December 30, 2009
Well, the US Soccer Federation has given another deadline in the USL vs NASL tug of war over control of 2nd Division pro soccer.
This time, US Soccer has opted to sanction either league saying that neither league had eight viable markets lined up for the 2010 season. It gave the two sides seven days to work things out.
I wonder what will happen if this high stakes game of chicken isn't resolved a week from now?
Personally, I'm down on either side as neither group has me expecting that they could lead a top rate 2nd division league into the future.
The USL has never been great at nuturing young markets and helping them grow. They've been content with collecting the league fees and doing the minimum to organize a league, IMO. It's kind of like the people that run indoor soccer leagues in various facilities around town.
The NASL on the other hand appears to not have learned from the mistakes of the original NASL and the blueprint for MLS success. Instead of putting a salary cap in place to ensure that expenses are in line with revenues, the NASL appears to be set up to fail in the long run with the powers that are pulling the strings wanting to make a splash as opposed to setting up a league where all the teams can thrive in the long run.
I'm starting to think that Jimmy Conrad was on to something with the idea that MLS should create a monopoly by purchasing the NASL, USL, and MISL.
The powers that be within MLS have been able to grow the league slowly and steadily and might be the one group that could grab the various parties involved by the throat and make the lower tiers of pro soccer in northern North America successful over the long haul.
But, I doubt that MLS wants to worry about a second division and more with their CBA issues to deal with right now.
I hate end of the year and end of the decade stuff. So here are just some things that have interested me since I've been away on vacation the past week and a half.
- Curt Onalfo to DC United? I would have preferred Richie Williams.
- Hopefully Gooch is healthy by the time the World Cup rolls around. I can't wait for the Gooch to MLS to get in shape for the World Cup rumors to start!
- All aboard the Freddy Adu to MLS rumor train!
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or SoccerSam.com. Feel free to send any comments or complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.