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Posts Tagged ‘USSF’

Ukrainian Nationals CrestThe Ukrainian Nationals, also known as “Tryzub” Philadelphia, played in the American Soccer League (ASL) from 1957 until 1970. Along the way they won six national championships, four U.S. Open Cups and two Lewis Cups. They won “the double”  – the league championship and U.S. Open Cup –  in 1961 and 1963. They won “the mini double” – the league championship and the league cup or Lewis Cup – in 1964.

Like so many teams in the history of soccer in Philadelphia, the Ukrainian Nationals’ beginnings can be traced to an ethnic social club. As the Philadelphia Ukrainians, they first took the field in 1950 and by 1956 had reached the finals of the National Amateur Cup, losing to St. Louis Kutis S.C. The Philadelphia Ukrainians decided to turn pro after that and joined the ASL for the 1957-58 season. For reasons that are at present unknown to me, the Philadelphia Ukrainians were suspended by the United States Soccer Football Association one week into the season. The Ukrainian Nationals were formed in their place, taking part of their name from the by now defunct Philadelphia Nationals. They went on to finish second in the ASL their first season. During their time in the ASL they never finished lower than third. (more…)

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The U.S. Soccer Federation has brokered a deal for a single Division 2 soccer league to operate this year.

USSF officials announced the deal Thursday as a one-year compromise between the United Soccer Leagues and the breakaway teams that moved to form their own league, the North American Soccer League.

“This agreement allows us to continue to develop the professional game in many important markets around the country, while at the same time working towards the long-term stability of Division 2 professional soccer,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said.

The league will operate with two six-team conferences, one dubbed the USL Conference and the other named the NASL Conference. The Vancouver Whitecaps, Montreal Impact, Carolina RailHawks, Crystal Palace Baltimore, Miami FC and Carolina Railhawks will play in the NASL Conference. The USL Conference will include the Portland Timbers, Puerto Rico Islanders, Austin Aztex FC, Rochester Rhinos, Tampa Bay Rowdies and and unnamed Minnesota team to replace the Minnesota Thunder.

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Jeremiah White headed to Qatar? Greg Seltzer says so. Like him, I’m waiting to hear back from White to confirm that. If so, that would be a blow to Philadelphia Union, who talked with the American free agent winger last week.  We’ll keep you posted.

Veron: No. 1 in South America.

U.S. Soccer Federation refuses to sanction USL-1 or NASL and orders them back to the drawing board for another week. Interesting analysis from Andrea Canales. Not sure she’s right, but she’s worth reading.

Juan Sebastian Veron named South American Player of the Year. Nice award for a classy player.

The New York Times looks at financial problems caused by government-funded stadiums. Union Field at Chester, with $77 million in government support, may be among the last to see such generous government funding. (The story ran on Christmas, but it’s still relevant.)

Portsmouth seeking new owners – again.

Luca Toni moves to Roma on loan. Now maybe he’ll shut up and play.

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In Part 1 and Part 2 I provided a time-line of events leading up to last week. On Tuesday, The Kartik Report posted an update on the situation which said that “USSF has been working diligently to foster a compromise that will work in the best interests of all the affected clubs” and singled out Secretary General of US Soccer Dan Flynn for providing “remarkable leadership” and doing  “a remarkable job of attempting to build a consensus based solution to the extremely tricky situation.” But, as the report mentions, a gag order is in place so no one really knows what’s going on. In the end, we are left with only speculation: “I believe fans can be assured their teams will play in 2010, even if we don’t know which league they will compete in, just yet.”

So, in the spirit of speculation, what might happen?

The most likely scenario is that both the USL and the NASL will be sanctioned as Division 2 leagues for 2010. It may look a bit like baseball with two leagues and the champion of each league meeting for a national title. The question is whether USL-1 will be able to field enough teams to sustain a viable league. According to Inside Minnesota Soccer, it’s roster of clubs stands at three. IMNS puts eight teams in the NASL camp with one other apparently hedging it’s bets. By size alone it would seem that NASL has a better chance of survival and hence a better chance of becoming the only sanctioned Division 2 league in North America after 2010. (more…)

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On Tuesday I posted a timeline describing the development of the USL  since its origins as an indoor soccer league in 1986, through its absorption of other professional leagues in the 199os and its eventual (incidental?) purchase by Nike in 2008. Creating the time-line was made easier thanks to the hard work already done by Inside Minnesota Soccer and The Kartik Report. The time-line concluded with the sale of the league to NuRock Soccer Holdings at the end of August, 2009. I continue with developments in October, 2009 when things become even more interesting.

  • October 3: Inside Minnesota Soccer (IMNS) reports that five USL-1 teams – Minnesota Thunder, Carolina RailHawks, Miami FC Blues, Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact – have not paid the required yearly USL franchise fee. The USL reacts by voiding player contracts.
  • October 5: Brian Wellman, president of the Carolina RailHawks, describes the recent actions of the USL as “unfortunate and unnecessary” . Wellman is elsewhere quoted as saying that such a move “only hurts the players, confuses the fans, alerts the media and worries the sponsors.” (more…)

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You are probably aware that a breakaway group of owners (the Team Owners Association, aka “the TOA”) has left the United Soccer Leagues (USL) to form a new league intended to rival, if not supplant, the USL for Division 2 status in the American soccer pyramid. More recently, you may have become aware that the breakaway group has acquired the name of the North American Soccer League (NASL) formerly the home of the New York Cosmos, the Philadelphia Atoms (NASL champs in 1973), the Philadelphia Fury (whose list of investors included the likes of Paul Simon, Rick Wakeman and Peter Frampton) and lots of other teams with silly names and sillier uniforms.

Or maybe you aren’t aware of these developments. After all, Philadelphia doesn’t have a USL team and the nearest USL franchises are three 2nd Division teams, the Harrisburg City Islanders, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Real Maryland Monarchs, and two Player Development League (PDL) teams, the Reading Rage and the Ocean City Barons. (The Hershey Wildcats were in the First Division as recently as 2001 before folding and the Delaware Wizards were active in the USL 3rd Division in the 1990s.) I’ve watched some enjoyable USL games on FSC over the years but, in all truthfulness, my aspirations for soccer in Philadelphia have always been focused on the MLS. Any interest I had in the USL could at best be described as passing.

Of course, I could say the same thing about my interest in Italian soccer. (more…)

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