Category: United Soccer Leagues

Why USL’s quest for US Soccer’s Division 2 status is problematic

Tuesday’s news that USL will apply for Division 2 status shook up the US Soccer community. As the former Director of Communications for the North American Soccer League (NASL) when the league battled USL for D2 status in 2010 and early 2011, it is a bittersweet moment. The NASL forced a change in US Soccer that raised D2 standards dramatically from 2011 onward when compared to the previous “wild wild west” that characterized lower division soccer in North America. Those changes helped to stabilize D2 and attract better investment and higher quality ownership to the lower tiers of American soccer. ... Read more

A Review Of The Book “Why American Soccer Isn’t There Yet”

The recent World Cup has spawned a number of books that not only look at the recent past of American soccer but what the men’s national team needs to do going forward. Many of these stories are being written by journalists, but it is rare we hear from people who have experienced the U.S. soccer development system that are not on ESPN and NBC. That’s why Why American Soccer Isn’t There Yet (ISBN 9781782550280, published by Meyer & Meyer Sport, 2014, www.m-m-sports.com) by Shane Stay is a different take on the question of how U.S. men’s soccer can improve. Stay is ... Read more

Outrage In Austin As Aztex Bolt For Orlando

This is the time of year for Major League Soccer to start their playoffs and the USSF second division are awaiting the second leg match in their championship final between the Carolina Railhawks and the Puerto Rico Islanders. This was supposed to be the fun part for one playoff season to start as another one is coming to an end. All of a sudden something broke the enjoyment of the lower levels of US Club Soccer and that volcano has erupted in Austin, Texas. Since the 2008 season the Austin Aztex have started to become a staple in the Austin ... Read more

NASL Stepping Up to Fill Important Gap

AC St. Louis Fills A Big Gap Professional Soccer has often been a spottingly available product across North America, and MLS, as a Premier Division, cannot fill the gaps by itself.  This is where USL has often filled in, in the past, although USL has often been perceived as small market, for good reason in many cases. The reformed NASL aims to change that. The North American Soccer League 2.0 (Special Edition, Director’s Cut, etc) has stepped up where USL had failed previously.  While many of the teams in the NASL remain small market teams, there has been some significant ... Read more

FC New York’s Disappearing-Reappearing Act

You had the feeling that something within the USL/NASL mess was going to takedown an innocent bystander. An ownership group that was ready to get involved with professional football and join in on the growth of the game in the country. Yet unfortunatly for FC New York they were peaking around the corner and saw the two sides yelling at each other, which meant it was time to go for plan b. Keeping quiet till the problems of Division Two US Club football came to a conclusion. They came out with such a roar like a proud lion. The ownership ... Read more

MLS Year End Throwins

An End of Year, Cleaning out some files post A bit of an older article by Fake Sigi illuminates some of the machinizations that occur beyond the pitch that surround clubs and stadiums. Bill Archer’s post, The End of the Beginning, is a good piece on the labors issues in MLS. Mike Woitalla of Soccer America has an excellent post on European pro teams partnering with elite American youth clubs. American Soccer News presents Chris Wingert’s first person recount of MLS Cup final. Goal.com’s Q. & A. With U.S. and Houston Midfielder Stuart Holden. Kyle McCarthy’s view of MLS in ... Read more

Top 5 Lowlights of American Soccer in 2009

Plastic Carpet 2010 is upon us, which means that it’s the time of year when we journalists, pundits, analysts, and/or columnists take stock of the year that has passed and provide you with our lists of the past years highlights and lowlights. So, to start things of for me, here is my take on the lowlights of the year that was in American soccer, in no particular order: The Continued Presence of Plastic Pitches: Nothing irks me more than watching a professional sport that is being played on a plastic pitch or field. Astroturf, Field Turf, or whatever other product ... Read more

US Soccer’s Ruling on USL-1st/NASL Situation

The situation between the United Soccer Leagues and its former clubs has been documented for the last several months. Everything has been read and heard on this site to Inside Minnesota Soccer’s Brian Quarstad & Richard Farley’s Inside the Six podcast. The main points of this argument from the former clubs of USL-1st Division is that they want to have more freedom and help build their league for the good, while the new & old leadership of USL just wants their money for allowing these clubs to legally operate within their structure. Well US Soccer has finally made a ruling ... Read more