The U.S. Soccer Federation has postponed its decision regarding the USL and NASL, leaving the futures of both leagues in a state of flux for now.
It was expected that the U.S. Soccer Federation would decide this week, perhaps as early as Tuesday, on how to handle the statuses of the NASL and USL. The USL is trying to move up to the second division. Having already added Tampa Bay, Ottawa, and Reno for the 2017 season, the league is making plans for further expansion, including the addition of Nashville for 2018.
Meanwhile, the NASL has lost Minnesota to the MLS, Tampa Bay and Ottawa to the USL, and at least three other teams–the New York Cosmos, Rayo OKC, and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers–have serious financial issues, and have reported to be in danger of folding. That has left the number of teams in question for 2017, leaving doubts not only about the NASL’s status a second-division ciruit but also questions about whether it can last into next season.
Given the complexities of the issue, the U.S. Soccer Federation is opting to postpone any decision regarding the two leagues. In a statement, the organization indicated that postponement means that it could take at least a week for a decision to be rendered:
U.S. Soccer has released the below statement regarding professional league sanctioning. pic.twitter.com/g1SvQJFVL3
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) December 6, 2016
By the delaying its decision about the second and third tiers of United States soccer, the U.S. Soccer Federation is giving itself more time to consider a number of scenarios, including whether it is possible to ensure the NASL’s future. More from Fox Sports:
U.S. Soccer sets the rules and regulations for the various divisions, then sanctions them. They had previously made NASL the second division and USL the third division. The plan was to have sorted out this situation by Tuesday, with either NASL remaining the second division and USL the third division, or bumping USL up to the second division. Instead, they appear to be set on giving NASL every opportunity to save the league and keep it afloat. That looks like a longshot right now, with NASL folding and USL becoming the second division most likely, but U.S. Soccer isn’t going to rule yet. They’re pushing things back at least a week and seeing if they can keep both leagues alive, functioning and stable in their respective divisions.
With the futures of the leagues and several teams on the line, the U.S. Soccer Federation is clearly being dilligent in how its proceeds with the decision of whether to sanction or re-certify the second and third divisions.
Image courtesy NASL.