Report: NASL Expected to Announce New Expansion In Lead Up to FInal

Bill Peterson talking NASL

by JAKE NUTTING

As focus shifts to the North American Soccer League’s four-team postseason tournament over the next two weeks, supporters will likely see highly-anticipated expansion announcements made.

In an exclusive interview with ESPN, NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson revealed today that a new club will be unveiled next week during the lead up to the league’s championship final. He gave no indication of when said club will begin play. Miami FC and Puerto Rico are both set to join the league next season after 11 teams competed on the field this year.

An interesting wrinkle to Peterson’s interview is that he also stated that the new expansion club will be “very linked” to a European club. Foreign ownership is nothing new for the NASL. One of the league’s heritage clubs, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, was taken over by Brazilian investors at the end of last year and Miami FC is also backed by a group of foreign owners. However, this would be the first time that the league has partnered up with a foreign club.

Spanish club Rayo Vallecano was tied to the NASL’s troubled expansion bid in Oklahoma City earlier this summer. Things have gone quiet in that market, but the Madrid-based club is still believed to be in the mix, possibly under a new ownership structure.

Peterson also intimated in his interview that another foreign group of investors are involved in another expansion bid that could be announced by the end of the year. South American investors have recently been tied to interest on the West Coast in San Francisco, an area of the country where the young league is still trying to get its foot in the door.

The rising interest in the NASL from foreign investors over the past year could potentially play a pivotal part in the league’s long term sustainability as it looks to nearly double its current roster of clubs over the next few years.

“We’ll do that and probably maybe one more [team]. So probably 15 or 16 by the end of this year and then we’re closing in on 20, probably, by next year. So it’s pretty good for five years,” Peterson told ESPN. “…We’ve got a little bit of a push now from clubs from around the world who realise that we’re structured like they are and we could be part of a global system of clubs that they have.”

  • John

    So a couple of new teams are coming in to replace Minnesota , San Antonio and atlanta. Not a big deal,

    • HydraHamster

      Atlanta can either stay, move or fold. So far, nothing is for sure.

    • Tom

      It actually is a big deal. NASL has added stable expansion clubs over the years and more to come. The few they lose along the way to Mls will only be a blip. Minnesota is still in the NASL for 1 or maybe 2 years as well to be a filler club for now. Atlanta nobody’s sure about yet, may move, could fold. SA Scorpions as well, may be sold and moved and stay in NASL possibly or not. A move to third division usl farm league would mean $$$ for NASL for its exit fee. Hartmann’s commitment or lack of it lately was known and its no surprise whats happened.

  • HydraHamster

    This can either be an Oklahoma City teams or San Francisco team. I can not wait. I wonder if both aren’t it and Celtic ended up the European owners in an unknown city.

  • Cosmo

    What in the world is garber waiting to do a damn MLS2 with different rules.
    I know people say USL is MLS2 but is not, those farm teams belong in a farm league.
    MLS should start recruiting teams and make an MLS2.

    • Anonymous

      Why?

  • Alexlgago

    Its time of r USSOCCER Federation to rethink its strategy, do they have one? We live in the golden age of U. S. Soccer and so should US SOCCER federation.

    • HydraHamster

      No they don’t. This is the same soccer governing body that killed off a growing successful league (APSL) to start over from scratch. Times like this, it will be a stupid strategy if they stay a one league federation. If they keep fighting the NASL and NPSL, it would kill their wonderful progress in the long run.

      • slowleftarm

        APSL?! Teams folded in that league left and right and it had an average attendance of 3k or so.

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  • The most interesting bit, and the bit to watch, is in the last two paragraphs:

    The rising interest in the NASL from foreign investors over the past year could potentially play a pivotal part in the league’s long term sustainability as it looks to nearly double its current roster of clubs over the next few years.

    “We’ll do that and probably maybe one more [team]. So probably 15 or 16 by the end of this year and then we’re closing in on 20, probably, by next year. So it’s pretty good for five years,” Peterson told ESPN. “…We’ve got a little bit of a push now from clubs from around the world who realise that we’re structured like they are and we could be part of a global system of clubs that they have.”

    • slowleftarm

      Is that counting Atlanta, Minnesota and perhaps San Antonio leaving for MLS?

  • jimmy j

    yeah, b/c the only ones dumb enough to invest in the sinking ship that is the nasl (who can’t even beat USL teams) are foreigners who don’t really understand the true nature of the market in the US.

    All the decent markets that can sustain top clubs will be in the MLS soon, like san Antonio, probably IndyEleven, etc. Nasl will be the left over moneypit pieces, its just a matter of how long their owners tolerate losing money hand over fist – no interest, TV contract, or success o nthe field?…

    • ty

      MLS is loosing money according to Garber himself. Puerto Rico FC and Miami FC start in 2016 not like San Antonio had a good front office or decent plan. their stadium is more in Converse than in San Antonio not to mention Tubing season,Six flags,Sea World grab peoples attention more in the summer especially since its well over 90 most days. San Antonio is not a loss.

      • slowleftarm

        Nice rationalization. MLS cherry picks markets/teams from NASL whenever it wants. Atlanta, Minnesota, now maybe San Antonio. Every team in NASL, except maybe Hempstead, would jump at the chance to join MLS.

        • Tom

          NASL clubs are behind its push for D1 in the future.

  • jimmy j

    2 of the top 4 nasl teams in attendance are moving to MLS. #1 Indy will probably go soon after, and the Atlanta and Miami team markets will be taken over by MLS teams soon – not looking good for the future for nasl when they can’t even beat USL teams on the field either…

    • Tom

      Thats the standard Mls/Usl fanboy line.

      Miami Mls suffering more setbacks again, won’t be starting a Mcfranchise there anytime soon, years away if it even happens. NASL’s future is fine.

    • ty

      What Year? I see the game that MLS try’s to pull. Minnesota United haven’t played in MLS yet. Miami has no stadium and we have teams coming in while MLS teams have the T.B.A. schedule. I like what NASL is doing with Puerto Rico FC. The better owners we get the better we get. Traffic sports needs to take a hike and the S.A. Scorpions need to exit also.