USSF Errs on Release, and Other TOA/NASL/USL Thoughts

The USSF released a short statement regarding the USL-1 Team Owners Association Breakaway League:

High-ranking members of U.S. Soccer met with representatives from the United Soccer League and North American Soccer League to discuss Division II plans for 2010. In the meeting was U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, CEO/Secretary General Dan Flynn and Professional Council Chairman Don Garber.

“We had a productive meeting and the discussions will continue,” said Gulati of the meeting in a statement released on “In the interim we have asked both groups to submit additional information.”

Both leagues have been asked to submit further information regarding their future plans to U.S. Soccer’s Professional League Task Force by December 9th.

From there, the task force will advise the U.S. Soccer board of any further action that may be necessary regarding the two leagues.

I am surprised that the Federation would release a statement referring to the breakaway league as the NASL rather than the USL Team Owners Association. The NASL has not been sanctioned and as of now from an official standpoint, the organization of clubs should not be referred to as a league.

When a separatist region of a nation is in diplomatic mediation with a third party that has not formally recognized the rebellious or breakaway area within that nation, they are not given equal official status (ie. here a league equates to national status) by the party mediating.To do so would be to prejudiced the mediator.

I do not believe the USSF is prejudiced towards the TOA/NASL based on my reporting, but this press release could be construed as being biased.

Getting back to the major issue itself, the USSF must at this moment make a clear cut decision. Do they want what’s best for the future of American club football/soccer, or are they as an entity in place to protect the financial interest of MLS. Secondly, they must also consider that any attempt to sweep these problems under the rug until the awarding of the World Cup in 2018/2022 may end up backfiring if this dispute opens back up again just as FIFA is awarding the 2018/2022 World Cups.

In my opinion, the best course of action for the USSF would be to sanction to NASL, but again because of MLS’ insecurity about their own position and concerns about the NASL’s ambition this may not happen. If the USSF does not sanction the NASL, they must force NuRock to restructure USL-1, allowing it to be run independently of the rest of USL by the TOA.

SET PIECE ANALYSTS DAILY PODCAST:  Hear why I believe USL has gained the upper hand in this dispute despite public opinion being squarely on the side of the TOA/NASL.  AND MUCH MUCH MORE. Guests include Inside Minnesota Soccer’s Brian Quarstad, and Pasion Naraja’s Kristian Vazquez.

SPA Daily Pod: TOA/USL Situation broken down