SBD/February 15, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

USSF Provisionally Sanctions NASL As Division 2 Men's Pro Soccer League

The U.S. Soccer Federation has provisionally sanctioned the North American Soccer League (NASL) to run a Division 2 pro men’s league. The USSF BOG approved the one-year provisional sanction at a meeting in Las Vegas on Feb. 12. The league will compete this year with eight teams -- the Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, FC Edmonton, Miami Strikers, Montreal Impact, NSC Minnesota Stars, Puerto Rico Islanders and FC Tampa Bay. The news comes one year after the NASL and rival United Soccer League played together in the provisional USSF Division 2 Professional League, which was temporarily established by USSF after neither league received individual Division 2 sanctioning. “This is a more natural situation,” said USSF President Sunil Gulati. “Last year was a temporary intervention. It wasn’t something we wanted to do in the long term and we’re glad we’ve been able to step back.” NASL CEO Aaron Davidson said the provisional sanctioning has given the league “a stable platform.” Davidson: “To really get this league going in the right direction we need some more time to get sponsors and television. This year is about focusing on the nuts and bolts of running a league.”
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