NASL Commissioner: Rayo OKC “could be a top club in this country”

Bill Peterson surprised NASL


NEW YORK CITY – It’s safe to say that the NASL’s announcement that Rayo OKC would join the league for the 2016 Spring Season was met with heavy skepticism. Foreign ownership and branding usually does.

NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson, though, believes that the dogged nature of this ownership group could set them up for success in the short run up to their inaugural year.

“People [in the market] seem to be much more receptive of it than maybe others,” Peterson began. “I think you have to recognize Rayo’s involvement in this because it’s going to be important. That’s a club that could be a top club in this country very quickly with their resources, and I’m talking about the expertise that they have coming into this. It’s going to be an interesting club to follow.”

The group, which includes Rayo Vallecano de Madrid from La Liga as well as local entrepreneur Sean Jones as minority owner, has been steadily working towards building their franchise — even after the NASL cooled off on the market earlier this year.

“They never gave up,” said Peterson. “Even though we’ve had some ups and downs there, Sean Jones and his crew never stopped working on getting ready to launch a team. They never stopped working on organizing it.

“So they are not an expansion team, per se,” he continued. “They are far down the road on all their plans. They did an incredible job Tuesday at the press conference. There was like 300 people there, every media person was there.

“We sort of let it go dark for a little while and let them get organized, but they never stopped working for one day.”

While their desire is clear, the Rayo name being attached to the branding of an expansion club in a market with little connection to Madrid or Spain has left many wondering if the project was doomed to fail. Peterson is aware of the criticism, but it’s not something that the commissioner is overly concerned with at the moment.

“I’ve got a little saying that ‘clubs stay, owners can come and go.’ We’re trying to build stuff that’s going to last for centuries,” he said. “It’s interesting, though, it’s just part of the name, not the full name. And if they ever did leave, it would leave with them.”


  • Tom

    Not as skeptical as I was at first when hearing of NASL’s Rayo OKC. If they do things right they can be a solid expansion club in the coming years but there’s not room for many mistakes. The foreign club partly owning the team along with local OKC owners and a local experienced management group as well should give the club a solid base to start with.

    One or two more satellite clubs with this setup in the NASL would be good for the league as long as it doesn’t become the majority which I’m pretty sure they won’t. These will help fill out the league to bring them to 18-20 teams and help in the NASL’s drive for D1 in the near future. Mls’s NYCFC setup as a similar satellite club has done well in its first year. Good to hear the NASL is in it for the longterm with the OKC market.

    • Arsenal 10023

      I like your comment “if they do things right”…well we have a high school stadium, artificial turf, and gridiron lines all over it. I wouldn’t call that “doing things right”. Is this some kind of bad joke?

      • OpenCupFan

        You sound really smart.
        Lol, that was an example of bad joke!

  • Pingback: Rayo OKC, una apuesta complicada para todas las partes involucradas | Jugador Franquicia()

  • slowleftarm

    Yeah, a top club just like Hempstead Cosmos are a global brand and the most popular soccer club in the US. Maybe the whole world.

    • Resguard

      I didn’t realize you are a Cosmos fanboy, I always thought you liked the Harrison Red Bulls, Good to know the Cosmos have the support of such a well respected dweller. It is true though the exposure the Cosmos have is grand, reaching out to the furthest points of the globe. It also nice to see FIFA recognize this and once and a while acknowledge it as well.

  • slowleftarm

    They aren’t even the biggest team in OKC – that giant soccer market.

    • OpenCupFan

      Yeah, no one can overcome that juggernaut. What’s their name again? OKC Whogivesacrap FC United Real, yeah, they’re tough, they play a huge stadium that seats 25k and fill it every week. Pretty impressive.

  • john

    This is all you need to know about the great partnership of Rayo and the NASL = great future

    Hearing Allows La Liga Side Rayo Vallecano To Exit Bankruptcy After Two-Plus Years

    Published November 22, 2013

    La Liga side Rayo Vallecano on Thursday attended a hearing in Madrid and approved of an agreement that allowed the club to exit bankruptcy in “a favorable plan by creditors that was considered a ’round success’ by the club,” according to EL CONFIDENCIAL. The hearing “was held behind closed doors and approved an agreement and Rayo Vallecano’s related exit from bankruptcy,” which it entered in June ’11. Rayo President Raúl Martín Presa said, “We are content. We have been working hard for two-and-a-half years. It was an agreement featuring better than 70% approval, so it is a broad, abnormal conclusion, and a success”