02 August 2011

NASL Debacle

The biggest injustice in the realm of soccer in this country is that we have the largest youth soccer organization in the world and only 19 top-level MLS teams, 8 2nd tier NASL teams, and 2 divisions of 6 USL-Pro teams (classified as the 3rd tier of professional soccer in this country). Far too few in my mind.

This will change slightly next year, as Montreal Impact will leave the NASL, who will add the San Antonio Scorpions, severely damaging the integrity of the NASL. What does this mean? As of the last round of results in the NASL, Montreal are only on 12 points after 16 games, 3 points above rock-bottom Atlanta Silverbacks. Worse still, Montreal have scored only 14 goals in these 16 games, which is only one more than the Carolina RailHawks have conceded this season (13).

So like many minor league teams in this country, the only incentive to do well is to be spotted by a coach from a major league team. Is this justice for the fans of the RailHawks or the Puerto Rico Islanders, winners of last year's NASL Title?

My hope is that the USSF eventually gets to the stage where there are still tiers separating different quality-level sides, but have 2 16+ team Leagues of the MLS. This would depend entirely upon the level of support of the teams added to the leagues, but like we have seen with varying degrees of success, if you build it (a professional soccer team), they (the fans) will come. The above quote can not be as aptly applied to former Women's Professional Soccer team St. Louis Atletica, however.

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