Category: USL

Ranking the professional soccer teams in the United States and Canada from best to worst

Over the course of the last few years, discussion of what an open pyramid in the United States and Canada would look like has become a major talking point for soccer fans. In a closed league system, it’s difficult to conceive sometimes how sides would fare against one another. For example, USL, the current third division, is littered with MLS reserve sides while NASL, the second division, has completely different squad rules than MLS. In fact, the increased flexibility of building NASL rosters, for example the Fort Lauderdale Strikers who started the season with three high-end loanees from major Brazilian ... Read more

Why US Soccer should consider eliminating designations for D1, D2 and D3

The continuing battle being waged publicly over the value of Division 1 sanctioning within the US Soccer pyramid has the making of the start of another “soccer war,” which the sport in North America can scarcely afford. While many fans of the game in the United States and Canada simply watch foreign leagues on their TVs or computers, others are deeply invested in community-based soccer projects and local professional clubs. Without promotion and relegation within the pyramid the governing body for the sport, the US Soccer Federation (USSF) has been empowered to set arbitrary standards for designation of leagues and ... Read more

Could a hybrid promotion/relegation system work in US soccer?; By Kartik Krishnaiyer

The discussion around promotion and relegation, and the potential of it being implemented in the US/Canadian leagues has grown in scope and intensity over the last few years. One camp of fans and analysts clearly state that American sporting culture is different than what we see in Europe or South America, and that promotion and relegation simply can never fit our system. This camp argues that investors that pour millions of dollars into franchises cannot be expected to expose this investment to the potential of “their” team being relegated. A second camp argues that the closed system of Major League Soccer has ... Read more

Are you for or against promotion/relegation in US soccer, and why?

The topic of promotion and relegation in US soccer is a divisive one, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I believe that it’s possible to have an intelligent discussion regarding the topic without comments threads being plagued with soccer fans calling each other names. But what I am interested in hearing and reading is what your opinion is regarding promotion/relegation and whether you believe it has a place in US soccer or not. In a presentation today in Manchester, MLS Commissioner Don Garber discussed the growth of MLS and how it’s becoming more relevant, not just in the US but also ... Read more

NASL pursuing litigation against US Soccer; Here’s how it might play out

On Monday, The Financial Times newspaper reported that the second-tier North American Soccer League (NASL) has launched a legal case against the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) regarding first division sanctioning. In a nation without promotion and relegation, USSF is able to create arbitrary standards with the first-tier league MLS to determine what D1 standards should be. While the USSF is the governing body of soccer in all its forms in the United States, it maintains a very cozy relationship with MLS through its marketing arm, Soccer United Marketing (SUM), which works closely with US Soccer for promotion and television rights purposes. According to The ... Read more

The changing relationship between MLS, NASL and USL

This week’s episode of Divers and Cheats focused its discussion on the NASL, USL and MLS, and it created more buzz on social media than any of our previous three shows. The change in tact by the NASL since 2012 is striking. The mission statement of the league in the 2012 media guide included the following passage: “The NASL serving as the region’s second division does not have a system of relegation and promotion with the first division (MLS) or third division (USL PRO), nor is there an official working relationship between MLS and NASL. However, in addition the Montreal Impact, a number ... Read more

New York Cosmos and NASL need to stop focusing on MLS competition

This week, The Guardian newspaper was able to score a rare interview with New York Cosmos owner Seamus O’Brien regarding the future of the iconic soccer brand he leads in the United States. O’Brien purchased the Cosmos in 2012 soon after opting to join the second-tier North American Soccer League (NASL) rather than attempt to win an expansion franchise in Major League Soccer (MLS). As we’ve noted several times at World Soccer Talk, the NASL is experiencing serious growing pains, and is dealing with the residual impact of its long-standing relationship with Traffic Sports, a company that is at the center ... Read more

USSF and US soccer leagues have serious questions to answer

With the world’s attention on Canada and the Women’s World Cup, discussion of the FIFA scandal has begun to fade in the United States. This could not have come at a better time for the USSF and the professional leagues in the United States. As my colleague Simon Evans discussed late last week, the silence from some quarters in the American soccer community has been deafening. But fundamental questions must be asked of authorities in the United States. The United States is not in the same position as England or other countries particularly from UEFA that have been outside the ... Read more