Home > Uncategorized > USSF Rejects NASL

USSF Rejects NASL

We’ll have much more on this developing story as the day progresses. I apologize for the lateness of my thoughts in advance as I have been on the road to watch the University of Miami play the University of Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl. Feel free to leave your comments on this thread.

Initial Thoughts:

  • The USSF is a political body that often times works to protect the interests of MLS. While this is not the worst thing, considering MLS is our first division and our most recognizable professional product, sometimes what is good for MLS as a business conflicts with the overall welfare of the game in this country. I believe the USL/TOA/NASL dispute cannot be viewed in a vacuum and must be analyzed in conjunction with the ongoing dispute between MLS players and the ownership/commissioner of the league. To me it is obvious the USSF is working on behalf of the MLS ownership in trying to ensure no player involved with the MLSPU has a domestic alternative in the case of a lockout. I also would not be shocked if the USSF rejects the registration of current MLS player who seek playing time abroad during a potential lockout.
  • USL-1 and its forerunner league, the A-League/APSL have had second division status for 20 years from the Federation. Choosing not to continue this sanctioning automatically while not sanctioning a potential replacement league, the NASL may appear pragmatic, but is probably an outgrowth of the USSF’s failure to properly mediate this situation. They would simply like it to go away, which it will not.
  • FIFA requires federations to periodically file compliance documentation. Right now the USSF is theoretically out of compliance with FIFA mandates because of the lawsuit filed in Florida courts between the USL and three clubs that have attempted to move to the NASL. Since a professional league has filed a lawsuit against club sides, FIFA is surely not pleased with the USSF. So, perhaps the USSF feels by not sanctioning either league, they can please FIFA.

More Later…….

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  1. December 30, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”

  2. December 30, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Back to the drawing board…

  3. December 30, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    At the very least, USSF could have taken the step to bring in a third party to help mediate between NASL and USL over the next 7 days. I don’t see these two parties sitting down at the same table and seeing eye to eye with out a mediator to help move things along.

  4. December 30, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Much like Pontius Pilate they washed their hands with this… what a shameful lame ass decision!

  5. Matthew N
    December 30, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    “While this is not the worst thing, considering MLs is our first division and our most recognizable professional product, sometimes what is good for MLS as a business conflicts with the overall welfare of the game in this country.”

    This sums it up very easily. It is disappointing that politics holds us, as a footballing nation, back.

  6. Nick
    December 30, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Wow. I actually didn’t see that coming. I honestly thought USSF would either sanction NASL or provide a third party alternative. When I emailed Mr. Ghulati to express my support for NASL he said the USSF would do “what is best for soccer in this country”. Clearly not the case…

  7. TW Soccer
    December 30, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    While the crowd led by Kartik, B Zygo and Zach W. (Ginge) continues to try and tear down MLS, it is in fact these piddly, nothing second division clubs that have put MLS in a bad position.

    Kartik’s rant about the CBA and MLSPU is complete hogwash. Total and utter nonsense. The MLSPU is causing these problems, not the MLS leadership. The owners have been perfectly reasonable. Do the players want MLS to disappear? They seem to act that way.

    USSF is rejecting both leagues because they clearly cannot be trusted after this fall. The good of the game in this country means we need to abolish both leagues and form an MLS II and make the PDL the MLS reserve system. I agree with Jimmy Conrad who proposed this in addition to the MLS buying the indoor circuit.

    MLS is our league and only by supporting the established brand does soccer get stronger. USL has always been an annoying little neighbor with fans who say “look at us, look at us.” but finally instead of continuing to dress up an ugly step sister, we are rejecting her entirely and sending away for good.

    I also call on CONCACAF to suspend all current and former USL clubs from the Champions League. We do not need a hard earned MLS spot being taken away again by an annoying Puerto Rico Islanders team that played 180 minutes of anti-football to defeat a superior TFC side. I also urge the USSF to give every USL spot in the Open Cup to the additional MLS teams and also invite amatuer teams to play into the tournament in place of USL and PDL clubs.

  8. December 30, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    I want to applaud the USSF and Sunil Gulati for showing such courage and leadership.

    Neither league ought to be in business and it would be good if those who have supported USL for years focused on MLS this year, with viewership and attending games.

    Together with one league we can move forward.

  9. Roger
    December 30, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    This is a very crucial time on american soccer,and I think it is a good one!

    Sometimes thigs have to get uggly in order to get better. I strongly believe that the new NASL should fight this battle to the end,they have the support of the fans, and that support will only get bigger if they fight.

    Our sport has being kidnapped in America by a group of narrow interests bussinessmen that have treat it like it is a Wall Street share.I knew they were not going to sancion the new NASL.No surprise,as they had follow a pattern of trying to monopolize our game.

    Our problem starts with the USSF wich is in bed with them!!

    Since the begining of this “Major” league with a low salary cap,everything has being made very unsoccerlike. They have show to the real soccer fans their true intentions and their lack of understanding of our game.

    To capture the magic,the passion and all the subttle deep meanings of our game should have been the goal of our league. There are reasons why a River-Boca; an Inter-Milan; a Celtics -Rangers are so especial ; it is the history behind the clubs. Those rivalries are born naturally, not by marketing.

    By crating a league the way they did, they showed us their lack of knowledge of our game.Instead of creating it as the platform for clubs to be created by cities and other entities and have a chance to grow and that way let the magic of our game come naturally. They created the league,the clubs ,the clubs names,logos,colors,decided the “selected markets”ans also very conveniently “designed” a system in wich they own pretty much everything.

    All of this without any consideration or consultation of the fans,wich is the esential element of our game!!

    By implementing things like the shoot outs,they showed us their arrogance and their “non soccer” roots.Pretending to do changes to the most popular sport on the planet!!!!

    Why dont we have real soccer people on the comanding positions of the US soccer structures!?!?!? In a country that you can find so many ex stars,legends of our game.Have we thought about that?

    Now that a potential more soccer like league is emerging,they feel threaten and naturally react protecting their bussiness. We should have no doubt at this point that this is all our game is for them, a bussiness.

    Fans,TOA ,new NASL, I think this is the time to FIGHT for the good of our game on the US.
    Go to FIFA. USSF has a dirty floor, they had allow leagues not complying with FIFA regulations to operate in our soil. THIS IS THE TIME.

    Put a message out there announcing the first US league that would implement pro/rel,that woould give you(new NASL) a great fan support and gain you huge international image.
    Fans,write blogs,make calls.Lets make some NOISEEEEEE.We may not have an opportunity like this in a while.

    In order to solve problems you have to go to the root. US soccer will never be what it should be with this USSF.

    You can fool some people some time,but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
    Roger.

  10. Rex
    December 30, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    USSF needs to mandate that NuRock sell USL to MLS.

    We can be united under one league and all invest in one brand name.

    USL was always a problem and we need to see it all become part of MLS.

  11. AF92
    December 30, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Once again the MLS bashing. Jeepers, someone just put a team im Miami and shut him up. And, I heard the Spanish Inquisition was MLS’ fault too. Sarcasm there. Just want to make sure that dosn’t show up in the next thrilling addition of Blame MLS for Everything, AKA TKR.

  12. fotbalist
    December 30, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    It is difficult for us, as fans, to understand the full effect of political implications. Indeed, the operational model that US Soccer employs is very business oriented rather than fan oriented. I also believe that US Soccer caters to MLS, however, I honestly believe that that they did make the right decision to force these two stubborn groups to co-operate or else….

    Needless to day, we’ve got a long way to go before soccer becomes fan-driven, rather than profit-driven. But that will only change when we – the fans – speak with our feet and $$$, along with our comments.

  13. December 30, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    This is the worst possible decision for all parties. I’m disgusted by this whole thing…….

    The USSF is set on killing any team or market that is not in MLS or plans to be in MLS by 2012.

    To the jerk who called out Kartik, these are legitimate gripes he lists and I read his stuff because so many soccer writers do nothing but over sell MLS while never putting a critical lens up to things they or the USSF does.

    As for Miami, you obviously did not read Kartik’s piece on MLS Talk which pissed me off royally saying Miami does not deserve an MLS team and that he supported Garber’s decision to pull the plug on the Fusion.

    Kartik has consistently talked for years about MLS players being screwed by the structure of the league and foreign signings, so his view on MLSPU and the CBA have been consistent. Is he making a leap linking it to USL’s situation? Perhaps, but his argument and theory is plausible if not likely.

  14. Kartik Krishnaiyer
    December 30, 2009 at 5:25 pm
  15. AF92
    December 30, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Hey ERT, if that is your name, get your facts straight. He makes no gripes, he makes ridiculous accusations and states them like they are facts. And, the really ironic thing is, I think there should be a team in Miami, Atlanta too. I just do not have his, and perhaps your, vision that all evils in American soccer have been caused by MLS. And, if MLS is in Miami I guarantee all his “gripes” as you put it go away. Oh, and ERT, there was a gunman on the grassy knoll. Don’t tell anyone.

  16. December 30, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    This decision is totally unacceptable.

    Gulati should just flat out say

    “The USSF exists as an extension of MLS, and that we are here to protect MLS.”

    I guess we won’t have a new Tampa Bay Rowdies this year after all.

    Does the USSF give a damn that they are killing soccer outside the MLS markets.

  17. December 30, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Roger :
    This is a very crucial time on american soccer,and I think it is a good one!
    Sometimes thigs have to get uggly in order to get better. I strongly believe that the new NASL should fight this battle to the end,they have the support of the fans, and that support will only get bigger if they fight.
    Our sport has being kidnapped in America by a group of narrow interests bussinessmen that have treat it like it is a Wall Street share.I knew they were not going to sancion the new NASL.No surprise,as they had follow a pattern of trying to monopolize our game.
    Our problem starts with the USSF wich is in bed with them!!
    Since the begining of this “Major” league with a low salary cap,everything has being made very unsoccerlike. They have show to the real soccer fans their true intentions and their lack of understanding of our game.
    To capture the magic,the passion and all the subttle deep meanings of our game should have been the goal of our league. There are reasons why a River-Boca; an Inter-Milan; a Celtics -Rangers are so especial ; it is the history behind the clubs. Those rivalries are born naturally, not by marketing.
    By crating a league the way they did, they showed us their lack of knowledge of our game.Instead of creating it as the platform for clubs to be created by cities and other entities and have a chance to grow and that way let the magic of our game come naturally. They created the league,the clubs ,the clubs names,logos,colors,decided the “selected markets”ans also very conveniently “designed” a system in wich they own pretty much everything.
    All of this without any consideration or consultation of the fans,wich is the esential element of our game!!
    By implementing things like the shoot outs,they showed us their arrogance and their “non soccer” roots.Pretending to do changes to the most popular sport on the planet!!!!
    Why dont we have real soccer people on the comanding positions of the US soccer structures!?!?!? In a country that you can find so many ex stars,legends of our game.Have we thought about that?
    Now that a potential more soccer like league is emerging,they feel threaten and naturally react protecting their bussiness. We should have no doubt at this point that this is all our game is for them, a bussiness.
    Fans,TOA ,new NASL, I think this is the time to FIGHT for the good of our game on the US.
    Go to FIFA. USSF has a dirty floor, they had allow leagues not complying with FIFA regulations to operate in our soil. THIS IS THE TIME.
    Put a message out there announcing the first US league that would implement pro/rel,that woould give you(new NASL) a great fan support and gain you huge international image.
    Fans,write blogs,make calls.Lets make some NOISEEEEEE.We may not have an opportunity like this in a while.
    In order to solve problems you have to go to the root. US soccer will never be what it should be with this USSF.
    You can fool some people some time,but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
    Roger.

    I agree totally. Check out the Gaffer’s thoughts at MLS Talk also which discuss the regional aspect of this.

    http://www.majorleaguesoccertalk.com/us-soccer-and-mls-doing-a-disservice-to-southeastern-united-states/7706

  18. Manuel
    December 30, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Is it possible that there won’t be any professional football this coming year in the US? It’s very sad to see the USSF take this approach and providing an ultimate solution other then to ask their two 10 year olds to resolve the issue themselves. Absolutely ridiculous announcement. I for one would like to see the sport grow and if MLS is unwilling to allow the sport to grow then there should be an alternative for fans that want to see great clubs and good play on the pitch. I for one will be e-mailing the USSF with my comments on their ruling I suggest the rest of you do the same. They need to know that the average fan is very knowledgeable of this game and that this bias act has not gone unnoticed.

  19. Kartik Krishnaiyer
    December 30, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    It’s funny how the people both here and at MLS Talk who say “he hates MLS because their is no team in Miami,” have not read my piece saying MLS should not come back to Miami.

    Moroever, my arguments about MLS have nothing to do with the geography of the teams. They have to do with MLS, being as Ginge of CSRN’s American Soccer Show puts it “a legalized organized cartel” who in my mind is protected by political machinations of the governing body which is rife with conflicts of interest.

    Perhaps, if MLS began rewarding the American players whose backs this league was built on, rather than continuing to pay foreign players who would never even be considered national team prospects in their homeland 5 times what national team pool players for the US make in this league, I’d be more forgiving of the cartel.

    Perhaps, if MLS stopped saying how great the league was and how strong competition is while falling flat on its face in any meaningful international competition, I’d be more forgiving.

    Perhaps, if MLS stopped having fans that parrot the arguments coming from MLS HQ whether about the level of play, the quality of the league, the management structure, the TV ratings, the attendance, the profits, etc I would be seen as less radical.

    This is America. We are built on dissent, freedom of speech and the ability to question and critically analyze things. Only in the insular culture of American soccer, where fans, media and management are together in a permanent bunker mode and dissent is wrong seen as something that could kill the sport are Soviet type tactics employed.

    Somehow the simplistic argument that the lack of a team in Miami makes me dislike MLS is floated, while in reality it is my understanding of world football and the American sports scene that makes me question both MLS and the USSF. They could have five teams in Florida, and I would still be really unhappy with the drift this league has taken over the course of the last 14 years.

  20. December 30, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    I cannot even begin to express how illgoical this decision is and how sorry I am to Kartik for attacking him in the past for claiming the USSF was protecting MLS.

    You may be over the top, but clearly you are on to something. The USSF feels it must protect MLS from any and all competition.

  21. Q
    December 30, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    I want to congratulate the USSF.

    It takes a real talent to alienate an entire nation of supporters.

    Great job Sunil, and Happy New Year to all of you!

  22. MH
    December 30, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I am thrilled by this gutsy decision by Gulati and the USSF.

    MLS is still trying to build itself into one of the top leagues in the world. We are getting there, but aren’t there yet. The NASL by invoking nostalgia for a failed league that bought big foreign players but left behind tons of debt threatens that. USL threatens that by signing MLS players to contracts that include free loaner cars and paid rent/apartments.

    MLS is the league we should all be following and investing our time and effort into. The investors that put money into USL or NASL are hurting MLS. Can you imagine if we could bring that money into MLS as well? It could be such a fantastic league.

    USL’s presence has hurt growing the sport and when the odd USL team like the Puerto Rico Islanders wins in CONCACAF it hurts the American game.

    MLS deserves our protection and support. We need to promote it and these competing leagues need to go away. Either the investors chip in to contribute to buying an MLS franchise or work with the youth level to enhance our player development.

  23. December 30, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Kartik Krishnaiyer :
    This is America. We are built on dissent, freedom of speech and the ability to question and critically analyze things. Only in the insular culture of American soccer, where fans, media and management are together in a permanent bunker mode and dissent is wrong seen as something that could kill the sport are Soviet type tactics employed.

    You do a lot of work following a sport that I care about and I visit your web-site on occasion to get updates on the USL/NASL dispute. This is your site and you can post whatever you see fit, but, with respect, the above is why I generally do not pay much attention to your opinions.

    I am terribly disappointed with the USSF’s decision. I read it as a failure of leadership that leaves thousands of fans around the country anxious as to whether we’ll be able to enjoy second division soccer this year. I also read it as an explicit effort to disclaim responsibility for all that has gone wrong between NuRock and TOA. Your articulated take — which borders on conspiracy theories — is ludicrous. But, it is consistent with your view of USSF and MLS, so not unexpected.

    The above, however, evinces a deficiency in rational thought. You cannot simultaneously cloak yourself in the virtues of dissent while attacking those who disagree with you (who dissent from your view) as adopting a Soviet-style mentality. If you believe dissent and freedom of speech are vitally important than that means the open expression of views both in support of your vendetta and those against. Attempting to paint opposing views as sycophantic and fascist is the opposite of a free dialogue.

    You have taken an extreme position. You should expect to get flack. Roll with it.

  24. Kartik Krishnaiyer
    December 30, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Collegeparkaddick :

    Kartik Krishnaiyer :
    This is America. We are built on dissent, freedom of speech and the ability to question and critically analyze things. Only in the insular culture of American soccer, where fans, media and management are together in a permanent bunker mode and dissent is wrong seen as something that could kill the sport are Soviet type tactics employed.

    You do a lot of work following a sport that I care about and I visit your web-site on occasion to get updates on the USL/NASL dispute. This is your site and you can post whatever you see fit, but, with respect, the above is why I generally do not pay much attention to your opinions.
    I am terribly disappointed with the USSF’s decision. I read it as a failure of leadership that leaves thousands of fans around the country anxious as to whether we’ll be able to enjoy second division soccer this year. I also read it as an explicit effort to disclaim responsibility for all that has gone wrong between NuRock and TOA. Your articulated take — which borders on conspiracy theories — is ludicrous. But, it is consistent with your view of USSF and MLS, so not unexpected.
    The above, however, evinces a deficiency in rational thought. You cannot simultaneously cloak yourself in the virtues of dissent while attacking those who disagree with you (who dissent from your view) as adopting a Soviet-style mentality. If you believe dissent and freedom of speech are vitally important than that means the open expression of views both in support of your vendetta and those against. Attempting to paint opposing views as sycophantic and fascist is the opposite of a free dialogue.
    You have taken an extreme position. You should expect to get flack. Roll with it.

    Good point, and I do tend to roll with it. By soviet type tactics I was referring specifically to the USSF’s handling of media that has a differing point of view from their established talking points. I should have clarified that- I did not mean the fans when I said that. Thanks for giving me the chance to walk that back a bit- actually I am far from the only person that has faced the wrath from the USSF for what has been written or simply having the audacity to form our own opinion about issues.

  25. Nick
    December 30, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    MLS IS OUR LEAGUE :I want to applaud the USSF and Sunil Gulati for showing such courage and leadership.
    Neither league ought to be in business and it would be good if those who have supported USL for years focused on MLS this year, with viewership and attending games.
    Together with one league we can move forward.

    Um… Hi there! I live in the South East USA, you know, that huge piece of land between Washington DC and Houston, yeah, that bit MLS refuses to believe exists. We only have second division soccer down here, so forgive us for not wanting to “focus on MLS”. I like to watch my soccer live. You know, at an actual soccer stadium with real people, and my nearest MLS stadium is 700 miles away, and many of my souther brethren are much further than that! This is a typically ridiculous, selfish, and short sited comment from someone who obviously lives close enough to an MLS team to get to games, or just enjoys watching games on TV.

    Give us three opr four MLS teams down here, you know, the amount our geography, population, and commitement to soccer deserves, and then we’ll talk!

    Oh, ans Sunil, you let us down man! That’s a complete cop-out! If you are going to be a leader you need to step up when things get tough!

  26. December 30, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Sunil Gulati is the former deputy commisioner of MLS and the current President of the New England Revolution. He is trying to stifle competition for MLS and needs to be removed from office.

  27. Roger
    December 30, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Kartik Krishnaiyer :It’s funny how the people both here and at MLS Talk who say “he hates MLS because their is no team in Miami,” have not read my piece saying MLS should not come back to Miami.
    Moroever, my arguments about MLS have nothing to do with the geography of the teams. They have to do with MLS, being as Ginge of CSRN’s American Soccer Show puts it “a legalized organized cartel” who in my mind is protected by political machinations of the governing body which is rife with conflicts of interest.
    Perhaps, if MLS began rewarding the American players whose backs this league was built on, rather than continuing to pay foreign players who would never even be considered national team prospects in their homeland 5 times what national team pool players for the US make in this league, I’d be more forgiving of the cartel.
    Perhaps, if MLS stopped saying how great the league was and how strong competition is while falling flat on its face in any meaningful international competition, I’d be more forgiving.
    Perhaps, if MLS stopped having fans that parrot the arguments coming from MLS HQ whether about the level of play, the quality of the league, the management structure, the TV ratings, the attendance, the profits, etc I would be seen as less radical.
    This is America. We are built on dissent, freedom of speech and the ability to question and critically analyze things. Only in the insular culture of American soccer, where fans, media and management are together in a permanent bunker mode and dissent is wrong seen as something that could kill the sport are Soviet type tactics employed.
    Somehow the simplistic argument that the lack of a team in Miami makes me dislike MLS is floated, while in reality it is my understanding of world football and the American sports scene that makes me question both MLS and the USSF. They could have five teams in Florida, and I would still be really unhappy with the drift this league has taken over the course of the last 14 years.

    I totally agre with you Kartic.
    MLS exist because USSF ok it.
    I have gotten to the conclusion that USSF is at the root of this mess.The momentum is good for the real fans to push for change.First the players union;now this. FIFA should not be very happy with the US soccer cartel. I believe it is now or never for soccer on US.

    USSF job should be to protect and nurture US second division soccer,make it grow.Find ways to make our second div soccer stronger so that it puts pressure on our first div for it to get better. Instead they say: you guys either get along;wich they know is VERY unlikely, or wont be santioned. And that way they pull the plug to a league that they directly weakened by taking their best franchises.
    A week!! On December 30??? One day before New years!?!?!? Great timing!!!
    Is that what should be expected from the entity supost to make the game grow in america???

  28. December 31, 2009 at 12:57 am

    This is complete and utter bull… congrats USSF, you probably just killed second division soccer in this country.

    MLS can die for all I care. They pulled the plug on my team in 2001 and do not have teams in a number of valuable markets. And now my city might not have a team at all along with many others. Great job USSF… it’s because of organizations like this that soccer has not gained ground here. We’d be better off with no USSF.

  29. Miami Ultra
    December 31, 2009 at 1:49 am

    Crazy decision by the USSF. Unbelievable. “Let’s kill pro soccer in 13 cities, that’ll grow the game!” Great idea USSF!

    You people suggesting everyone in the US should support MLS are out of your minds. We need a second, and third, division to continue to grow the sport here. Not every area will have an MLS team. And when they don’t, they will not care about MLS. I don’t. I support the game and wish the league well, but I don’t have a team and I certainly won’t go out of my way to support one over a 1,000 miles away. Oh and England, Spain, Italy, and every soccer nation on earth, have 2nd and below divisions.

    For the love of god please FIFA, step in and fix this mess!!!

  30. Roger
    December 31, 2009 at 2:00 am

    Kartik Krishnaiyer :Andrea Canales has some interesting thoughts on the issue:
    http://www.goal.com/en-us/news/1110/major-league-soccer/2009/12/30/1717712/canales-corner-ussf-power-play-takes-out-nasl

    Thak you Kartik.
    Excellent article.A must read for all US soccer fans.

  31. fotbalist
    December 31, 2009 at 9:32 am

    While I agree that USSF and MLS are too enmeshed for the good of soccer in North America, I do not believe in a conspiracy theory.

    I would like to add that the USSF decision is actually a nod to NASL, not USL. The USL has claimed a supremacy on D2 and D3 soccer in USA & Canada. Many clubs were frustrated with the USL system, but had no options. Having said this, we need to recognize the fact no other structure (including the USSF) has every brought so many teams together under one roof in the USA. That’s to be admired.

    By USSF forcing the 2 groups to come together it’s the NASL who gains momentum, and USL who are forced to be more accountable to their team owners. A compromise should be announced within a week or so. As per an email from Chris Economides (Senior Director of USL1) they are committed to working together for 2010.

    What’s really sad to me is that players, fans, and soccer specific media (like this website) are not asked by USSF to participate in the discussion. The USSF culture seems to just be unwilling to work with the US soccer community. That’s really sad. I wonder how one might get to be on the board of USSF. Hmmm!

  32. fotbalist
    December 31, 2009 at 9:35 am

    To Kartik:
    Thank you for all you do for soccer in this country. Without people like you, we wouldn’t have these valuable conversations. Even though, I -personally- do not like the tone of your written work and at times I feel you are leaning toward a minor conspiracy theory, I greatly appreciate your work and find your opinions reasonably objective. Keep up the good work!

  33. Augustine Sasso
    December 31, 2009 at 10:03 am

    A pox on both houses seems to be the immediate judgment and one more chance to sort it out yourself. Now, I can understand this decision if the task force did not see money in the bank, schedules and stadiums in place and a league ready to go in April. On the other hand, saying that the two leagues have 7 days to sort it out seems to say, that if you can work out an agreement, stop the litigation etc, get a plan, stop the litigation, we will sanction a league. It also points to a lack of leadership in the USSF or weakened leadership in the USSF. I think that you need a strong second division. Other countries have strong second divisions. Unless the USSF has a different model in mind it didn’t have the guts or the time to convince the parties, you’re harming the game, here is the 2nd division.
    In my opinion this is not a good ruling for the future of soccer in America. We might not see the effect on the quality of play or the quality of the USMNT right away, but this is very short sighted.
    As for what will happen in the next seven days, I don’t know what either parties bottom line and their BATNA was. We can only guess by their actions.
    BATNA has always been at work. Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement. What was USL’s BATNA? They could lose USL1 and USL2 keep PDL. Still make money. Teams in USL 2 dropped down to PDL. USL can still sue NASL for breach of contract, non-payment of franchise fee and damages if there is no USL 1 next year. What about bottom line? Very close to BATNA.
    What about the NASL BATNA and bottom line? Can they afford not to play for 1 year? Will they stay united? Will different agenda split them apart? NASL needs to play next year. Don’t think Whitecaps, Montreal and Timbers can wait out a year. Will their fanbase disappear after 1 year? What about the other NASL teams? Can they wait a year? A year out of Concacaf Champions League for the Puerto Rico Islanders, Montreal or Whitecaps? What if “single league” means playing for the USL for 1 year? Hard to imagine this. At this point it’s not only about money, it’s pride, dignity and saving face. What about St. Louis? They’re ready to play. Where do they go?
    My best guess is this: If USL does not ask for too much money and can get some form of apology from NASL/TOA, then we might see a USL 1 league for 1 year with the NASL/TOA teams playing under the USL umbrella. If the USL is asking too much then, the BATNA comes into play. Other possible solutions? Unsanctioned league for 1 year? NASL/TOA could sign up and play for the NPSL right away. That’s a semi pro league like the PDL, but owner run. Just because it is amateur, doesn’t mean that some players don’t’ get paid.
    I think Kartik’s take is very intriguing. I just don’t know enough about the parties involved to see this as the reason for the ruling but certainly, this ruling helps MLS and hurts the players
    Crappy way to end the year, but maybe the new year will bring better news.

  34. CVO
    December 31, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Great decision by USSF, as they don’t have to choose sides, and the USL and NASL can get past their egos and save face by making a compromise because they “have to.”

  35. Roger
    December 31, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    You are right CVO,they dont have to choose sides.
    They allready have one!!!

  36. VPjr
    December 31, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    The USSF is making the Canadian Soccer Association look good these days.

    As a Canadian soccer supporter, I’m very disappointed by the USSF’s decision as well. It hurts the growth of pro soccer in both Canada and the United States. Not every city can support MLS variety professional soccer so its ridiculous to say that the only North American league we ought to support is MLS. We should be striving to have a pro club in as many sustainable markets as possible, even if some of those clubs are 1st tier, some are 2nd tier and some are semi-pro 3rd tier (or lower). They are all valuable to growing the sport. Baseball has its many tiers….North American soccer needs to establish its own version of that.

    I’d be ok with all those tiers falling under the MLS umbrella if I believed in the MLS system but I don’t. As Kartik correctly points out, MLS is a cartel and its incredibly strange rules are a drag on the development of the sport as a whole and only really benefit the owners of the league’s franchises.

    How is it that the English pro pyramid has found a way to work well enough together (with the Premier League at the top, The Football League network below it and then the Conference leagues below that) but USSF is unwilling to allow lower tier pro football thrive below its designated 1st tier?

    I, for one, am very hopeful that USL and NASL can come to some sort of resolution. I’m not overly optimistic but my fingers are firmly crossed that saner heads prevail because the 2nd tier is critically important and its the tier that is poised to grow most over time. It is also the tier most likely to have the biggest impact on reforming the elite player development system in North America (look at Whitecaps as a good example of that).

  37. Frankie
    December 31, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Honestly, the USSF decision stinks and inspite of Kartik being over the top I am slightly disapointed he did not take the strong stand Andrea Canales did in that article about the overall motivation of the USSF.

    Kartik implies that the USSF is simply doing this because of the CBA. If this had happened two years ago it would have netted the same ruling from the USSF because Gulati works for the Revs and is all about protecting single entity and MLS’ monoploy.

    The Soccer writers play along with dopey talking points recreated as news stories.

  38. December 31, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Augustine Sasso :

    A pox on both houses seems to be the immediate judgment and one more chance to sort it out yourself. Now, I can understand this decision if the task force did not see money in the bank, schedules and stadiums in place and a league ready to go in April. On the other hand, saying that the two leagues have 7 days to sort it out seems to say, that if you can work out an agreement, stop the litigation etc, get a plan, stop the litigation, we will sanction a league. It also points to a lack of leadership in the USSF or weakened leadership in the USSF. I think that you need a strong second division. Other countries have strong second divisions. Unless the USSF has a different model in mind it didn’t have the guts or the time to convince the parties, you’re harming the game, here is the 2nd division.
    In my opinion this is not a good ruling for the future of soccer in America. We might not see the effect on the quality of play or the quality of the USMNT right away, but this is very short sighted.
    As for what will happen in the next seven days, I don’t know what either parties bottom line and their BATNA was. We can only guess by their actions.
    BATNA has always been at work. Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement. What was USL’s BATNA? They could lose USL1 and USL2 keep PDL. Still make money. Teams in USL 2 dropped down to PDL. USL can still sue NASL for breach of contract, non-payment of franchise fee and damages if there is no USL 1 next year. What about bottom line? Very close to BATNA.
    What about the NASL BATNA and bottom line? Can they afford not to play for 1 year? Will they stay united? Will different agenda split them apart? NASL needs to play next year. Don’t think Whitecaps, Montreal and Timbers can wait out a year. Will their fanbase disappear after 1 year? What about the other NASL teams? Can they wait a year? A year out of Concacaf Champions League for the Puerto Rico Islanders, Montreal or Whitecaps? What if “single league” means playing for the USL for 1 year? Hard to imagine this. At this point it’s not only about money, it’s pride, dignity and saving face. What about St. Louis? They’re ready to play. Where do they go?
    My best guess is this: If USL does not ask for too much money and can get some form of apology from NASL/TOA, then we might see a USL 1 league for 1 year with the NASL/TOA teams playing under the USL umbrella. If the USL is asking too much then, the BATNA comes into play. Other possible solutions? Unsanctioned league for 1 year? NASL/TOA could sign up and play for the NPSL right away. That’s a semi pro league like the PDL, but owner run. Just because it is amateur, doesn’t mean that some players don’t’ get paid.
    I think Kartik’s take is very intriguing. I just don’t know enough about the parties involved to see this as the reason for the ruling but certainly, this ruling helps MLS and hurts the players
    Crappy way to end the year, but maybe the new year will bring better news.

    I think some sort of compromise under one umbrella is possible. It may even end up being the “USSF Second Division” for one season as the two parties vie for exclusive recognition in 2011.

  39. December 31, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    The USSF decision is absurd, plain and simple.

    Anyone who does not believe the USSF is trying to protect MLS in a potential strike year just isn’t thinking logically or has their own agenda.

    I think the NASL needs to sue the USSF and then let FIFA tell the USSF where to park it. Lawsuits against memeber federations are viewed unfavorably by FIFA and that would put Garber and Gulati in a no win situation and force them to make the ethically correct and moral decision.

  40. nicmcj934
    December 31, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    FRE IRT :Sunil Gulati is the former deputy commisioner of MLS and the current President of the New England Revolution. He is trying to stifle competition for MLS and needs to be removed from office.

    Amen! Nothing more to say.

  41. Roger
    January 1, 2010 at 2:51 am

    S Kleg :The USSF decision is absurd, plain and simple.
    Anyone who does not believe the USSF is trying to protect MLS in a potential strike year just isn’t thinking logically or has their own agenda.
    I think the NASL needs to sue the USSF and then let FIFA tell the USSF where to park it. Lawsuits against memeber federations are viewed unfavorably by FIFA and that would put Garber and Gulati in a no win situation and force them to make the ethically correct and moral decision.

    You nail it S Kleg!!!!

  42. January 1, 2010 at 9:15 am

    fotbalist :
    To Kartik:
    Thank you for all you do for soccer in this country. Without people like you, we wouldn’t have these valuable conversations. Even though, I -personally- do not like the tone of your written work and at times I feel you are leaning toward a minor conspiracy theory, I greatly appreciate your work and find your opinions reasonably objective. Keep up the good work!

    I should have prefaced my critical comments with much the same sentiment. I also appreciate all the work you do, even if I do not agree with the conclusions drawn.

  43. Hickson Hacie
    January 3, 2010 at 2:25 am

    @TW Soccer message #7: you sound like a sad, sad man lashing at everythign and everyone like a petulant grade schooler. I’d be stunned if you are an adult and mortified if youd have to raise anything more than a guppy.

  44. Roger
    January 5, 2010 at 3:09 am

    nicmcj934 :

    FRE IRT :Sunil Gulati is the former deputy commisioner of MLS and the current President of the New England Revolution. He is trying to stifle competition for MLS and needs to be removed from office.

    Amen! Nothing more to say.

    another vote for that here!

  45. Michael
    January 7, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Well, in light of the new USL/NASL combined league, this talk looks kind of foolish, doesn’t it?

    Maybe in future, before dragging out the conspiracy theories, maybe the actual common sense behind a decision could be considered…

    …ah, but if that happened the Internet would implode and people would have to get lives.

  1. December 30, 2009 at 3:40 pm
  2. December 30, 2009 at 6:00 pm
  3. December 31, 2009 at 10:07 am

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