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USL Review


Our good friend Brian Quarstad of Inside Minnesota Soccer will be putting together a weekly wrap up of USL-1. Here is this week’s edition.

Let me also mention I am hearing greater buzz about the potential of Pachuca setting up a sister club similar to Chivas USA by 2011 in either Phoenix or Orlando. The team would play in USL-1. Additionally, I’m hearing rumblings that the Austin Aztex may host Stoke City for a week of training this summer during the EPL/CCC preseason.

Stoke however has unfinished business this Premier League season as the fight the drop before they determine their pre-season plans and how to help the club’s US based affiliate club.

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  1. Percyfilth

    March 17, 2009 at 6:38 am

    Chris you are spot on. As a Stoke Fan we follow with interest the fortunes of the Aztex which can only serve to highlight the progress of soccer in the US. Inchy(Adrian Heath) is also a Stokie born and bred and a much loved former player. The fortunes of the Aztex are followed by a large number of fans on the Stoke Fanzine” the Oatcake” and we love it when they win. The last two results show they can cut it with the big boys of the MLS and it looks as though Inchy is getting there. Go Aztex. From the loudest fans in the EPL.

  2. Roger

    March 10, 2009 at 12:55 am

    If owners in America knew that the penalty for bringing players for marketing reasons, in order to make MONEY , sale SHIRTS and get better TV deals would be relegation; they wont do it!! Not because they would care about the fans but fear of loosing money going to a lower division.
    The lower division teams would dream of been promoted, so competitivness will rise and the quality of the game on the pitch would be better. The numbers of teams on the lower divisions will increase, building the pressure from the buttom on the “bigger teams” to keep a high standard of play. We would reinforce the foundation and build from there.
    Promotion and relegation is the ONLY way to give fans the gift of enjoying the passion for the game in thousands of cities throughout the country, not only a few. Promotion and relegation just makes sense.

  3. eplnfl

    March 9, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Agreed Chris. A thriving USL is good for US Soccer. Having a top notch first division shows that we have a solid ground for soccer. Those that oppose anything but home grown ownership should think twice.

    It’s good that everyone wants a MLS but we need to halt expansion very soon. I would presume 20 teams should be the max for a real long time. It’s in everyone’s interest to keep the USL in business.Once both leagues stabilize their numbers we could then discuss relegation for MLS. The issue will be how is it fair to drop a team down when the owner paid big money to bring it into the league. Also, and we do not talk about it much here we have big markets for American TV which makes all sports leagues run.So, it just doesn’t work in America to have the Red Bulls go down and Austin get promoted.

  4. Chris

    March 9, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Ian, what’s the problem with foreign affiliations, exactly?

    I’m an Aztex fan in Austin, so I’m admittedly biased.

    But if nothing else, lumping all cases of “foreign ownership” into the same pile is too simplistic. In the Aztex’s case, it’s not some oil-rich Kuwaitis looking for a new toy to spend their millions on. Our owner, Phil Rawlins, is a huge, lifelong fan of the game. He was born and raised in Stoke-On-Trent, and is now a minority owner in Stoke City FC, the club he’s supported all his life. Stoke is the second oldest professional football club in England, just for the record.

    Rawlins moved to the states 7 or 8 years ago, and is investing in building a full club here, from youth clubs to PDL to USL-1, and possibly W-League as well someday.

    The stability and growth of MLS is looking good lately, but the USL is a different story, unfortunately. Atlanta dropped out this season, and we’ll find out any day now if Miami is going to follow them. Vancouver and Montreal are both looking to leave USL and move up to MLS. I don’t want to get into any “USL vs MLS” nonsense here, my point is simply this: Austin would *not* have a pro soccer team without the USL and Phil Rawlins. Not now, probably not ever. As a fan whose only chances to see live games used to require a 3+ hour drive to Dallas or Houston, I don’t see how his “foreign” ownership could be remotely considered “not good”.

  5. VNice

    March 9, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    God, I wish there was some pro soccer here in Las Vegas. We have an indoor league team, but it’s literally on the other side of town (which is actually pretty far), and I am dyin’ for some outdoor soccer.

    C’mon USL…help us out!

  6. eplnfl

    March 9, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Well we see in the MLS the Red Bulls being an ad for a foreign company and what I consider the big news from the Beckham deal that David himself will be a MLS owner one day!

    Lets just get used to the fact of foreign ownership just like the ePL has had to accept it. It won’t be limited to soccer either. Foreign money is in MLB ownership already. The NBA is doing well based on TV money from China. it’s a small world for sure!

  7. Ian

    March 9, 2009 at 10:07 am

    I’m all for USL but this trend of foreign owned clubs affiliated with sides in bigger leagues bothers me. I thought only MLS was whoring themselves out. I had no idea Austin was a Stoke affiliate but just looked it up on Wikipedia and evidently they are actually owned by a Stoke board member. Not good.

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