Empire XI: NASL’s Lower Standards Lead to Miami Foray

Silva Maldini 1


Miami FC only existed as a concept for three months before being announced as an expansion team in the North American Soccer League. They will begin playing at an undetermined location in ten months.

Meanwhile, it has been nearly 16 months since David Beckham exercised his option to pursue an MLS expansion team in the same city.

Sure it is a great look for the NASL to have its team be the first to play in Miami, and the league knows it — it’s the second idea presented in the their press release preceded only by the identification of the club’s two owners Riccardo Silva and Paolo Maldini. While the owners are more than credible and the club’s stated mission is noble, Miami FC exist because it is easier to launch a club in the NASL than it is in MLS—something NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson all but directly stated in the league-produced quote sheet marking the club’s arrival.

“This exciting announcement is another testament to the strength of our rapidly growing organization, our owner-friendly structure, and the growing popularity of NASL soccer worldwide,” Peterson said.

Peterson will continue to trumpet the league’s ‘owner-friendly structure’ because one of his biggest challenges is to convince potential investors to put their money into his league as opposed to MLS. Miami FC is a success in that case; it’s a success made possible by MLS putting itself in a legally binding situation to support Beckham’s efforts in Miami. This froze out any other potential owners such as Silva, a vocal proponent for an MLS franchise in Miami for years.

That’s not a knock on the NASL. They need investors, and if a man worth hundreds of millions comes to them, they should entertain him.

The issue is in the timing. The club is ten months away from its first game and have a staff of three. For a comparison, Carlos Bocanegra, the technical director of the yet-to-be-named MLS franchise in Atlanta, will have been in his post for two years by the time the team plays its first match in 2017.

We also know where the Atlanta team will play.

We don’t know if Beckham’s team will ever play because of MLS’ stadium requirement. A lot has been made of that mandate but it ultimately boils down to MLS not wanting its teams to share gameday revenue with outside entities while having the ability to use a proper facility to its maximum potential.

Miami FC would most likely have to share its revenue if it were to play in ‘one of the existing world-class stadiums of Miami.’ More troubling is Silva’s belief that this is a non-issue.

“We don’t have this obligation,” Silva told the New York Times about a mandate to build a stadium. “We don’t think it’s necessary.”

By welcoming Miami FC to the fold and allowing them to play next season, the NASL is showing prospective investors that they are welcome without needing to spend time and money on infrastructure and logistics before beginning play. By presenting this approach as more ‘owner-friendly’, the pitch Peterson is making to the public is clear: our money is directly going into the on-field product and making that product an equal or superior alternative to MLS’. It is that front-loaded approach that made the NASL into what it was in the late 1970s and what led to its demise soon after.

Empire XI

1. Seattle Sounders Head Coach Sigi Schmid raised a solid point about drawing the Portland Timbers as the lone all-MLS matchup of the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup.

“Because of the regionalization of the draw, you will never have a Portland-Seattle final matchup, you will never have a New York City-Red Bull final, you will never have a Dallas-Houston final. I think it’s a little sad,” Schmid said to reporters last Friday. “It takes away from the tournament, it takes away from the quality of the tournament. Just imagine if you had a Seattle-Portland final in front of 60,000 people…Hopefully at some point, they can get away from the regionalization so that can happen. I think that Cascadia fans get shorted because that possibility right now does not exist.”

One way Schmid can get his wish is if expansion works out. Right now, there are only nine American teams in the Pacific time zone from the three professional divisions. LAFC will up that total to ten. Right now the only scenarios in which that figure increases involve the creation of more MLS-operated teams in USL or if the NASL fulfills the mandate set by US Soccer to have a team in the Pacific. Both remain to be seen.

2. The most convenient way for regionalized draws to be replaced by random draws would be if US Soccer started subsidizing travel costs. Since the Open Cup is not really that lucrative at the moment, it would be hard to see the federation make that sort of investment. Additionally, it would not be wise for US Soccer to waste money covering the travel costs of teams that can afford to travel across the country, so the standards on who would qualify need to be established.

3. MLS-operated USL teams went 3–2 in the Third Round and shed some light as to how clubs with two teams would approach the Open Cup. Between the five USL teams that played last week, only three players on loan from parent clubs made the matchday squads. That number should not rise by a lot in the next round. Common sense — the MLS teams are going to rotate their squads and give fringe players a chance to get vital playing time with the first team. Why cap-tie anyone by loaning them out?

4. The New York Cosmos are one of the teams that benefits the most from a regionalized draws for two reasons. There are enough teams in USL, PDL and NPSL near them so that they enter the Third Round with a favorable matchup and they are the only local team in the top two divisions that are going to play their full senior team in later rounds of the competition. The New York Red Bulls will always rotate players given the makeup of their roster and New York City FC are in no position to risk valuable players in an Open Cup match given their struggles.

5. Also consider the benefits of regionalization from a business perspective for the Cosmos. A matchup against one of the local MLS teams is a sure draw — the only one they currently have. And that’s not really their fault. They are the highest profile team in the league by a large margin and their closest potential “regional rival” is in Ottawa. A team in Hartford might help, but the NASL needs an Atlantic Cup — not Philadelphia Union-Red Bulls style indifference.

6. After losing to the Union on Sunday, one of the common sentiments that emerged from the Red Bulls was the thought of the new car smell wearing off on the Jesse Marsch era. Opposing teams are now aware of how the Red Bulls will try to play and are doing a better job preparing their tactics. Midfielder Sacha Kljestan said as a result, the team needs to be more patient in its buildup play.

We have this high pressing motto but we have to understand that when teams sit back, we have to have more patience,” Kljestan said. “We can’t just be going a million miles per hour and losing the ball and leaving so much space in our back.”

7. With the Red Bull defense depleted by injury and international duty, the onus on tightening play only grows. Roy Miller moved inside to centerback for Sunday’s match and made a few costly giveaways and failed to intercept Fabinho’s cross on the Union’s second goal. Damien Perrinelle suffered a hamstring injury last Wednesday and is week-to-week so it remains to be seen if Miller will have to play inside against the Seattle Sounders.

8. Kemar Lawrence injured his hamstring during Sunday’s match and was replaced by Connor Lade who played well at left back making strong overlapping runs. Lawrence was not available for comment after the match but coach Jesse Marsch is confident on his return for Sunday.

9. Since re-adjusting its backline after giving up nine goals in three matches, the Houston Dynamo have only given up two goals in the past two matches. Raul Rodriguez moved from centerback to right back replacing Kofi Sarkodie, and David Horst moved into the centerback slot. For a NYCFC squad struggling for offensive production, a backline that is still developing an understanding with each other may be just what the doctor ordered.

10. Sky Italia reported that Andrea Pirlo has received a contract offer from MLS. If NYCFC Head Coach Jason Kreis wants to reprise the diamond midfield, Pirlo would be the ideal fit to be the regista sitting deep. A midfield diamond with Pirlo as the base, Frank Lampard at the top and Mix Diskerud and Ned Grabavoy as the shuttlers might actually bear fruit for Kreis.

11. Chris Wondolowski scored his 100th MLS goal on Sunday. Much has been made of his late-career success but that success does not really start without one of the more lopsided trades in MLS history. The San Jose Earthquakes acquired him and a second-round pick that would ultimately become Steven Beitashour for Cam Weaver. Weaver scored 12 goals in 81 appearances in five seasons with the Dynamo. Beitashour made 87 appearances in four seasons with the Earthquakes and Wondolowski has 96 goals in 170 appearances.

  • First, Red Bull played their full first team last year. Henry doesn’t play on any turf surfaces. RB played their full team and lost comprehensively.

    Second, You are seriously claiming that the ten months for Miami FC is some sort of rush job, unfavorably comparing it to MLS after the total NYCFC debacle? Seriously?

    You are nothing more than a troll whose ignorance has been exposed over and over again. I give you credit for this, at least you’re willing to attach your name to the utter nonsense you write. I would be too embarrassed. But that’s me, I have a little self-respect.

    • Oduncan

      Give it up dude. The Red Bulls did not take that game seriously, as they were downplaying the “derby” aspect of it during the week leading up to the game. Let’s see if NYCFC pays more respect to your second division team than the Red Bulls did.

      • You played your full starting team and lost 3-0, comprehensively. Your team and your league is bush. The Cosmos are easily, easily better than Red Bull and certainly NYCFC. At any rate, we don’t need RB or NYCFC respect, you need ours.

        Finally, if you actually believe that RB didn’t play hard, then why are you mad at us? RB has one ZERO trophies in 20 years. That it doesn’t bother you that they wouldn’t try to win a trophy says far more about you as a fan than anything else.

        • slowleftarm

          The Red Bulls didn’t play Henry, Cahill, Dax, Robles or Olave – so out of their seven best players, they didn’t play 5 of them (Sam and BWP did play admittedly). None of those guys were even on the bench. That’s how seriously they were taking this game.

          And even if they truly had their first team lineup out there, one win wouldn’t prove anything. Cosmos would finish bottom of MLS and do you know how we know that? Because, other than the two 40 year old Spainiards, their roster is full of players who couldn’t hack it in MLS.

          • You’re obviously unfamiliar with our roster. Roversio is the best central defender playing in the United States right now, and Ayoze is the best fullback. Two guys who could not care less about MLS. But whatever, keep telling yourselves that, somehow, with a lower payroll, and a comprehensive 3-0 loss, RB is better than us.

            And again, that you’re not concerned that your franchise doesn’t compete for every trophy they can get, and instead making excuses for it says volumes about you as a fan.

            • slowleftarm

              I don’t agree with the decision not to take the US Open Cup seriously but that’s a decision the club has made and it’s reality. That’s why they fielded a B squad last year. The fact you think the guys you mention are better than anyone in MLS just says to me that you don’t watch MLS.

              Even this current RB squad is much better than the Cosmos. It’s not even close. When they had Henry, Cahill, Olave etc.? Come on man, don’t make me laugh. Hempstead didn’t even win the NASL last season. And Henry did play on turf last year in NE because RB actually cares about trying to win MLS cup.

              • I don’t have time right now, but do a starting 11 comparison. Not even close. And you fielded the same starting 11 that you did in the MLS match the game before, except Robles and Henry. We didn’t have senna and Roversio, so in fact, we didn’t have by far our best starting 11 either, which leads me to anothe fact, we are deeper than RB and most other MLS rosters.

                I watch MLS games occassionally, and I must tell you, the Cosmos quality is higher. Is every team in nasl as good as the lower level MLS teams? No. But NASL’s best teams are better than MLS. Shoot a message to more independent people than me like Dave Martinez or Dan Dickinson, they may not totally agree with me but their view I’m betting is closer to mine than yours.

                Anyway, I’ll cut out now, I’m going to try to be nicer for the rest of the week, per Ulrich.

                • slowleftarm

                  Ok you had some guys injured whereas RB chose to rest perfectly healthy first-team players because (wrongly in my view) they don’t care about the open cup. I wish they did care but if they did, you wouldn’t be bragging about a Hempstead victory last season because it wouldn’t have happened. And we are still talking about one game – Cosmos couldn’t even win NASL last season.

              • Anthony

                Lets just all be clear on the facts.The Red Bulls did in fact play their very best side possible against the Comsos last year. Yes, Cahil and Herny were away for World Cup related duties, and yes Dax and Olave where injured and could not go…but the Cosmos also had top players unavailable for that match, their team MVP Senna was out as was their top defender Roversio.

                Days before the game the fans were all led to beleive by Petke that they would trot out the very bottom end of their roster for the game, instead Petke annouced a first 11 nearly identical to the one that played and beat NE Revs in Foixboro a week before.

                So spare us the B team non-sense, the we didnt take it seriously BS…they played the bets team they could showing they cared more than the PR statements would have suggested and they proceeded to be BEAT DOWN by the Cosmos. 3-0 scoreline, 22 shots to 1, 11 corners to 1. Out possessed 60-40. The Cosmos would not be out of place in MLS, certainly would be better than NYCFC is.

                The great news is, there is a good chance we get to run this scenario again this year.

          • Lucas Vazquez

            Ayoze – started in La Liga in Spain
            Roversio – started in La Liga in Spain
            Mendes – was a starter and one of Red Bulls best centerbacks couple years back
            Freeman – started on the dynamo
            Szetela – played in La liga
            fernandes – played on the union
            moffat – mls veteran

            Maybe you should get your facts straight next time

            • slowleftarm

              Right, so all of those guys are MLS rejects, like I’ve been saying, except Ayoze and Roversio. Ayoze used to be La Liga quality but wasn’t getting playing time at Gijon and then left to come to Cosmos. Roversio barely played in La Liga in his one stint there. He was probably MLS quality at one point but those days are over. So basically, your facts support my argument. Thanks.

              • slowleftarm

                In addition, I just learned that the Cosmos GK was named NASL player of the month in April. I thought the name sounded familiar and lo and behold, he’s a Red Bull reject. Drafted by RBNY but cut without ever being offered a contract. He was a backup to Kyle Reynish who I saw this weekend playing at RBA – for RBNY II. Any more facts I should be aware of?

                • Roversio, ayoze, senna, raul, guenzatti, caceres, diosa, flores, Restrepo, stokkelein, and wright all have no connection whatsoever to MLS. And szetala left MLS for Italy, only to be injured. Now we have him. Every one of the aforementioned players could easily make an MLS roster, but either they don’t want that, or MLS can’t pay them. Sorry, what you wish to be true isn’t always true.

                  • Matt

                    The Starting XI for RB who lost to the Cosmos…8 of them had just started the week before when they beat the Revolution, who at the time were top of the league. So the whole “RB fielded a weak side” argument is completely without merit.

                    • slowleftarm

                      Again – no Henry, Cahill, Olave, Dax, Robles. Not a first choice side. Please keep dreaming. Thank you.

                  • slowleftarm

                    Haji Wright has no connection to MLS? What was his last team? He left so he can move abroad more easily when he’s 18.

                    But on your other point you’re right. There are actually 4 categories of Cosmos players, not 2: 1) MLS rejects, 2) 40 year old Spaniards, 3) low level foreign players, 4) various guys who used to be good enough to play in good leagues but aren’t now.

                    Seriously, I had no idea who half these guys were and for good reason – they played for a bunch of no name clubs no one has ever heard of.

                    Happy now?

                  • Ulrich

                    Well, in truth after Columbus,(not sure if a straight transfer, contract expired, or cut, but his final year with the Crew he only made 4 appearances), Szetala left MLS for Racing Santander in Spain & while there he was loaned out to Brescia (SeriB B). He came back to MLS and played a season for DC making 4 appearances before being injured and subsequently released.

                    The kid had/has talent as he was an up-and-comer in the Youth National Team pool, but he also has a major penchant for injury his entire professional career. Maybe he’s finally overcome this and is achieving his potential ?!?

                • Brother,I think many of your observations in general are often right on,but you can’t possibly believe current RB is so much better than Cosmos,do you? RB blows with no depth and low technical quality. You know that. Cosmos are far more impressive than you give them credit

              • Lucas Vazquez

                So your argument is that if a player leaves a league like MLS the sole reason is because they are hacks of that league and are not good enough to play there anymore? I.e. Giovinco is now a serie a hack and is not good enough to play in that league anymore since those days are over according to your logic. Stick to commenting on a another sport buddy

                • slowleftarm

                  Not my argument at all. If a player can’t get a contract in MLS and then signs for a lower level league, like NASL, then yes it’s almost always because they aren’t good enough.

                  • slowleftarm

                    Oh I almost forgot Szetela. He couldn’t hack it in Italy, then came back to MLS, where he also couldn’t hack it. Then he played for some amateur team before the Cosmos signed him.

      • smurf040

        who cares? Who’s fault is that? The Cosmos”s? Is not their fault (or any NASL) team for that matter that MLS teams don’t take the tournament serious enough to win. (supposedly) My view is this, every team entering a tournament should try it’s hardest to win that tournament. If not, then why enter? So please don’t make excuses or be upset when the Cosmos or any NASL team if they win. Get upset at MLS and your particular team if they don’t put their best product (team) on the field! We don’t get discount prices for admission to the matches because they are playing their “B” team do we? so why should you guys settle for anything less?.

    • Ulrich

      Honestly Leo???

      For a guy that champions Civil Rights as a lawyer, your conduct on EOS is that of a bully and a troll. Nearly everything you post has a vitriolic quality to it: name calling, insults, hypocritical comments (bashing of NYCFC’s owner & fans when the Cosmos you champion have a similar middle eastern owner with similar domestic records). It makes one wonder if as a child you were the bully and you’re continuing your ways, or if you were the one being bullied, and this is your way to feel like you’re taking control of a situation. Either way, it’s getting old.

      I’m sure off the boards you’re a nice and congenial guy to those that know you. It is too bad that personality doesn’t show through on the boards – you obviously have a lot of passion for the NYC soccer scene and could engage in meaningful discussions, but too often the vitriol runneth over and civility spirals downward (by everybody). While you may take this as a personal attack, it isn’t meant to be – I just want to see less angst and anger on this board so that it’s worth reading on a daily basis.

      • God, people can dish it out but they can’t take it. Christian Araos is a troll and I revel in showing just how wrong he is. He has actually stated, as fact, that the Panamanian league is better than NASL… never having seen a Panamanian league game in his life!

        Civility doesn’t interest me nearly as much as truth and honesty. Christian Araos does not deserve the civility he may crave, given his trolling. And let me tell you something about civil rights (and by the way, thanks for visiting my firm’s web site), in fact, it’s something about life. The bullies need to be bullied themselves. Christian is a bully. Denigrating something good with a smile on your face doesn’t make it better, it makes it worse in fact.

        I’m sorry that you’re so fragile that reading incivility on comments sections disturbs you so much. But unlike the idiotic NYCFC fans who hide behind anonymity and spout non facts, I attach my name to what I say so that at the very least people can see that I’m willing to stake my credibility on that.

        Getting to the facts of the “middle eastern ownership”, you are totally wrong, and beyond that, “as a civil rights lawyer”, you are being racist. Being wealthy and from the middle east does not mean you are responsible for the human rights record of your country. The middle eastern part owners of the Cosmos are not in government. Sheik Mansour is the Deputy Prime Minister of abu dhabi, a country that has castration of homosexuals on its books. He is in a position to make positive change in his country, but instead, seeks to launder his image as a person who is actually responsible for human rights abuses by owning soccer teams. Don’t believe me, read the human rights report on him.

        So I really don’t care if you think I’m a jerk. But I tell the truth and put my name to it.

        • Ulrich

          Truth and honesty interest you? Nowhere did I say that being wealthy and from the middle east means you are responsible for the human rights record of your country. Sela Sports is run by Ahmed Al Mohtaseb and they have their hand in EVERY part of the Arabian sporting infrastructure. If you know anything about Saudi Arabia, then you’d know that no company gains that sort of foothold without either having a silent partner from the Saudi Royal Family, or having a direct benefactor in the SRF. The Royal Family sanctions EVERYTHING within their realm. Ahmed Al Mohtaseb is definitely benefiting from the same government that beheads homosexuals (a bit more absolute than castration, although I tend to think of both as equally awful) – Yes, Human Rights Watch is also concerned with Saudi Arabia. They are also concerned with SA’s treatment of Migrant Workers & Women/girl’s rights. A quick check of LinkedIn didn’t show a single female employee of Sela Sports – they may not be able directly influence their government’s policies, but they also aren’t taking the lead with equal hiring for their London office.

          No, I am not a racist, and as a lawyer you should probably refrain from making that sort of accusation, not because I care one bit about the false validity of it, but because it makes you look silly slinging the term when not warranted.

          Sheikh Mansour is probably no saint, but even as the deputy prime minister it’s debatable how much control he truly has to make change in his country (kind of like the Vice President of the US) – unless you’re at the top of the food chain as the leader, the subordinates typically have to tout the policies or be removed themselves (which is why the former DPM was removed in 2011 and Mansour was promoted). Case in point, just this year, the new King of Saudi Arabia arbitrarily reorganized the line of succession behind him; don’t think for an instant that wasn’t to purge dissenting views.

          So frankly, the “truth” you think you tell is actually just a bunch of half-truths.

          • I wasn’t serious about saying you’re racist, just poking fun at you pointing out that I’m a civil rights attorney. I have no idea whether you are a racist and my guess would be that you are not.

            So, look what you have just done, you have condemned a company that may have contacts with the Saudi government, but made excuses for your owner, who is the DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER of Abu Dhabi.

            Sorry, Amnesty International and Human Rights watch have never claimed that Sela Sport is somehow an abuser of human rights. They have claimed that Sheik Mansour is. And by the way, Sela Sport is hardly the giant of Saudi sports that you claim it to be. But though neither of us know for sure, I will concede that they likely work with government officials to get deals done. Are you seriously comparing that to the abuser himself?

            I’m not the one being disingenuous brah. Sheik Mansour is a problem for NYCFC and for good reason. He’s not the average arab businessman.

            • Anonymous

              please, please

              nobody should ever say “brah”

              I’m begging you

        • Joe

          Cosmos are the best

      • And one other thing, I was neither a bully or bullied. But I was pretty unpopular in high school. Can’t imagine why.

    • El CB

      Not true. Five of their starters did not begin the game


    If you know the MLS website then you know this writer is destined to be a “STAFF WRITER” those who know will get this reference.

  • John

    How are the team’s in Virginia and Oklahoma doing? Are they ever going to play?

    • Oklahoma in a better position than Virginia.

    • The Realist

      How’s Chivas USA doing?

      How’s NYCFC doing on the field? TALK ABOUT LOW STANDARDS! THEY ARE CRAP!

      • slowleftarm

        Well, LA2 just agreed a deal for a 25k SSS and NYCFC is an expansion team (and showing it on the field) averaging crowds about 6-7 times what Hempstead Cosmos get.

        • slowcleftarm



          I HATE MY MOTHER!!!!!!!

          • slowleftarm

            Actually, I’m a RBNY supporter so I love that NYCFC sucks. I’m not sure how much success they’ll have attracting fans going forward but I’m very confident they’ll draw many multiples of whatever Cosmos are drawing.

            And I don’t have anything against LI – in fact I feel bad the only soccer club out there is a minor league outfit playing in a college stadium. If it makes them feel better, I’ve been told that even people in Sweden know about them though. That’s got to be worth something right?

      • Oduncan

        Chivas USA will be reborn as LAFC; a market the NASL will never touch.

  • Love these guys, fans of a league. I’m a cosmos fan, not an NASL fan, but my god, by year 6, MLS was contracting with poor attendance, poor facilities, and no attention. We are already ahead of MLS and we’re saddled (arbitrarily) with Division 2 stigma. Despite that, we’re a couple of years ahead of MLS.

    • slowleftarm

      So in year 20, Nasl is going to have 20 (soon to be 24) teams playing in mostly SSS, averaging 19k plus per game and getting $90m a year in TV money? Even though MLS just took over two of NASL’s better markets? LOL, I’d love to see it because a D2 that strong would mean soccer is huge in the US but I don’t see it happening. Also, NASL is D2 because it’s not as good as D1 MLS. Anyone can see that.

      • slowcleftarm

        I HATE THE NASL!








        • Nice Clash reference, though otherwise I have no idea what you’re talking about.

        • slowleftarm

          First of all, no one who’s ever met me would say that I hate living in New Jersey.

          And I don’t hate the NASL or Cosmos – a strong second division is important to US Soccer and I support pro/rel, at least in the future.

          What I don’t care for is delusional fans who refuse to accept that MLS rejected the Cosmos, that the Cosmos play in a minor league that isn’t anywhere near as good as MLS, that the Cosmos would be lucky to get 20 points in an MLS season, that the Cosmos did not (and could not have) beat a first-choice RBNY squad in the open cup last year, fans who constantly overrate the global brand that even people in Sweden have heard of, and so on.

          • You’re losing it, who said you hate living in NJ? How the hell would I even know where you live. Why would I even care? And we’re delusional… Seems like you’re having an episode right now.

            • slowleftarm

              Hey Leo, try reading the post above by my imitator and admirer. You know, the one the post, I was responding too.

          • Hydrahamster

            Actually, both parties could not agree with each other. The Cosmos wanted to stay a independent club not effected by the single entity. That did not set well with Garber. Instead, the Cosmos are staying a rich team in a lower division league. Unlike all of the MLS teams, the Cosmos have enough money to buy a stadium without tax money. The only set back is approval and location.

    • Ulrich

      You need to compare apples to apples. When MLS began, the American landscape was a barren wasteland. Yes lots of kids played, but it didn’t have the TV networks lining up to broadcast games, investors weren’t convinced that it was a viable spectator sport in America, and there was no infrastructure to speak of. I’m no defender of the blunders that MLS made out of the gate, because there were many (besides allowing Nike to brand the teams’ names and jerseys), but there were dealing with the stigma of making something stick that had failed miserably before with the original NASL. They were taking the first step.

      In many ways MLS starting was like Roger Bannister breaking the 4 minute mile – there was no road map for how an athlete should train to go sub-4, and many failed to do it, but once Bannister broke the barrier every other runner knew that it was possible and began copying certain training principles. Now, there are dozens of american college kids (let alone the one around the world) that break 4 minutes each year – this isn’t because humans have evolved in the last 100 years, but because there’s a road map to success.

      The same can be said for the NASL. They are starting years after MLS, and they have the advantage of knowing what has worked and what hasn’t. Investors know that money can be made. Cities (most, but not all) are willing to allow infrastructure to be built. TV has caught on and sees marketing dollars attached to games. That’s huge!

      As to the Division 1 versus 2 stigma…. well, there’s criteria that has to be met to even qualify by USSF standards – it’s not arbitrary. This is no different than in other leagues around the world. I believe there is a team in Spain (?) that just gained promotion to the top league but needs a waiver because their stadium is too small for top league status (it may be another league, I just don’t remember). I’m not going to fact check every item below, but as of this season, I do not think the NASL qualifies for a number of the necessary requirements (stadium sizes, number of teams, geographic locations). From the USSF standards:

      II. Division I Men’s Outdoor League:  
      a. Composition; Play 
      i.League must have a minimum of 12 teams to apply.  By year three, the league must have a minimum of 14 teams. 
      ii. U.S. based teams must participate in all representative U.S. Soccer and CONCACAF competitions for which they are eligible. 
      b. Markets; Stadia; and Fields 
      i. U.S.‐based teams must be located in at least the Eastern, Central and Pacific time zones in the continental United States. (These three time zones are required because the majority of the large population centers are located in these time zones.) 
      ii. At least 75 percent of the league’s teams must play in metropolitan markets of at least 1,000,000 persons. 
      iii. League stadiums must meet the following parameters: 
      1. All stadiums/arenas must be enclosed. 
      2. All league stadiums must have a minimum seating capacity of 15,000. 
      iv. Not later than 180 days prior to the start of each season, each team shall have a lease for at least one full season with its home stadium.

      • Closedcupfan

        Question sir, is possible if you can compare sponge bob to Patrick star for me please

  • Jay

    Red Bull played 8 of the same 11 that played a week earlier and beat New England Revs in NE. they got out shot 20-3 and lost their tempers so bad that 2 got red cards after the match was done and dusted. Then the red bull players didn’t even thank their traveling fans. So all i’m asking is if the team didn’t take the match seriously then why play soo many starters and why get bent out of shape when your guys didn’t deserve to be on the same pitch as ours? thats all i’m saying…

    • NYCsportspunk

      That’s about the most accurate comment about last years game. Petke probably thought the same lineup would get the job done. It’s as if RBN? didn’t even scout or watch any tape on the Cosmos. I saw RBN? fans comments after the game on MetroFanatic & they where embarrassed. That’s the reality of the situation, like it or not.

      • Closedcupfan

        Your name implies to the your gothic

    • slowleftarm

      So you are telling me a 2014 Red Bulls team without Henry, Cahill, Olave, Dax and Robles was a first-choice team? Wow.

      Look, I get it. MLS rejected your team and now you play teams from tiny cities in flyover country in a college stadium in Hempstead. You get crowds of 3,800 on beautiful spring weekends. I know it’s frustrating and that’s why you have to pretend that some Don Garber led conspiracy is preventing the global brand that’s known in Sweden from taking over the American soccer world. But pointing to a game against a reserve team of a club that openly states that it doesn’t care about the Open Cup (the manager didn’t even attend their open cup game in 2011) is sad. Even for you guys.

      • Luis

        The mls didn’t reject the Cosmos dumbass, we chose not to go there because we don’t want to be part of the franchise system. We like to control our brand, our image, and our player contracts. If you don’t get that then stfu. Still butthurt about losing 3-0?? LOL Don’t worry, we will humiliate your fellow mls club man city usa soon.

        • zensum

          That’s the official story from O’Brien and co. but it’s far from clear that’s the real reason…

          The biggest debunker of the “brand control” argument is ironically our team…have you checked out our name and logo recently…a striking resemblance to the name and logo of a billion dollar many times over company…think Red Bull doesn’t have control over that imagery…think MLS can use that imagery in any way it wants without Austrian approval….

          No…the best guess is that the nasl cosmos aren’t in MLS because they don’t have owners who have or are willing to commit to MLS money…several hundred million dollars to play in this market and cash calls as needed for potentially millions more…and there’s no evidence that I’ve seen that the Belmont Park development plan calls for nasl cosmos’ money to make it work…our team on the other hand reportedly put up $200 million of its own money to build RedBullArena…

          No…the best guess is that the nasal cosmos were looking for the “Cosmos’ discount”…waive or substantially reduce the fee…because the name/brand will bring millions to the league…I imagine the league considered the proposition but decided for reasons of fairness and franchise valuation that they just couldn’t do it…

          And the reception the team has gotten in the metro area since the launch has Garber and co. sleeping well at night…the brand doesn’t appear to be worth nearly as much as Kemsley/O’Brien/Sela imagined…

          You see back in the day it wasn’t the brand/name/logo/uniform…it was the team…and no matter how much you want to believe otherwise this is simply a different team that will have to forge its own history…famous name notwithstanding…

  • See jay, you give them facts, they give you delusions. You’ve been check mated slowleftarm, luckily your anonymous.

    • slowleftarm

      Glad I never played you in chess. After one move, you’d be yelling “checkmate!” No Henry, Cahill, Olave, Dax, Miller or Robles. I forgot about Roy Miller. Like Cahill he was off at the world cup. There were Cosmos players at the world cup right?

      • Luis

        ^Butthurt as F lol get over it man, your fizzy drink team lost 3-0 to the Cosmos. We were clearly the better team, not my fault your team didn’t show up or even thank the visiting fans!

      • Closedcupfan

        I like chicken

  • OpenCupFan

    Only MLS fans argue about everything but the product on the field.
    – Cosmos on Oneworld Sportsin something like 40 million homes. From Penn to Mass, and all over the world on the Internet.
    – Fans in Sweden are more knowledgeable about soccer than fans that just like to talk about nice stadiums and make excuses about their team getting hammered.
    – you should expect more from your franchises than a new league crest/logo.


    About the author, another MLS apologist laying the groundwork in the event of MLS losses in the U.S. Open Cup. It is evident why MLS business owners are happy with the quality of their product, but what continues to baffle is the motivation of those covering the MLS. The lack of critical analysis displayed by journalists and/or bloggers such as the author here is bewildering. To somehow justify last years NJRB loss because the Cosmos wanted it more is a lazy conclusion, instead he should be asking why would the RBs enter an event they don’t want to win. This is a journalistic and common sense failure.

    If the MLS teams are playing games they don’t want to win, why are you watching them?

    • Oduncan

      If we’re NJRB, i guess that would make you Long Island…no, Hempstead Cosmos. Thanks for playing.

      • OpenCupFan

        Don’t bother me either way. Real problem is that’s what you took from the post.

        FYI – I’m not really anti RB, even went to the very first Metro game at the old Meadowlands (that’s in Jersey still right?), just don’t attack the Cosmos for being a club that tries to win when you’re a franchise that plays games not to win. When presented with an alternative, the franchise model doesn’t even make sense anymore.

        • Closedcupfan

          I don’t like your comment sir

  • OpenCupFan

    Hey author,

    Any truth to the rumor that, should the Cosmos win tomorrow, MLS will give NYCFC a month off to prepare for the game?


    • MLS Insider

      Actually, the hot rumor at HQ today was that Almighty Don is trying to persuade NYCFC to NOT field their 1st team again the Cosmos for fear that they will get crushed by an NASL squad.

      Don is also trying to come up with new ways to bring in high priced foreign talent to help NYCFC without pissing off the rest of the league.

      You should see the shenanigans going on here! It recalls the days of Chatlie Stillitano’s Metrostars!

      • OpenCupFan

        Have they tried hiring Alexei Lalas as GM of all the franchises with good players? He will trade them all away to big markets for nothing – or so they say.

        • Closedcupfan

          I despise opencupfan

          • Slightlyopencupfan

            My cup isn’t always open but when it is I feel it up with some kool aid

      • MLS Outisder

        I have no info on the outside of the mls but I can tell you that it’s very cold

        • MLS Insider

          It is spelled “Outsider,” not “Outisder.”

          • Outsider

            Uh, no comment

  • Hydrahamster

    Thr NASL is not low standard. However, they placed themselves under pressure to one day be on the same level as MLS and become better. The USSF have not learned a thing. When you isolate the whole divisions for one club’s gain, there will be competition fighting for a meaning within the USSF other than being just a lower division league randomly playing games are being a feeder league like the USL. The Open Cup lets all the lower division shine, but with USSF handicapping them, they can not become better and richer. A soccer governing body supposed to offer equal opportunity to every team in every division. What we seen is a soccer governing body forgetting they are not catering to just a national game. The NASL can try all they want to to become the first division. Meanwhile, the MLS is getting fatter and uglier by the expansion announcement. If they want to go pass 24 teams, let them explode from greed.

  • John

    @thegoalkeeper: Major investor in the NASL. RT @AndrewDasNYT: Traffic Sports International and Traffic Sports USA have pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

  • John

    @thegoalkeeper: Traffic Sports’ Aaron Davidson indicted. Aka the chair of the NASL’s board of governors.

  • John

    @thegoalkeeper: Traffic owns all the Class A shares in NASL Inc. and oversees its marketing rights.