SBD/Issue 76/Leagues & Governing Bodies

U.S. Soccer Federation Decides Not To Sanction NASL, USL

The U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) last week "chose not to sanction" the upstart North American Soccer League (NASL) or the existing USL for the '10 season, according to Tom Timmermann of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. The USSF "gave the leagues seven days to try to work out an interim solution for 2010." The USL, which is down to four teams, is "suing three NASL teams, saying it has violated contracts by jumping leagues." The NASL has 10 teams, "most of which were formerly in the USL." USSF President Sunil Gulati: "In the best interest of soccer in the United States, we decided to not sanction either league at this point. However, we did encourage both leagues to come together in the next week and attempt to develop another plan which would allow a single league to be approved on a provisional basis." Timmermann noted what the USSF "most likely wants is for the leagues to reach a settlement on the lawsuits." It is "possible the leagues could reach an agreement to operate under one umbrella next season." The NASL issued a statement "expressing optimism the problems will be solved and the league would start play in April" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 12/31). In Vancouver, Marc Weber noted nine teams have "committed to the NASL for the 2010 season, but the USSF determined that neither league was able to meet U.S. Soccer's minimum requirement of eight 'viable' teams for the upcoming year." The NASL Vancouver Whitecaps "are jumping to" MLS in '11, so this "drawn-out dispute is surely as annoying for the club as it is confusing for fans." But Whitecaps President Bob Lenarduzzi Wednesday said that the franchise "remains committed to the NASL cause." Weber noted the NASL Montreal Impact "could also move to MLS at a future date" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 12/31).

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