In Wake of “Departure Day,” Several Teams Reaffirm Commitment to NASL

IMAGE, NASL

by JAKE NUTTING

Tuesday was about as bad a day as the modern NASL has ever had since its resurrection in 2010.

The league officially lost the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Ottawa Fury FC to the USL after weeks of speculation, leaving it to face the reality of a ten-team season next year. The mass exodus has prompted fans to dub Tuesday as “Departure Day.”

And the future is still dubious for other NASL sides. The league number only holds at ten if the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Rayo OKC are able to resolve their financial issues or if the league steps in to facilitate a return.

In the face of this uncertainty, NASL owners have largely remained quiet over the past month. However, with rumors continuing to surface of even more teams contemplating joining Tampa Bay and Ottawa in the USL, some front offices are breaking their silence.

Jacksonville Armada FC Owner and Chairman of the NASL Board of Governors Mark Frish reaffirmed that his team will be sticking around the NASL with a comment posted through the team’s social media accounts.

Expansion side Miami FC also took to social media to voice its commitment to the NASL despite Tuesday’s announcements with a brief comment from CEO Sean Flynn.

Also backing the NASL was Indy Eleven Owner Ersal Ozdemir, who mentioned in his statement that planning for 2017 is taking place and that the Spring Season champions are definitely a part of those discussions.

The only other Canadian side in the NASL, FC Edmonton, came out with an even stronger denial that it would be joining Ottawa in a move to the USL. Owner Tom Fath told Steven Sandor of the11.ca there is “zero chance” he would be abandoning the NASL.

For the moment, all other NASL teams have chosen to stay mum. The league’s front office released its own statement on Tuesday’s announcements from Tampa Bay and Ottawa in hopes of quelling the worries of supporters.