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USSF Helps AC St. Louis Make Payroll

The United States Soccer Federation has used money from a preseason bond submitted by AC St. Louis to make the club’s Friday, men’s club payroll commitments, sources close to the situation have confirmed. The club, however, remains without adequate funding to complete the season, with the USSF continuing to work towards a solution that will allow its teams to complete the 2010 season.

The USSF stepped-in Friday and used money from the $350,000 bond submitted by AC St. Louis in the preseason to make Friday’s obligations. Such bonds were submitted by each Division-2 team before the season to cover situations such as these; however, AC St. Louis’s commitments for the rest of the season exceed the amount of the bond, meaning additional funding and significant cost cuts will be needed if the club’s men’s and women’s teams will complete the season.

AC St. Louis runs their entry in the NASL as well as the Saint Louis Athletica of Women’s Professional Soccer. Athletica did not have a payroll commitment this week, according to sources; however, the team will have an obligation to meet next week.

Womens Professional Soccer teams do not have the same bonding process as Division-2 teams. The athletic club does not currently have resources to make the women’s teams next payroll commitment.

Sources familiar with the situation have also confirmed that Jeff Cooper is no longer functioning in an ownership capacity with the club. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, last fall Cooper sold controlling interest in both the men’s and women’s clubs to Sanjeev and Heemal Vaid, who had been overseeing the clubs’ operations since December. It is unclear the extent to which the Vaids maintain involvement with AC St. Louis; however, sources have verified the Cooper’s involvement with the club is limited and not expected to persist.

For now, Cooper remains commissioner of the NASL; however, he is expected to be replaced soon, with the league scheduled to hold meetings in Montreal on June 2 and 3 in conjunction with AC Milan’s friendly against the Montreal Impact. Cooper could be replaced before those meetings.

As it concerns the future of both clubs, the funding for the remainder of the 2010 season is not in place; however, the current goal is to rely on a combination of bond money, cost cuts, and funding from independent sources to meet the team’s minimum 2010 commitments, saving the season. The plan being discussed addresses the athletic club as a whole, meaning both the NASL and WPS entries would be funded.

Before anything can be known with certainty, a complete accounting of AC St. Louis’s obligations must occur, an evaluation that is still ongoing.

St. Louis hosts FC Tampa Bay at Anheiser-Busch Soccer Park and then plays at FSC Minnesota next Saturday before having to make its next payroll commitment.

Saint Louis Athletica does not play this weekend and are in Atlanta to play the Beat on May 29, before which they have to make payroll, according to sources.

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  1. CK

    July 21, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I feel for the St. Louis footie fans bc Jeff Cooper has really taken you for a ride these last few years. MLS, to thier credit, had no trouble seeing through his smoke and mirrors, but D2 bought into it hook, line and sinker. Hopefully next year your teams will still be around with a real owner.

  2. Kevin Boyer

    May 23, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    St. Louis fans look to be strong and passionate in this picture from last night’s game which keep in mind is off the heels of a week of bad press. There was 4000+ screaming and chanting! If you haven’t been to a game, you are missing it. Cooper and the Vaids might be lieing scumbags but the fans rock the house and deserve a team!!/notes/ac-st-louis/steve-ralston-debuts-plays-for-33-minutes/392035958030

    hey stlouisultrasux – you are an idiot!

    • Richard

      May 27, 2010 at 12:25 pm

      I agree that this is not, should be about AC St. Louis or Saint Louis Athletica fans.

      Nobody I’ve talked to is complaining about a lack of support.

  3. Sean

    May 23, 2010 at 9:17 am


    Cooper told MLS that he was worth $100,000,000. He is not. Cooper told USSF at the beginning of the season that he had the financial wherewithal to place 2 teams (WPS and D-2) on the pitch. Cooper told Nike that he could purchase USL.

    All of these were lies, plain and simple. This is not a simple business plan that went awry.

    Cooper is the face of NASL. He is the Interim Commissioner of NASL. Cooper is the driving force behind NASL.

    Now, while doing all this, Cooper sold his interests last FALL, well before any men’s team was formed.

    This is not about business, it is about integrity and character, none of which Cooper/NASL has displayed.

  4. Dan

    May 23, 2010 at 8:10 am

    well maybe the fact that Cooper was temporary Comish, had something to do with this whole mess.

  5. Miami Ultra

    May 23, 2010 at 12:29 am

    @ CoconutMonkey

    St. Louis has pulled in decent crowds thus far. 3-4K I believe. This is all Cooper’s fault apparently. He really didn’t have the money to fund a D2 team, much less a MLS team or to buy USL. Really a shame. I hope somebody steps in and keeps AC St. Louis going.

    To the first guy, stlouisultrasux, you’re an idiot. St. Louis deserves better than this. The fans have shown up, they can support D2 soccer and surely MLS. MLS would do great there, they just need a good owner.

  6. CoconutMonkey

    May 22, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    I could be wrong, but I think everybody is coming down a little hard on ol St. Louie. I have a hard time believing that the St Louis ownership did all sorts of dirty business dealings, and lied to everyone just so they could go bust. D2 soccer is tough business.

    Any idea what what kind of attendance they were pulling in?

  7. Callerons

    May 22, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Hey,stlouisultrasux…..Miami almost cracked the 1,800 mark in attendance tonight!

    Get them a MLS team NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Dan

    May 22, 2010 at 11:44 am

    stlouisultrasux are you from Miami?

    St. Louis has had strong support from the fans even with the losing record vs Miami who couldn’t support an MLS team or there D2 team.

  9. Bart

    May 22, 2010 at 11:30 am

    The issue is not St. Louis as a City. This is all about Cooper. Cooper is the face of NASL. Cooper is the Interim Commissioner of NASL. Cooper lied to Rochester, convincing them to align itself with NASL, causing the problems in Division II today.

    And to think that Cooper did all this AFTER he sold controlling interest of the St. Louis club. Cooper, the man that folks have called the leading visionary of soccer in the US, SOLD his interests?

    Cooper has had a good run, he will blow up WPS and damage Division II soccer, all by himself. Cooper=NASL, they are one and the same.

  10. tbpirate

    May 22, 2010 at 10:00 am

    If anything this situation proves that the USSF D-2 league needs to make sure that they are certain about an owner BEFORE they say sure have a team. MLS does a very good job in doing so. I think every football fan dreams of being an owner, having a team, but the group of people who can actually do it is very small.

  11. Tim

    May 22, 2010 at 9:58 am

    First poster…you are an idiot and it’s clear you don’t understand a thing. This has nothing to do with St. Louis not being able to support a team. This is about a failed ownership group. If one of St. Louis’ wealthiest business owners contacted Don Garber today and said he wanted to buy an MLS expansion team, there would be an announcement on Monday as St. Louis as the 20th MLS team. It’s all about money…not support. The fans are doing their part.

  12. stlouisultrasux

    May 22, 2010 at 1:20 am


    I am so loving this! This is proof positive that St. Louis is NOT a soccer town and that they should never be allowed to have a major professional soccer team ever again! Don Garber was so money in treating the Eads Brigade crybabies like the scumbag parasites they are. Now maybe we can have real soccer towns represented at the highest level possible, like Miami and New York and Las Vegas.


    • Garrett

      May 22, 2010 at 8:43 am

      I completely agree with everything you just said, except for including Miami as a soccer town. Unless they re-brand as the Strikers and make the permanent move to Lockhart, they won’t succeed. And even then, their organization is run in a Hunt-like fashion, and MLS fans know how that’s going in Dallas

    • sylc

      May 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm

      I don’t see where the Eads Brigade or any fans were mentioned anywhere. Don’t paint me as an STL supporter (NY2, actually), but as Dan Flynn said it best, “St. Louis’ challenge is from the top end.” Cooper blew smoke. He blew smoke with MLS, he blew smoke with the TOA and everyone involved at the second division will have to deal with it.

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