NASL Awards Expansion Franchises To Oklahoma City, Jacksonville
The NASL BOG on Thursday "unanimously approved expansion franchises in Oklahoma City and Jacksonville," with both teams to "begin play in the 2015 spring season," according to Rhiannon Walker of the OKLAHOMAN. The NASL BOG "received presentations from groups representing four prospective expansion cities as part of two days of meetings being held in Dallas." OKC Pro Soccer LLC head Tim McLaughlin presented to the board on behalf of the group, "which has already secured rights to play its games at Taft Stadium." Sunshine Soccer Group CEO Mark Frisch and Sunshine Soccer Group Founder & President and former MLSer Dario Sala of the Sunshine Soccer Group "presented Jacksonville's bid" (OKLAHOMAN, 7/26). In Jacksonville, Clayton Freeman notes this will be the city's "first professional soccer club" since the USL A-League Cyclones "folded after" the '99 season. Jacksonville's bid was "bolstered by large crowds" for recent int'l exhibition matches at EverBank Field." However, the new teams face "decisions in the coming months about its stadium" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 7/26).