Within the next two days, the futures of the NASL and USL should become clearer, as the U.S. Soccer Federation is reviewing the leagues.
As we detailed last week, the NASL and USL are both in distinct periods of transition. The USL has grown, adding Tampa Bay, Ottawa, and Reno to its mix of markets for 2017, while planning for further expansion. That momentum has fueled talks that the league will to move up to the second division in the U.S. soccer pyramid.
The NASL, meanwhile, has already seen Minnesota depart for the MLS, while also losing Tampa Bay and Ottawa to the USL. The statuses of Rayo OKC and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers are both in question, while the New York Cosomos are in something of a stasis as they plan their future.
This week, the U.S. Soccer Federation is expected to take a close look at second-division soccer, with Monday and Tuesday being key dates. At this point, a variety of scenarios are on the table. More from SI.com:
On Monday in New York, U.S. Soccer’s pro league task force will meet to review each circuit’s year-end reports and their requests for division sanctioning and waivers (not every team meets every standard). That task force is comprised of three USSF officials—chief administrative officer Brian Remedi, executive VP Carlos Cordeiro and U.S. Adult Soccer Association president John Motta. They’ll present a report to the full board of directors on Tuesday. USL and NASL officials will be in New York as well. U.S. Soccer could vote Tuesday to grant the NASL the waivers it needs to remain D2, thus maintaining the status quo. It could try to find a way to create one all-encompassing second division. Or it could “promote” the USL and “relegate” the NASL, which very well could result in the movement of some teams and the folding of others.
These issues have been expected to come to a head sooner rather than later, as U.S. Soccer Federation officials have been meeting with representatives from both leagues.
Image of Cosmos Midfielder Danny Szetela courtesy New York Cosmos.