press there advantage.

The interesting part will be whether the USSF allows the USL to continue having a 2nd division status (meaning two 2nd divisions in America), or if that will be taken away. If the remaining USL1 clubs fold or merge into USL2, then that league would probably just be called the USL League, but with 3rd division status.

In that case, the American pyramid can be changed to:

1:MLS

2:NASL

3:USL

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