Home > Uncategorized > Detroit and Tampa Bay: USL’s Trump Cards?

Detroit and Tampa Bay: USL’s Trump Cards?

Few markets are as under-served, yet as rich in soccer potential as Detroit. Yesterday, USL’s leadership decided to add Detroit as a first division club, bringing the grand total of teams

The nation’s 8th largest TV market and was a successful host during the 1994 World Cup. Dan Duggan, who owns the Michigan Bucks, one of the most successful PDL teams has formed meaningful community partnerships that will make the team’s foray into the  second highest USSF sanctioned professional division successful. You can listen to my interview with Dan Duggan here. The interview conducted this past May, discussed the possibility of the Bucks making such a move.

Detroit has been preparing for such a move for a long time and is a market, that despite the recent volatility in the auto industry ready for big time professional soccer. USL has used trump card in the battle with the TOA : expanding to a big TV market, with a committed owner and a history of incredible success in both PDL and the US Open Cup. The promotion of Detroit also disarms some of the TOA’s argument that has been floated about big markets versus small markets. Detroit is a massive market and they have put their faith in USL.

Other news to come from the USL meetings in Beaverton (the home of Nike) is that Baltimore and Edmonton will also be added to the USL First Division next season along with previously announced Ottawa. I can report the Baltimore entry will be Crystal Palace and Ottawa will be part of the same organization as the current PDL team, Ottawa Fury. Edmonton’s ownership is a mystery.

The two previously announced expansion sides, Tampa Bay and FC New York were in attendance at the meetings. Tampa Bay carries one of the most historic names in American soccer, the Rowdies, and is being run by one of the greatest American players of the NASL generation, Perry Van Der Beck. Despite being an active member of the TOA, Tampa Bay has appeared to have made peace with USL, whose administrative offices are after all just down Dale Mabry Road from where the Rowdies and Mutiny used to play.

The success of these meetings could put the breakaway ideas of the TOA on the defensive. Vancouver and Montreal have an out plan with MLS, but Carolina, Miami and Minnesota have to be seriously concerned that USL’s aggressive plans will grind any momentum the TOA had to halt. (As it stands, Montreal may not be all the way in with the TOA, anyhow)The three clubs who have been scrubbed from the USL website risk not being able to field competitive side in the 2010 season, based on recent developments.

Miami, which is owned by the mega football promotion company Traffic Sports likely has the contacts and connections to find its way out of this hole. But do Carolina and Minnesota? Only time will tell if they can crawl back to USL and take a dose of humble pie, or work with Miami, and the two Canadian clubs to create a breakaway drawing in some current PDL or NPSL sides. That possibility is still on the table, although losing Tampa and seeing USL promote Detroit makes the TOA’s big market vs small market argument less relevant.

Any concerns about USL’s existence going forward can now be quelled. It is the TOA and its member  clubs that now find themselves both on the defensive and in the unenviable position of having to quickly change the terms of the debate otherwise risk falling into oblivion.  For lovers of the beautiful game in Alberta, Michigan, Ontario, Maryland, Florida and on Long Island, the TOA dispute should matter little. USL Professional Soccer is coming to a stadium near you.


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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. November 5, 2009 at 9:08 am | #1

    So it Montreal’s move to MLS definite? I haven’t heard anything specific.

  2. November 5, 2009 at 9:13 am | #2

    No, but my impression is the move hasn’t been made not because of MLS but because of Montreal. MLS would take Montreal in a heartbeat if they say yes without conditions.

  3. November 5, 2009 at 9:23 am | #3

    Kartik, I wanted to say thank you for providing great information on the USL / TOA situation. As head of the Aztex largest supporters organization, Chantico’s Army, I have been frustrated with the lack of info (until yesterday) from the league. I’m linking to your site regularly now as a great source of information as to what’s going on. Keep the good work coming.

  4. November 5, 2009 at 9:36 am | #4

    Thanks, Matthew!

  5. November 5, 2009 at 10:18 am | #5

    Detroit can not be considered a trump card. When you and I could buy a city block there off of blog income it is not a positive market. People are flooding out of the city.

    But having Tampa there is actually a big deal. Because the TOA is now short the 8 clubs minimum that they need.

    Someone will also need to explain to me why it is good for the USL to allow foreign teams to own clubs in its system, but not MLS?

  6. Seaside
    November 5, 2009 at 10:27 am | #6

    The team will not be based in the city of Detroit.

    The Bucks play in Oakland County, north of Detroit and their fan base has drawn out of that area since they moved to metro-Detroit.

    Duggan is one of the longest running USL owners, he wouldn’t go up if he didn’t think he could make a go of it.

  7. Tony H
    November 5, 2009 at 10:33 am | #7

    I am very disappointed that the Rowdies would go back to USL. I am even more disappointed that the TOA doesn’t seem to be moving quickly enough.

    By dragging this out, the TOA has lost the initiative and people have forgotten a big part of the issue with USL is their failure to comply with FIFA regulations. These “new” franchises are simply money making tools for the head office in Tampa. Nobody associated with them is going to be controlling the destiny of the clubs nor able to be truly innovative while under the thumb of USL and its arcane and repressive rules.

    The TOA has the moral high ground. They have ceded the PR high ground, but they do now and will always have the moral high ground. Now they must exploit it, before it is too late.

  8. Lew
    November 5, 2009 at 11:22 am | #8

    USL is simply getting by with this. Patching up a dispute that is sure to flare up again.

    The business practices of USL are unethical if not borderline illegal.

    Let’s review:

    NONE OF THE CLUBS HAVE OWNERSHIP IN THE LEAGUE

    MANY OF THE CLUBS HAVE NO SAY IN FURTHER EXPANSION OF THE LEAGUE. DECISIONS ARE MADE ARBITRARILY BY AN OFFICE IN TAMPA, FLORIDA, FAR AWAY FROM MANY OF THE LEAGUES TEAMS AND OWNERS.

    THE LEAGUE HAS NO CONTINUITY FROM YEAR TO YEAR. TEAMS START AND TEAMS FOLD AND THE LEAGUE HAS MADE NO EFFORT TO STABILIZE ITS PRODUCT.

    THE LEAGUE HAS PUT ZERO EFFORT INTO MARKETING IN CRITICAL LOCAL MARKETS. UNLIKE MLS THAT BUILDS IT BRAND UNIVERSALLY ACROSS THE COUNTRY, USL IS INVISIBLE AND FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES NON EXISTENT. IT SERVES SIMPLY AS AN UMBRELLA STRUCTURE TO COLLECT PROFITS FROM CLUBS.

    USL DOES NOTHING TO HELP STRUGGLING TEAMS

    WHEN NIKE WAS ON THE CUSP OF SELLING THE LEAGUE TO ST LOUIS UNITED WITH TOA SUPPORT, USL SOMEHOW INTERVENED AND HAD THE LEAGUE SOLD TO NUROCK. A CLASSIC INSIDE JOB THAT PROTECTED THE POWER ENTRENCHED STAFF AND FURTHER ALIENATED THE CLUBS.

    I’m tired of hearing how we cannot let USL fail and that the TOA are troublemakers. If I ran the TOA, I would have done things differently than those clowns from Miami running things, but the clowns from Miami are right legally, morally and ethically while USL is dead wrong.

    This “solution” put forward by USL only makes the long term viability of several markets and franchises weaker and casts more doubt going froward.

  9. Seaside
    November 5, 2009 at 11:24 am | #9

    The Rowdies probably realized they couldn’t get their expansion fee back. Should have perhaps done their homework?

    I don’t necessarily buy that its a “FIFA regulation”. USL has been around for 25 years. They’ve had FIFA sanctioning during that entire time. If this “FIFA regulation” was such a big deal, FIFA would have taken their sanctioning away from USL a while ago. Throughout this entire time, none of the TOA owners have pointed to said regulation. I’d love to see this “regulation”.

    On top of that, the TOA did sign up for USL. They knew the way it ran. They can leave if they want, but I don’t believe they have a moral high ground. They signed off when they paid their expansion fees…

    Furthermore, given whats been going on, if its a “Money maker” for USL, then the owners in those four cities must be complete idiots, no? They’re signing up to pay the fees. They’d rather be with USL than the TOA, and three of the four expansion owners are current USL owners anyway, so they know what they’re getting into…

  10. Jason
    November 5, 2009 at 11:27 am | #10

    I have yet to see any proof of this supposed “FIFA regulation.”

    In short, it’s bollocks. It’s something the people who got their knickers in a twist because they have a hard time running their own teams, much less a league, trot out there and the more they repeat it, the more you’re supposed to believe it.

  11. ERic
    November 5, 2009 at 12:45 pm | #11

    Tony H :
    I am very disappointed that the Rowdies would go back to USL. I am even more disappointed that the TOA doesn’t seem to be moving quickly enough.
    By dragging this out, the TOA has lost the initiative and people have forgotten a big part of the issue with USL is their failure to comply with FIFA regulations. These “new” franchises are simply money making tools for the head office in Tampa. Nobody associated with them is going to be controlling the destiny of the clubs nor able to be truly innovative while under the thumb of USL and its arcane and repressive rules.
    The TOA has the moral high ground. They have ceded the PR high ground, but they do now and will always have the moral high ground. Now they must exploit it, before it is too late.

    Only if you buy Kartiks’ hyped language. He’s doing a good job writing very emotional reports that keep us reading. But I’m riding enough of an emotional roller-coaster over this that I don’t need his assistance.

    It takes time to create a new league. There’s no way around that. There is a lot to be done, and not just paperwork. If the TOA is going to happen, I would expect that it will take every bit of the time available between now and March.

    The USL (probably) managing to keep Tampa is an issue for the TOA. But if they can hold on to Montreal and Vancouver, revive Atlanta and create St. Louis (should be easy), they’ll have enough teams to start a league. And, to be honest, with how often teams have bowed out of all levels of the USL at the last minute, I’m not going to feel secure about which league Tampa will be in until March.

    Of course, the same can be said of Montreal and Vancouver for the TOA.

    We’re going to probably be on pins and needles until first kick 2010.

    I’d be nice if Kartik would hold off fanning the flames a little, though.

  12. ERic
    November 5, 2009 at 12:53 pm | #12

    Lew :
    USL is simply getting by with this. Patching up a dispute that is sure to flare up again.
    The business practices of USL are unethical if not borderline illegal.
    Let’s review:
    NONE OF THE CLUBS HAVE OWNERSHIP IN THE LEAGUE
    MANY OF THE CLUBS HAVE NO SAY IN FURTHER EXPANSION OF THE LEAGUE. DECISIONS ARE MADE ARBITRARILY BY AN OFFICE IN TAMPA, FLORIDA, FAR AWAY FROM MANY OF THE LEAGUES TEAMS AND OWNERS.

    Actually, this is not true. There is a group that meets and has a say in expansion teams. At least, I’m pretty sure I remember seeing Jim Bob Rhino say something about that on the giant Big Soccer USL/TOA discussion thread. I’ve just done a search and haven’t been able to find it, though.

    So, for now, it’s my say against yours on this point. But I think you’re wrong.;)

  13. Otto the Seal
    November 5, 2009 at 12:59 pm | #13

    ERic :

    Tony H :
    I am very disappointed that the Rowdies would go back to USL. I am even more disappointed that the TOA doesn’t seem to be moving quickly enough.
    By dragging this out, the TOA has lost the initiative and people have forgotten a big part of the issue with USL is their failure to comply with FIFA regulations. These “new” franchises are simply money making tools for the head office in Tampa. Nobody associated with them is going to be controlling the destiny of the clubs nor able to be truly innovative while under the thumb of USL and its arcane and repressive rules.
    The TOA has the moral high ground. They have ceded the PR high ground, but they do now and will always have the moral high ground. Now they must exploit it, before it is too late.

    Only if you buy Kartiks’ hyped language. He’s doing a good job writing very emotional reports that keep us reading. But I’m riding enough of an emotional roller-coaster over this that I don’t need his assistance.
    It takes time to create a new league. There’s no way around that. There is a lot to be done, and not just paperwork. If the TOA is going to happen, I would expect that it will take every bit of the time available between now and March.
    The USL (probably) managing to keep Tampa is an issue for the TOA. But if they can hold on to Montreal and Vancouver, revive Atlanta and create St. Louis (should be easy), they’ll have enough teams to start a league. And, to be honest, with how often teams have bowed out of all levels of the USL at the last minute, I’m not going to feel secure about which league Tampa will be in until March.
    Of course, the same can be said of Montreal and Vancouver for the TOA.
    We’re going to probably be on pins and needles until first kick 2010.
    I’d be nice if Kartik would hold off fanning the flames a little, though.

    Perhaps you would ride a little less of an emotional roller coaster if the owner of your club which I presume is a TOA club had actually been more responsible in its dealings with USL. I’m not going to completely defend Kartik, because his intial writings were slanted towards the TOA and trying to gain sympathy for Jeff Cooper who after all didn’t buy USL because he fell through on his bid, not because of foul play.

    But I will say Kartik’s reporting, though fueling an emotional roller coaster according to you has been very accurate and I am saying this as someone very much in the know. Negotiations and posturing are always emotional roller coasters. The same can be said for Inside Minnesota Soccer: accurate and on the mark even if fueling emotions.

    Do I sense Kartik writes on it too often to keep interest? Perhaps, yes and that is what any good blog author would do. He is clearly holding some information and then producing it in his next story to keep revealing new info to keep people reading even though alot of what he reports is already several days old, although curiously it has not shown up anywhere else.

    Is he reporting innaccurate or false information?

    Trust me, he isn’t. In fact, I think his reporting at least since he got his initial TOA bias out of the way has been some of the best I’ve seen on USL in a long time. Same for the Minnesota site.

    If it is too emotional for you, don’t read, pull a Rip Van Winkle and wake up in March. Why? Because several more shoes are dropping soon, that I am sure Kartik will eventually report on.

  14. November 5, 2009 at 1:17 pm | #14

    TOA needs to come out today or tomorrow with some news. Kartik’s reporting has been outstanding.

  15. Anonymous
    November 5, 2009 at 1:44 pm | #15

    As another person in the know, I think Kartik’s reporting has been grade A but some of his analysis has been way off the mark. I understand this is an opinion site and he is more of an opinion writer than a reporter.

    But as I see it, knowing this saga as well as anyone outside of maybe Tim Holt, and a handful of others, the reporting has been 95% accurate and the analysis has been about 40% accurate.

    Maybe Kartik should become a beat writer and leave the commentary to someone else. Kartik, I know that’s not what you want to hear since I sense you have opted for the commentator over reporting course but it seems you are better at gathering facts and then piecing it together than actually interpreting motives and reasoning based on that reporting.

    Just some friendly advice.

  16. November 5, 2009 at 1:48 pm | #16

    Anonymous :
    As another person in the know, I think Kartik’s reporting has been grade A but some of his analysis has been way off the mark. I understand this is an opinion site and he is more of an opinion writer than a reporter.
    But as I see it, knowing this saga as well as anyone outside of maybe Tim Holt, and a handful of others, the reporting has been 95% accurate and the analysis has been about 40% accurate.
    Maybe Kartik should become a beat writer and leave the commentary to someone else. Kartik, I know that’s not what you want to hear since I sense you have opted for the commentator over reporting course but it seems you are better at gathering facts and then piecing it together than actually interpreting motives and reasoning based on that reporting.
    Just some friendly advice.

    Well if you are as in the know as claimed, I am glad I have gotten the facts right, but wonder where I have erred on analysis? Any insight or advice would be appreciated. You can send it via email at kkfla737@yahoo.com

    Thanks.

  17. nathan3e
    November 5, 2009 at 2:27 pm | #17

    One thing really is not in dispute. The USL press release was pitifully amateurish. Blithely tossing out words like extremely, magnificent, thrilled and sophisticated and then indicating oh, by the way, no one from Charleston could make it. And FC Long Island will be one of our teams. One can look at their list of 12 and pick out 5 that are doomed to fail.

    And moving into the Detroit area is not a trump card. Median house price: $8,000. Unemployment: 20%. Hope for a meaningful city proper recovery: Zero. Omaha would be a better market.

  18. anonymoose
    November 5, 2009 at 2:49 pm | #18

    Otto the Seal
    Perhaps you would ride a little less of an emotional roller coaster if the owner of your club which I presume is a TOA club had actually been more responsible in its dealings with USL. I’m not going to completely defend Kartik, because his intial writings were slanted towards the TOA and trying to gain sympathy for Jeff Cooper who after all didn’t buy USL because he fell through on his bid, not because of foul play.

    You presume wrong, my presumptive friend. ERic is an Aztex fan. Don’t let that stop you though. Keep arguing with him!

  19. Steven Beauregard
    November 5, 2009 at 8:41 pm | #19

    There is no way Edmonton and Ottawa will be playing next year in USL-1 as you seem to imply Kartik…Where will they play? The Edmonton Aviators were a dismal failure in Commonwealth stadium, a cavernous 60,000 seat stadium with Canadian football lines, no owner with a glimmer of common sense would go back there. The only other option would be Clarke stadium but it only seats 1,200… As for Ottawa the plans to renovate Frank Clair Stadium will be done by 2012, 2011 at the earliest so ?? I don’t recall them announcing anywhere that these 2 teams would be playing next year..

  20. Chris
    November 5, 2009 at 11:38 pm | #20

    Kartik
    Two points from a Canadian Perspective.
    1.) Really? Edmonton? who is this owner? where will they play?
    2.) Ottawa has been rumored to want to make the jump to USl-1 but when the “Lansdowne Park -Frank Claire Stadium” is finnished in 2012-2013

    Both these “announcements” seem alot like the pushing of Cleveland up when they obviously were not ready! They might as well of added Hamilton who are waiting to see if the get the PAN-AM games before they build a stadium!!
    It seens like the USL decived if they lose two Canadian teams they better add two and someone in Florida looked at a Canadian map and took one city from the east and another from the west!!!

  21. November 6, 2009 at 12:28 am | #21

    Chris and Steve, you do realize that Kartik din’t invent the idea of Ottawa and Edmonton, but that the USL mentions them in the press release?

  22. Olive
    November 6, 2009 at 12:44 am | #22

    the press release just says there were potential expansion franchise owners at the meetings, and “with several of them prepared to play as early as 2010 and 2011″. So if I am reading that right, there might/probably won’t be any new teams, unless you consider Baltimore a new team.

    It does seem to be a situation similar to Cleveland: We need teams, so tell these owners that they need to field a team before they’re completely ready – who cares what the long term implications of such a move might be.

  23. Steven Beauregard
    November 6, 2009 at 12:48 am | #23

    Dave,

    You do realize that Kartik implies that both those teams will be playing in USL-1 next year when in reality they (the usl) don’t really say that in their ”everything is going great” press release…. Those 2 teams will never be ready for 2010.

  24. Olive
    November 6, 2009 at 12:50 am | #24

    Also, I still have a lot of questions: What will happen to USL 2 if Baltimore moves up? (or Bermuda and/or Wilmington folds?) Is Tampa really going back to USL, or did they just attend the meetings since they made their payment to the USL? Is Atlanta truly bringing a team back next year? What about St. Louis – shouldn’t they be prepping a team to play next year? This split has been and will be devestating to both sides. I just hope at least one of them survives.

  25. evan eleven
    November 6, 2009 at 3:12 am | #25

    supposedly the rights to a New York Cosmos team were sold to Paul Kemsley of England. i wonder if either USL or TOA have contacted Kemsley about the Cosmos playing in a league? now that would be a REAL trump card, not the Ottowa Fury or the Michigan Bucks…

  26. November 6, 2009 at 7:58 am | #26

    FYI, to everyone. I believe the start dates for the clubs other than Baltimore will be 2011. However, I was encouraged to pull the start dates out of the story because it is speculation. Thus, any implication of all four beginning in 2010, I apologize for. The original intention was to state what I believed to be the potential start dates for all four new clubs, but pulled back from that. Thanks.

  27. November 6, 2009 at 8:01 am | #27

    evan eleven :

    supposedly the rights to a New York Cosmos team were sold to Paul Kemsley of England. i wonder if either USL or TOA have contacted Kemsley about the Cosmos playing in a league? now that would be a REAL trump card, not the Ottowa Fury or the Michigan Bucks…

    The TOA is thinking along those lines, not with NY specifically, but in general. I think latching onto the NASL legacy is something they would consider if they get the league off the ground. Failure to embrace the NASL legacy was a HUGE mistake MLS made. The rectified the mistake in San Jose, but never did in Tampa, South Florida, New York and tried very hard to block the NASL name in Seattle, but thankfully people power led by David Falk of Goal Seattle prevailed there.

  28. #1
    November 6, 2009 at 10:32 am | #28

    The release also says Tampa will play next year, but it doesn’t mention if it will be a team run by the same owner as the expansion Rowdies. Can anyone confirm?

    TOA vs. USL also opens the possibility of having two teams in one city.

    There’s no credible owner or facility for Edmonton, so that’s a clear bluff.

  29. Tommie
    November 6, 2009 at 1:45 pm | #29

    #1 :
    The release also says Tampa will play next year, but it doesn’t mention if it will be a team run by the same owner as the expansion Rowdies. Can anyone confirm?
    TOA vs. USL also opens the possibility of having two teams in one city.
    There’s no credible owner or facility for Edmonton, so that’s a clear bluff.

    Speaking of bluffs the whole TOA/Breakaway thing was a bluff. USL is credible, established league with good sponsors and better financial backing than ever before. Where was the imputes, and the financial support for this mythical league going to come from?

    We read today that Minnesota Thunder are in debt up the wazoo and cannot afford to pay the money owed to the league (USL) which is close to a million dollars.

    Carolina Railhawks are a new team who cannot draw anyone to the games in a soccer mad area.

    Ditto for Miami FC. As far as Traffic Sports, a company that does business with Manchester United and Real Madrid is not going to waste its money funding a new league which will essentially be a third division in a nation that has not even taken to its first division yet. The idea that Traffic who have shown no financial commitment to Miami FC while they do deals around the globe with FIFA and big clubs was going to fund this showed how gullible all of you are.

    This TOA league was never going to happen and the bluff has been called by USL. The three leaders are out of the league and probably Vancouver also.

    I say good riddance.

  30. Scott
    November 6, 2009 at 1:49 pm | #30

    Lew :
    The business practices of USL are unethical if not borderline illegal.
    Let’s review:

    Yes, let’s.

    NONE OF THE CLUBS HAVE OWNERSHIP IN THE LEAGUENothing unethical or illegal here, unless there’s some law that says all leagues must be owned by their clubs, which, of course, there is not.

    Clubs agree to enter into the league of their own volition, knowing full well that they don’t then own part of it. Just a normal business transaction like millions of others that go on every day.

    MANY OF THE CLUBS HAVE NO SAY IN FURTHER EXPANSION OF THE LEAGUE. DECISIONS ARE MADE ARBITRARILY BY AN OFFICE IN TAMPA, FLORIDA, FAR AWAY FROM MANY OF THE LEAGUES TEAMS AND OWNERS.

    What? They disbanded the expansion committee? When did that happen?

    Not to mention, the clubs that freely pay their fee and join the league understand going in exactly what powers they do and don’t have in the league. Again, nothing illegal or unethical.

    THE LEAGUE HAS NO CONTINUITY FROM YEAR TO YEAR. TEAMS START AND TEAMS FOLD AND THE LEAGUE HAS MADE NO EFFORT TO STABILIZE ITS PRODUCT.

    That is little short of a plain lie. You obviously don’t know how many clubs that the league has allowed to pay reduced or late franchise fees, to allow them to get their finances in order. That may not be everything that you want, and I’d love to hear what you propose what the league can do to “stabilize its product,” but just because you don’t know the difference between everything you want, and nothing, doesn’t mean that there isn’t one.

    THE LEAGUE HAS PUT ZERO EFFORT INTO MARKETING IN CRITICAL LOCAL MARKETS. UNLIKE MLS THAT BUILDS IT BRAND UNIVERSALLY ACROSS THE COUNTRY, USL IS INVISIBLE AND FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES NON EXISTENT. IT SERVES SIMPLY AS AN UMBRELLA STRUCTURE TO COLLECT PROFITS FROM CLUBS.

    Which, again, clubs know when they agree to pay the fee and join the league. Nothing illegal or even close to unethical here, either.

    USL DOES NOTHING TO HELP STRUGGLING TEAMS

    See above.

    WHEN NIKE WAS ON THE CUSP OF SELLING THE LEAGUE TO ST LOUIS UNITED WITH TOA SUPPORT, USL SOMEHOW INTERVENED AND HAD THE LEAGUE SOLD TO NUROCK. A CLASSIC INSIDE JOB THAT PROTECTED THE POWER ENTRENCHED STAFF AND FURTHER ALIENATED THE CLUBS.

    The league has done nothing any more illegal or unethical than you did in posting that statement. That’s simply a load of 100% BS that, I’m sorry to say, does not become true just because you post it (nor, because you post it in ALL CAPS).

    I would dearly love to hear how the USL forced Nike, a multi-billion-dollar, multinational conglomerate, to do something against its will, and not in its best interests, aside from just your desire to make up an idiotic conspiracy theory.

    I’m tired of hearing how we cannot let USL fail and that the TOA are troublemakers. If I ran the TOA, I would have done things differently than those clowns from Miami running things, but the clowns from Miami are right legally, morally and ethically while USL is dead wrong.

    You must be one of those clowns, since they don’t have any more idea of what’s legal, ethical or moral than you do. All you’ve done here is throw an ignorant internet temper tantrum, with no basis whatsoever in fact, logic or reason, pretending that not getting what you want is something other than just your not getting what you want.

    Now, leave words like “unethical” and “illegal” to those who understand what they mean.

  31. USL Supporter
    November 6, 2009 at 5:38 pm | #31

    Honestly, it is now terribly obvious that the whole TOA thing was nothing but a poorly planned rouse. We could have guessed it if some people, including the author of this site were not so excited about driving traffic here based on it.

    Let’s review

    USL sold legally to NuRock.

    Jeff Cooper who has a history of strange dealings in Soccer is upset as are some owners of marginal clubs.

    The “TOA” led by the now insolvent Minnesota Thunder, the never relevant Carolina Railhawks and the we have less fans than rec softball Miami FC protest. Then Vancouver and Montreal, two teams who are very openly NOT committed to USL join them. Then a misfit owner from Atlanta joins them, as does Cooper.

    What a bunch. The insane asylum wouldn’t even take Joey the liar Saputo, Sidney the nut Wellman, Boris the insane Silverback, Aaron the Traffic thief and Dean I owe half the country money Johnson. Then they add Jeff Cooper, a known loose cannon and gadfly to their group.

    And you people took them seriously? USL was always going to triumph and by reacting quickly and decisively to this hoax brought on by people who belong in mental institutions, the league is stronger than ever with new sponsors and new ideas.

    Those who supported USL pat yourself on the back. The cynical attempts by some to destroy the sport have been beaten back. I’d like the USSF to take action and expel all of the “TOA” leaders who were part of this hoax from participating in the sport in this country for a minimum of 5 years. That includes Jeff Cooper who owns an existing WPS franchise.

    The damage these people almost did to the game would have taken 20 years to undue and we cannot risk them doing something like this again.

  32. November 6, 2009 at 5:41 pm | #32

    #1 :
    The release also says Tampa will play next year, but it doesn’t mention if it will be a team run by the same owner as the expansion Rowdies. Can anyone confirm?
    TOA vs. USL also opens the possibility of having two teams in one city.
    There’s no credible owner or facility for Edmonton, so that’s a clear bluff.

    The TOA doesn’t exist and will not exist. And Kartik’s reporting that the USSF would accept an application is false. The existing USL organizations have strong assurances that the USSF will reject the application. Besides, they were never serious about a league anyway. Just a cynical attempt by a bunch of attention starved insane whores to create headlines for themselves.

  33. ERic
    November 6, 2009 at 5:42 pm | #33

    Otto the Seal :

    ERic :

    Tony H :
    I am very disappointed that the Rowdies would go back to USL. I am even more disappointed that the TOA doesn’t seem to be moving quickly enough.
    By dragging this out, the TOA has lost the initiative and people have forgotten a big part of the issue with USL is their failure to comply with FIFA regulations. These “new” franchises are simply money making tools for the head office in Tampa. Nobody associated with them is going to be controlling the destiny of the clubs nor able to be truly innovative while under the thumb of USL and its arcane and repressive rules.
    The TOA has the moral high ground. They have ceded the PR high ground, but they do now and will always have the moral high ground. Now they must exploit it, before it is too late.

    Only if you buy Kartiks’ hyped language. He’s doing a good job writing very emotional reports that keep us reading. But I’m riding enough of an emotional roller-coaster over this that I don’t need his assistance.
    It takes time to create a new league. There’s no way around that. There is a lot to be done, and not just paperwork. If the TOA is going to happen, I would expect that it will take every bit of the time available between now and March.
    The USL (probably) managing to keep Tampa is an issue for the TOA. But if they can hold on to Montreal and Vancouver, revive Atlanta and create St. Louis (should be easy), they’ll have enough teams to start a league. And, to be honest, with how often teams have bowed out of all levels of the USL at the last minute, I’m not going to feel secure about which league Tampa will be in until March.
    Of course, the same can be said of Montreal and Vancouver for the TOA.
    We’re going to probably be on pins and needles until first kick 2010.
    I’d be nice if Kartik would hold off fanning the flames a little, though.

    Perhaps you would ride a little less of an emotional roller coaster if the owner of your club which I presume is a TOA club had actually been more responsible in its dealings with USL. I’m not going to completely defend Kartik, because his intial writings were slanted towards the TOA and trying to gain sympathy for Jeff Cooper who after all didn’t buy USL because he fell through on his bid, not because of foul play.
    But I will say Kartik’s reporting, though fueling an emotional roller coaster according to you has been very accurate and I am saying this as someone very much in the know. Negotiations and posturing are always emotional roller coasters. The same can be said for Inside Minnesota Soccer: accurate and on the mark even if fueling emotions.
    Do I sense Kartik writes on it too often to keep interest? Perhaps, yes and that is what any good blog author would do. He is clearly holding some information and then producing it in his next story to keep revealing new info to keep people reading even though alot of what he reports is already several days old, although curiously it has not shown up anywhere else.
    Is he reporting innaccurate or false information?
    Trust me, he isn’t. In fact, I think his reporting at least since he got his initial TOA bias out of the way has been some of the best I’ve seen on USL in a long time. Same for the Minnesota site.
    If it is too emotional for you, don’t read, pull a Rip Van Winkle and wake up in March. Why? Because several more shoes are dropping soon, that I am sure Kartik will eventually report on.

    As Anonymoose mentioned, I’m an Aztex supporter. So you got that wrong.;)

    The reason I’m on a roller coaster is that with the Aztex having only had one year here as a pro team, I care a LOT about the league and want to see it stable and successful. I was around when the USL had a team here 10+ years ago, so I’ve seen ebb and flow, and generally care deeply about the success of soccer at all levels in the US.

    I’m probably too sucked into it to be able to Rip Van Winkle. But I do try and keep a more level head about it all. I still expect (despite IMN’s report today on the Thunder) the TOA league to happen, and for it to include everyone that was listed except Tampa. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see them jump ship (regular games against Miami and Puerto Rico would be helpful for them, I think) as late as February.

    There was a time that I had contacts in the league and wanted to know that stuff. At this point, I’m glad that Kartik and IMN are around and doing the work that few others are. And certainly none of them with their consistency and depth.

    But it would be helpful to have a little more clear separation between reporting and commentary. Not that I should expect that on a blog. But it would be nice.

    Re: other shoes… great. Ah, well, once the TOA started making noise, we knew this was going to be a tumultuous off-season.

  34. ERic
    November 6, 2009 at 5:45 pm | #34

    USL Supporter :

    #1 :
    The release also says Tampa will play next year, but it doesn’t mention if it will be a team run by the same owner as the expansion Rowdies. Can anyone confirm?
    TOA vs. USL also opens the possibility of having two teams in one city.
    There’s no credible owner or facility for Edmonton, so that’s a clear bluff.

    The TOA doesn’t exist and will not exist. And Kartik’s reporting that the USSF would accept an application is false. The existing USL organizations have strong assurances that the USSF will reject the application. Besides, they were never serious about a league anyway. Just a cynical attempt by a bunch of attention starved insane whores to create headlines for themselves.

    Wow. That’s a pretty strong statement. Got anyone that wants to go on the record to support your assertion? What reason would the USSF use to reject it?

  35. November 6, 2009 at 5:48 pm | #35

    I’m thankful for the good of American soccer that the TOA will go away. While Miami and Carolina in particular are important markets, the irresponsible ownership of both current clubs that took us down this road towards catastrophe should be replaced. If that means no Miami or Carolina in 2010 so be it. They can come back with new owners and a better understanding of their role in USL in 2011 or 2012.

    As far as Minnesota, we’ve all seen the IMS report, and I believe the plug ought to be pulled for now, unless new owners can come in.

    Vancouver and Montreal can leave now also. They want MLS and they are both eventually going to be there, so let them fend for themselves right now.

  36. November 6, 2009 at 5:50 pm | #36

    ERic :

    USL Supporter :

    #1 :
    The release also says Tampa will play next year, but it doesn’t mention if it will be a team run by the same owner as the expansion Rowdies. Can anyone confirm?
    TOA vs. USL also opens the possibility of having two teams in one city.
    There’s no credible owner or facility for Edmonton, so that’s a clear bluff.

    The TOA doesn’t exist and will not exist. And Kartik’s reporting that the USSF would accept an application is false. The existing USL organizations have strong assurances that the USSF will reject the application. Besides, they were never serious about a league anyway. Just a cynical attempt by a bunch of attention starved insane whores to create headlines for themselves.

    Wow. That’s a pretty strong statement. Got anyone that wants to go on the record to support your assertion? What reason would the USSF use to reject it?

    I am told they will reject it. We don’t need two second divisions. No other country has two sanctioned second divisions. Gulati was playing the TOA hoping they’d take some of his good will and use it to patch up the differences with the league. But alas, they still make noise. As I wrote above six of the seven remaining TOA members are run by people who should be locked away, so this is no surprise.

  37. November 6, 2009 at 5:55 pm | #37

    USL Supporter :
    Honestly, it is now terribly obvious that the whole TOA thing was nothing but a poorly planned rouse. We could have guessed it if some people, including the author of this site were not so excited about driving traffic here based on it.
    Let’s review
    USL sold legally to NuRock.
    Jeff Cooper who has a history of strange dealings in Soccer is upset as are some owners of marginal clubs.
    The “TOA” led by the now insolvent Minnesota Thunder, the never relevant Carolina Railhawks and the we have less fans than rec softball Miami FC protest. Then Vancouver and Montreal, two teams who are very openly NOT committed to USL join them. Then a misfit owner from Atlanta joins them, as does Cooper.
    What a bunch. The insane asylum wouldn’t even take Joey the liar Saputo, Sidney the nut Wellman, Boris the insane Silverback, Aaron the Traffic thief and Dean I owe half the country money Johnson. Then they add Jeff Cooper, a known loose cannon and gadfly to their group.
    And you people took them seriously? USL was always going to triumph and by reacting quickly and decisively to this hoax brought on by people who belong in mental institutions, the league is stronger than ever with new sponsors and new ideas.
    Those who supported USL pat yourself on the back. The cynical attempts by some to destroy the sport have been beaten back. I’d like the USSF to take action and expel all of the “TOA” leaders who were part of this hoax from participating in the sport in this country for a minimum of 5 years. That includes Jeff Cooper who owns an existing WPS franchise.
    The damage these people almost did to the game would have taken 20 years to undue and we cannot risk them doing something like this again.

    USL Supporter :

    ERic :

    USL Supporter :

    #1 :
    The release also says Tampa will play next year, but it doesn’t mention if it will be a team run by the same owner as the expansion Rowdies. Can anyone confirm?
    TOA vs. USL also opens the possibility of having two teams in one city.
    There’s no credible owner or facility for Edmonton, so that’s a clear bluff.

    The TOA doesn’t exist and will not exist. And Kartik’s reporting that the USSF would accept an application is false. The existing USL organizations have strong assurances that the USSF will reject the application. Besides, they were never serious about a league anyway. Just a cynical attempt by a bunch of attention starved insane whores to create headlines for themselves.

    Wow. That’s a pretty strong statement. Got anyone that wants to go on the record to support your assertion? What reason would the USSF use to reject it?

    I am told they will reject it. We don’t need two second divisions. No other country has two sanctioned second divisions. Gulati was playing the TOA hoping they’d take some of his good will and use it to patch up the differences with the league. But alas, they still make noise. As I wrote above six of the seven remaining TOA members are run by people who should be locked away, so this is no surprise.

    Whether you agree or disagree with specific clubs and the ownership of those clubs, talking about sticking six respected people in the game in this country in an institution is out of line. I’m not deleting your comment because it is part of the ongoing discussion here, and does demonstrate how passionate the feelings are in this dispute. However, I would warn you going forward, that you should refrain from that sort of colorful language you have used in these comments.

  38. November 6, 2009 at 6:00 pm | #38

    Kartik, you should be the one angry. You, Reuters International, Brian Quarstad, Triangle Offensive, The Metro News, Match Fit USA and World Soccer Reader all got played by these attention seeking whores. I am standing up for you and your blogger/journos ilk by revealing that these guys are nuts. That also gets you and everyone else mentioned off the hook for inaccurate reporting. When you are dealing with a group of organized con artists which the TOA is, then you can easily be persuaded since they all sing from the same script. Heck, even Sunil Gulati was taken for a ride and he is the head of US Soccer.

  39. TOA = TBA
    November 6, 2009 at 6:39 pm | #39

    Maybe the TBA will announce something by year’s end? I am not holding my breathe!

  40. ERic
    November 6, 2009 at 7:36 pm | #40

    USL Supporter :
    Kartik, you should be the one angry. You, Reuters International, Brian Quarstad, Triangle Offensive, The Metro News, Match Fit USA and World Soccer Reader all got played by these attention seeking whores. I am standing up for you and your blogger/journos ilk by revealing that these guys are nuts. That also gets you and everyone else mentioned off the hook for inaccurate reporting. When you are dealing with a group of organized con artists which the TOA is, then you can easily be persuaded since they all sing from the same script. Heck, even Sunil Gulati was taken for a ride and he is the head of US Soccer.

    I’m not exactly thrilled with what has gone on, but I agree with Kartik. Your name-calling is over the top. Unless you can substantiate your opinion in some way, you’re only embarrassing yourself and undermining any shred of truth there might be in your diatribe.

    Please give us some proof or shut up.

    USL Supporter :

    ERic :

    USL Supporter :

    #1 :
    The release also says Tampa will play next year, but it doesn’t mention if it will be a team run by the same owner as the expansion Rowdies. Can anyone confirm?
    TOA vs. USL also opens the possibility of having two teams in one city.
    There’s no credible owner or facility for Edmonton, so that’s a clear bluff.

    The TOA doesn’t exist and will not exist. And Kartik’s reporting that the USSF would accept an application is false. The existing USL organizations have strong assurances that the USSF will reject the application. Besides, they were never serious about a league anyway. Just a cynical attempt by a bunch of attention starved insane whores to create headlines for themselves.

    Wow. That’s a pretty strong statement. Got anyone that wants to go on the record to support your assertion? What reason would the USSF use to reject it?

    I am told they will reject it. We don’t need two second divisions. No other country has two sanctioned second divisions. Gulati was playing the TOA hoping they’d take some of his good will and use it to patch up the differences with the league. But alas, they still make noise. As I wrote above six of the seven remaining TOA members are run by people who should be locked away, so this is no surprise.

    It may be true that no other country has two sanctioned second divisions, but I’m pretty certain that the USSF regulations/bylaws/whatever (can’t remember exactly which set of rules I saw it in) allows for more than one. If a league meets the USSF requirements, they’re going to have a hard time rejecting them. In fact, the A-League having been sanctioned with less than 8 teams (the minimum stated in the USSF documents) back when it was around makes it hard to reject any TOA league based on them not having enough teams. Which is about the only thing that I can see that they can use as a basis to reject them.

    You may be of the opinion that we don’t need two, but that’s your opinion as opposed to what’s in the USSF rules. Until you can come up with something substantive for all your assertions, I’m afraid I’m going to have to lump you in with the TOA as “people who should be locked away”.

  41. November 6, 2009 at 7:51 pm | #41

    TOA = TBA :
    Maybe the TBA will announce something by year’s end? I am not holding my breathe!

    It takes time to put a league together and obviously they have to deal with Tampa’s defection. But I’d expect something, one way or another in the next two weeks.

  42. bq
    November 7, 2009 at 1:11 am | #42

    Tommie :

    #1 :

    We read today that Minnesota Thunder are in debt up the wazoo and cannot afford to pay the money owed to the league (USL) which is close to a million dollars.

    The debt Minnesota has is in 6 figures but MUCH closer to under 6 figures than the million your claiming. Your information is completely false.

  43. TOA = DOA
    November 7, 2009 at 8:29 am | #43

    Thank goodness the TOA is done. Montreal and Vancouver are coming back to USL because of the office in Canada, Portland is staying and now Tampa Bay is back in the fold.

    Sorry, Kartik you and your Miami friends backed the wrong horse in this already completed race. Same for those in North Carolina, Minnesota and Missouri.

    USL is a twenty year old league that has survived this long by doing alot of things right. The TOA should have acknowledged that and worked within the system before shooting their lot on a pipe dream project that was never going to go anywhere.

  44. GYU
    November 7, 2009 at 9:12 am | #44

    The big issue in my mind is what should the USSF do about these owners that have a grievance but by their public actions have brought the game into some degree of ridicule. Obviously action must be taken against all TOA participants. A five year ban may be harsh, but a one year ban on the clubs should they rejoin USL on participating in the Open Cup would suffice. Should they not rejoin USL, the clubs and current ownership need to be banned from any professional soccer related entity for two years.

    Calling 911 when no emergency has happened is a crime. The TOA conducted the soccer related equivalent of calling 911, by convening all these meetings and grinding USL and its other 600 plus clubs to a halt.

    Later we discover the 911 call was nothing more than a cheap bluff, a very public bargaining chip. If the USSF is ever to be taken seriously, they must take strong and decisive action against these owners.

  45. November 7, 2009 at 9:25 am | #45

    Some of the comments here are to put it politely jumping the gun. The TOA still has cards to play, but it remains to be seen if they can get a new league off the ground, or if USL’s move in bringing in new markets to the top division will force a settlement. But simply presume this saga that we all wish were over by now, actually is over would be silly.

  46. This Dude
    November 7, 2009 at 9:47 am | #46

    “Few markets are as undeserved, yet as rich in soccer potential as Detroit.”

    Is this supposed to be “undeserved,” as written, or “underserved,” which would more accurately mesh with the point of the piece?

  47. November 7, 2009 at 9:52 am | #47

    This Dude :
    “Few markets are as undeserved, yet as rich in soccer potential as Detroit.”
    Is this supposed to be “undeserved,” as written, or “underserved,” which would more accurately mesh with the point of the piece?

    You are right- had it right the first time and automatic spell checker changed it- let me edit and over ride that. Thanks for pointing it out!

  48. November 7, 2009 at 10:04 am | #48

    You people are completely out of control. Do many of these posters work for USL or loyal USL clubs?

    Let us get back to the core issue here. USL’s unwillingness to change its business model to come in line with FIFA mandates and the accepted practices of business in this sport across the globe.

    Bringing in any number of franchises from lower divisions to make up the numbers is only a temporary solution. Moreover, these teams are likely to suffer as Cleveland did and realize that they are not only being used by the league office but that the grievances aired by the TOA apply to all USL teams in reasonably sized markets.

    Nobody here wants to address the number of clubs that have gone out of business with no help from the league. In MLS, that simply doesn’t happen. Nobody wants to address the number of clubs that have left USL and joined the NPSL. Heck, the NPSL would not even exist if dissatisfaction with USL was not so rampant throughout the country.

    I for one hope the TOA gets off the ground with a new league. They have ceded the PR war but still and always will have the moral high ground and thus ultimately the support of those who really care about the game in this country, including the USSF and MLS.

    As for my local Rowdies, I hope they reconsider and rejoin the TOA.

  49. nathan3e
    November 7, 2009 at 11:57 am | #49

    Tony H – Nicely done. I see nothing in there to disagree with.

    Personally, I do not think USL supporters are covering themselves in glory here. You might want to reach for more dispassionate terms than “whores” and “con artists”. You might want to consult a dictionary for a definition of whore to start. My favorite thus far is “I am told they will reject it.” Unless you are willing to attach your name to that claim, eye-rolling is the only proper response.

  50. Anonymous
    November 7, 2009 at 2:19 pm | #50

    nathan3e :
    Tony H – Nicely done. I see nothing in there to disagree with.
    Personally, I do not think USL supporters are covering themselves in glory here. You might want to reach for more dispassionate terms than “whores” and “con artists”. You might want to consult a dictionary for a definition of whore to start. My favorite thus far is “I am told they will reject it.” Unless you are willing to attach your name to that claim, eye-rolling is the only proper response.

    Please don’t generalize all USL supporters by one or two zealots.

  51. ERic
    November 7, 2009 at 2:19 pm | #51

    Oops. Didn’t notice that my name wasn’t included. I’m the above post.

  52. USL Supporter
    November 7, 2009 at 3:38 pm | #52

    nathan3e :
    Tony H – Nicely done. I see nothing in there to disagree with.
    Personally, I do not think USL supporters are covering themselves in glory here. You might want to reach for more dispassionate terms than “whores” and “con artists”. You might want to consult a dictionary for a definition of whore to start. My favorite thus far is “I am told they will reject it.” Unless you are willing to attach your name to that claim, eye-rolling is the only proper response.

    What else would you call a group of people seeking attention and who bring the game in this country to a level of disrespect and threaten to crash the entire system?

    The TOA owners are a group of nut jobs who need to be taught a lesson. Banning for a period of time is in my opinion a just punishment.

  53. November 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm | #53

    Can someone please explain how the TOA owners are “con artists” and “whores?”

    Also, has it occurred to any of you that the TOA hasn’t announced anything in a while because they see USL in desperation mode, calling up new franchises and making ridiculous press statements like Papadakis did about the Canadian teams. Then the symbolic gestures of the office in Canada after Papadakis had his foot in his mouth.

    Yeah, USL is in control like you all claim and the TOA are a bunch of “con artists,: and “whores.” Of course they are whores because so many people cover USL because of the awe inspiring USL press operation.

  54. #1
    November 7, 2009 at 7:29 pm | #54

    In Canada, we’re a bit puzzled by the Ottawa & Edmonton announcements as neither city has announced ownership, and there are no viable USL-1 quality venues in either city.

    Also, if Vancouver & Montreal wanted to go ahead with a TOA league, it would almost immediately get FIFA sanctioning through the CSA…no questions asked. Both teams would also still be eligible for the Voyageurs Cup competition.

    Either way, the whole situation is confusing for the fans, and really a case of too much “inside baseball”. But I hardly think a TOA league threatens to “crash the whole system” as some USL supporters complained.

    And as for using words like “insane” and “clubs and current ownership need to be banned from any professional soccer related entity for two years” is pretty loony on its own. The USL doesn’t own soccer. Neither does the USSF. They need as many healthy professional teams and leagues as they can get, and there’s no reason why a TOA league would find itself outside of the FIFA family if they’re capable of getting off the ground. Whether it’s a new league or an improved USL (which has now obviously been shaken from its apathy), I just want to know who I’m watching next year.

  55. November 7, 2009 at 8:36 pm | #55

    #1 brings up an interesting point.

    Could the CSA just back the Vancouver and Montreal side of this and then sanction some US clubs to join their league?

  56. Kyle
    November 7, 2009 at 9:10 pm | #56

    The TOA is far from dead. Just wait till next week. USL is the one that is making defensive and irrational moves because they knnow what is coming!

  57. ERic
    November 8, 2009 at 2:21 am | #57

    Ronnie T :
    Can someone please explain how the TOA owners are “con artists” and “whores?”
    Also, has it occurred to any of you that the TOA hasn’t announced anything in a while because they see USL in desperation mode, calling up new franchises and making ridiculous press statements like Papadakis did about the Canadian teams. Then the symbolic gestures of the office in Canada after Papadakis had his foot in his mouth.
    Yeah, USL is in control like you all claim and the TOA are a bunch of “con artists,: and “whores.” Of course they are whores because so many people cover USL because of the awe inspiring USL press operation.

    I’ve been asking “USL Supporter” for his evidence, but all he does is continue to name-call. I don’t think we’re going to get anything but invective from him.

  58. ERic
    November 8, 2009 at 2:22 am | #58

    Kyle :
    The TOA is far from dead. Just wait till next week. USL is the one that is making defensive and irrational moves because they knnow what is coming!

    Got any inside info? Or just guessing?

  59. Augustine Sasso
    November 8, 2009 at 9:40 am | #59

    Passionate is right. I got caught up in this rollercoaster of a ride too. I wonder what everyone will think when they look at this 6 months from now and passions have died down?
    The announcement of Detroit and Tampa threw me for a loop too. IF this were a conventional labor dispute with the USL being management and the TOA being labor, the USL has just fired the workers, hired scabs, gotten some workers to cross the picket line and then blacklisted the rest.
    But this is a negotiation. Despite the USL stance of not negotiating, that is a negotiating stance. This is a rollercoaster ride because the stakes keep getting heightened. As spectators we are not privy to each parties bottom line. Walking away and forming a league might not be the bottom line for the TOA. It might not be the bottom line for the USL either. These are positions. There are other deadlines for both parties that we don’t know. For example, what happens in March when the league has to announce play? At that point, the USL will be hard pressed to put out a league. What will they do? What about the TOA? To put a league together, they have get stadiums, players, etc. Will they owners lose money. Will soccer be hurt by this?
    See, all of these things are not really known to us or at least not to me and are part of the negotiations.
    Please note that even if the parties are not talking to each other publicly they might still be talking privately. And as for media whores, well, we are all being used knowingly or unknowingly as part of the negotiations. Our opinion matters. Will we as fans support the USL or the TOA next year? Clearly the fans are not a big force because they’re not organized and protesting if a team leaves a city.
    And a note on contract law. We don’t know what the contract that the owners signed says. Even if the owners signed a contract there might be a general clause that says, “the USL will provide x and y support”. Depending on someone’s view, this was not fulfilled and then it’s grounds for litigation. Now, this has been brewing for 18 months which shows a PATTERN of complaint. Again, I don’t know if this is true or if this is the basis for litigation. And then what is the remedy?

    And one more thing. Please remember that the parties have got to save face. Despite all the announcements and positions, no one wants to look foolish. The announcement that the Thunder is losing money, true or false is a face saving statement. The USL and TOA can use this if there is a new league or not. Then let’s think about Miami and Carolina. The USL and the TOA can (true or false) say that Miami wasn’t ready and Carolina was too small a market. I don’t know, I’m making that up, but the idea is to look for face saving statements. No one wants to look foolish or like the bad guy at any point.

    Whew, those are some of my thoughts on this. I’m trying NOT to get caught up in the rollercoaster. We as fans don’t get points for this. As fans we are the true supporters paying everyone’s paycheck and we should demand respect. But that’s for another day right?

  60. November 8, 2009 at 10:20 am | #60

    nathan3e :

    Tony H – Nicely done. I see nothing in there to disagree with.

    Personally, I do not think USL supporters are covering themselves in glory here. You might want to reach for more dispassionate terms than “whores” and “con artists”. You might want to consult a dictionary for a definition of whore to start. My favorite thus far is “I am told they will reject it.” Unless you are willing to attach your name to that claim, eye-rolling is the only proper response.

    The USL Supporter who posted they will reject it ought to contact me at kkfla737@yahoo.com. I have been told the opposite by multiple sources. The USSF, I have been told will not only sanction the league, but will probably work better with the TOA league (if it starts) than they do with USL currently. I have heard that from BOTH sides of this dispute.

    I am not well enough versed in the USL/USSF relationship to attribute whether this is a reflection of animosity with USL/F. Marcos/T. Holt or some sort of support for the TOA’s grievance.

    Also recall that Don Garber wields significant influence in the Federation these days (some people even claim he control the USSF, but I am not going to comment one way or another on that) and he is in the TOA’s corner.

  61. November 8, 2009 at 10:22 am | #61

    Kyle :

    The TOA is far from dead. Just wait till next week. USL is the one that is making defensive and irrational moves because they knnow what is coming!

    The TOA does still have moves to make and will make them at some point. Next week? Maybe, but I haven’t heard anything definite about timing yet.

  62. November 8, 2009 at 12:48 pm | #62

    Kartik,

    When talking about the power that MLS has in this, please let’s all remember that despite the USL’s hype about their marketing partner – it isn’t as powerful as SUM.

    It doesn’t get the tv ratings for soccer that SUM does, and it doesn’t make the money that SUM does. It doesn’t have the relationships with ESPN that SUM does, and it doesn’t have the relationships with foreign teams that SUM does.

    MLS might not be the best soccer out there, but their marketing team does a stunning job really.

    If the TOA connects with that they win this dispute over tier 2 soccer in North America.

  63. November 8, 2009 at 12:53 pm | #63

    I guess I shouldn’t have started that with your name…wish I could edit

  64. December 9, 2009 at 1:31 am | #64

    Excuse me for writing offtopic … which wordpress theme are you using? It’s looking awesome!

  65. December 9, 2009 at 7:34 am | #65

    Not sure the theme name, but it is available on the world press templates site.

  1. November 15, 2012 at 3:09 pm | #1

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