Peterson on USL’s D2 ambition: “Be Careful What You Wish For”

Bill Peterson annoyed NASL

by JAKE NUTTING and DAVE MARTINEZ

Despite consistent proclamations from NASL executives about the league’s ultimate ambition of reaching top flight status in American soccer, the oft-cantankerous relationship between both the NASL and MLS has simmered down in recent months.

“I think everyone is doing their own thing now. We all know each other and are respectful of each other. We want everyone to be successful,” NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson told EOS in an interview last week. “This is a big territory between the U.S. and Canada. The sport doesn’t get where it needs to get without all of us being really, really successful, and there is plenty of room for us all to be successful without taking away from another.

“The best thing for us is for MLS to be successful.”

However, the NASL’s relationship with USL is another matter altogether.

USL President Jake Edwards has publicly and proactively declared the league’s desire to achieve second division status for 2017, with his latest salvo coming as recently as three months ago. The league currently occupies the third tier of professional soccer in America, and has expanded to a whopping 29 teams from coast to coast.

That growth, as planned, has given Edwards key ammunition to pursue that goal.

Peterson, however, expresses concerns over such a promotion.

“Be careful what you wish for,” Peterson warns.

As the NASL boss explains, the missions for USL and NASL as division two leagues are quite different — and the USL model, from a competitive standpoint, may not be the best representative for the American second tier.

“To me, there are championship leagues, reserve leagues, and amateur leagues. You are one of the three. You are either playing for trophies, playing to develop players, or playing for the love of the game,” Peterson explains. “We are a championship league. We play for trophies. [USL] have developed a league where they are, in my opinion, a reserve league, and that is where they are having success — and rightfully so. I think it is great for the game, great for MLS, great for the players to get a chance to be in a development system, but it is completely a different model from what we do.”

“At some point, the Federation needs to realize what they have assembled is a reserve league,” he continues. “The majority of the teams are reserve teams for MLS. I think it is a wonderful model for MLS, but let’s stop kidding ourselves about what it is. It’s a reserve league.

Peterson added, however, that “[U.S. Soccer] can do what they want.”

At the moment, there’s no telling how these issues will shake out or what the U.S. Soccer landscape will even look like in two years time. There are no provisions in the current USSF guidelines to prohibit co-division status in either the top flight or the second division, making a bounce up or down the U.S. Soccer pyramid a realistic possibility for all involved.

However, the only certainty in American professional soccer today is that everyone at every level is looking to move up — and while that ambition certainly drives NASL, Peterson is clear to state that goal begins with improving his league first.

“For us, it is about focusing on what we do,” he said. “There isn’t anything they do that should affect anything we are doing. We are separate companies. We have more of a league model I think and we are focusing on what we are doing.”

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69 Comments on "Peterson on USL’s D2 ambition: “Be Careful What You Wish For”"

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Leo Glickman
Guest
6 months 4 days ago

Hey Jake, it’s not as if they haven’t fired a shot at USSF with their letter from Jeffrey Kessler. I mean, is the legal effort on hold for now, not going forward at all, or what?

Dave Martinez
Admin
6 months 4 days ago

Leo, no update there. The league is keeping that in house for now. We should have more in the coming days.

Leo Glickman
Guest
6 months 4 days ago

cool, thanks.

Dave Martinez
Admin
6 months 4 days ago

Thoughts on him being complimentary to MLS?

Hernando Peralta
Guest
Hernando Peralta
6 months 3 days ago

HAHAHAHA, A 100 people on the stand will do that..? F.Y.. big time.. and do not ask for your hooker..

Kevin
Guest
Kevin
6 months 4 days ago

if nothing else, his final statement is the most important. Improve our league first, worry about MLS/USL later.

Bobb
Guest
Bobb
6 months 3 days ago

So USL wasn’t even trying to win when they swept NASL teams out of US Open Cup last season? Wow that’s impressive!

Even if we accept his comments completely, why exactly can’t a reserve league be second division? He never explains that.

Maybe a league that doesn’t have any teams west of Oklahoma City can’t be second division because they don’t represent the entire country.

Doug
Guest
Doug
6 months 3 days ago

Where were you when the NASL beat out the MLS a few years ago?

DivintyHope
Guest
DivintyHope
6 months 3 days ago

MLS put out reserve teams. USL and NASL are both minor leagues. Niether have path to the CCL, except through USOP play. So yes, results against one another matters more, than against MLS teams.

OpenCupFan
Guest
OpenCupFan
6 months 3 days ago

How can you tell? U must be talking about the full squad LA Galaxy that went to Carolina and got beat down by the RailHawks – three years in a row or something.
.
Why r mls fans so dumb?

Eric B
Guest
Eric B
6 months 3 days ago

2012 – LA Galaxy: Bill Gaudette; Tommy Meyer, David Junior Lopes, Leonardo, Bryan Gaul (Rafael Garcia 71’); Hector Jimenez (Bryan Jordan 44’), Michael Stephens, Marcelo Sarvas, Kyle Nakazawa; Pat Noonan, Chad Barrett (Mike Magee 65’)…definitely not the full squad

2013 – Galaxy sent Curt Onalfo to coach the game, Rowe was their goalkeeper, someone named Kenney Walker played for them…doesn’t sound like the full squad.

Only time they sent the full squad was 2014.

D
Guest
D
6 months 2 days ago

And they lost!

WSW
Guest
WSW
6 months 3 days ago

Yea because one-off games count. Maybe that’s why David Villa has a academy with NASL PR team.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
6 months 3 days ago

Give it up, Bill. You can’t win.
The deck has been stacked against you
SUM = MLS = USSF = SUM

USL is willing to obey. They’ll be taken care of

The Real insider
Guest
The Real insider
6 months 3 days ago

Bill is running the triple AAA of soccer the NASL.

A league that outside of die hard soccer fans no one know it exists.

Bill needs to work on getting stadiums built, a TV deal (a real deal on actual Television not some crappy internet production that pays money not share advertising revenues) , get the local press to covers his league, get fans to the stadiums.

The NASL needs to stop worrying about USL. The USL is getting bigger and has surpassed the NASL.

Soon we will need to call the NASL the Double AA of soccer.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
6 months 3 days ago

Actually D3 Usl is the AAA of soccer with their many MLS farm teams and affiliates. Number of teams doesn’t make a league superior and they are clearly an inferior league to the official D2 NASL.

NASL has real TV deals – all but one NASL club had their matches on local TV last season and there was also a National TV game of the week on Wednesdays. ESPN3 showed all NASL games as well, D3 Usl had nothing similar or close.

DivintyHope
Guest
DivintyHope
6 months 3 days ago

USL swept their NASL rivals in the USOC last year. Many being shut out at home. Also NASL does not have TV deal, stop that lie. The Cosmos owner, is CEO, of One worrld Sports. They recieve no revenue from that agreement. And ESPN3 show alot of things, like MLL. Like many things ESPN3 show, it was a partnership deal, not a National TV deal.

Tomas
Guest
Tomas
6 months 3 days ago
NASL’s done well vs MLS in usoc and had a winning record vs Usl in previous years, just a bad few matches on one day last year and 3 were very close and easily could have gone the other way. Things will be different this year and go back to normal with Usl losing more than they win vs NASL. League play between the teams in their own league shows more accurately the higher level of play the NASL has than the lower league Usl. NASL having a National TV deal last season on Oneworldsports is a fact and whether… Read more »
John
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John
6 months 3 days ago

NASL has no national tv deals or local no network or local TV stations carry an NASL team. Any deal they have is internet based with no possibility of generating revenues or exposure.

Look at the Cosmos in NY there are no where on TV for example NYCFC has its games on the YES network and the RedBullls are on the MSG network both teams also have some of their games broadcasted nationally on ESPN and FOX. Those are TV deals with revenues and national and local distribution.

StrikerLiker
Guest
StrikerLiker
6 months 3 days ago

As a south floridian, I watched every Strikers away match on our local SFL Channel 7. Jacksonville and Tampa also have local television networks show their games.

Tomas
Guest
Tomas
6 months 2 days ago
You’ve just proven how illiterate you are with regards to the NASL’s TV deals – all but two of the 11 NASL clubs had their home games on LOCAL TV Stations NOT internet based deals at all. They were broadcast on TV in their respective cities. Jacksonville was on the local CW TV channel, Minnesota on KSTC TV, Strikers on local CW TV affiliate SFL TV, Edmonton on City TV Edmonton, etc. I won’t list them all here, info is available if your smart enough to look it up. National Wednesday NASL game of the week was on TV as… Read more »
DivintyHope
Guest
DivintyHope
6 months 3 days ago
NASL’s has played MLS reserves in the USOC. Both NASL and USL are lower division leagues, who have no other path way to the CCL, except for the USOC. USL overall record against their NASL piers is, is 10-3-3. So I dont know what you mean by going back to normal. Majority of the NASL teams, were shut out at home. NASL has a partnership with Oneworldsports, which again is own by on of the NY Cosmos owners. They recieve no money from that Partnership. Hence why its called a Partnership & not a TV deal. And One World Sports… Read more »
DivintyHope
Guest
DivintyHope
6 months 3 days ago
When the NASL’s has plays MLS teams in the US Open Cup, its usually their reserves. What makes USL destrution of NASL meaningful, is that both leagues, the NASL and USL, are lower division leagues. Which means, they have no other path way to the CCL, except through the USOC. Also,USL overall record against their NASL piers, is 10-3-3. So I’m confuse, when you talk about things going back to Normal, when as you can see, USL has a huge advantage over the NASL. Majority of the NASL teams, were shut out at home. When it comes to NASL having… Read more »
OpenCupFan
Guest
OpenCupFan
6 months 3 days ago

How can u tell the difference b/w mls and usl? They both lose to the Cosmos!
.
Don’t knock usl, it is the best mls reserve league in the country.
.
And don’t knock mls, it is the best league named mls in the country.
.
Support your local independent soccer clubs!

Larry's A Simpleton
Guest
Larry's A Simpleton
6 months 3 days ago

you’re fighting a losing battle there jsprech. f.cosmos and nasl are dead inthe water . give it up

Eric B
Guest
Eric B
6 months 3 days ago

Philly 2014, NYRB 2015…I’ll just leave that here.

DivintyHope
Guest
DivintyHope
6 months 3 days ago

The Cosmos has not played a USL team. And the Cosmos wins against MLS teams, have been at home. I call that the Costa Rican affect. Costa Rican teams play well at home in the CCL, than get destroyed away from it.

Tomas
Guest
Tomas
5 months 28 days ago
@DivintyHope – Nice spin with the TV “deal” “partnership” bs definition of yours. Stop making up this crap, you look silly. http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2011/08/10/mls-nbc-announce-three-year-broadcast-deal Read that article on MLS’s site – it mentions both “deal” and “partnership” with NBC. Don’t make your own bs up. NASL has a TV deal/partnership with Oneworldsports Nationally – Is it equivalent to MLS? No. Is it an improvement for the NASL in its 5th year? Definitely! Don’t compare a 20 year old MLS to a 5 year old NASL but look at where MLS was after 5 years. What NASL local TV deals you ask? I… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
6 months 3 days ago
I’m tired of this nasl vs USL and nasl vs MLS and garber keeps the fire going by not doing anything. First of all, MLS is not stopping at 28, MLS will go for 30 or 32 teams. (32 is the magic number with 16 in each conference) Second of all, a division with reserve teams and independent teams is not a division 2, it’s suppose to be only independent teams. Therefore, if garber knows MLS is division 1 and MLS will stop at 32 teams, then why not think of the future and make a damn MLS2 with fewer… Read more »
DivintyHope
Guest
DivintyHope
6 months 3 days ago

I believe Spian, have reserve teams in their division 2. So yes, Division 2 leagues often have a mix between reserve and independent teams. Your other comments, make zero sense. NASL was a terrifc invention, to destroy MLS/SUM. It failed.

Dr. FREUD
Guest
Dr. FREUD
6 months 3 days ago

I have never been to Spian. Where is that?

DivintyHope
Guest
DivintyHope
6 months 3 days ago

Yes no edit button on Empire of Soccer.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
6 months 3 days ago

I know about division 2 leagues having reserve teams, but its basically useless if you ask me.
MLS has a big advantage of starting from scratch and commit less mistakes than the older leagues in the world and US sport leagues.

HydraHamster
Guest
HydraHamster
6 months 3 days ago
Spain have promotion and relegation. The reserve teams in Spain do not crowd one league like the MLS do with the USL. One of the weaknesses this country have in soccer is the lack of professional leagues. It makes zero sense to have reserve clubs in our third and LAST professional league when there are so many cities and states without ONE professional soccer team. Spain do not have that problem and Spain’s soccer pyramid is a lot better than ours by miles not just because of club strength, but because how organized, united and more functional it is over… Read more »
Arsenal 10023
Guest
Arsenal 10023
6 months 3 days ago
Garber is being driven by the success of the NFL model (remember his background). Several of his owners are also NFL owners and they all very much like the monopoly they have on top division soccer and football here in the US. They operate in a closed system – with no promotion or relegation. Without Pro/Relegation the division monikers have no significance so they should be scrapped by USSF. The NASL should continue to improve facilities and infrastructure and co-exist with MLS as the nations top soccer leagues. Staying D2 with no chance of promotion limits their ability to attract… Read more »
DivintyHope
Guest
DivintyHope
6 months 3 days ago

Minor league baseball not only attracts big investors. Many teams are sold for 8-10 million, with the record being 40 million. Minor league baseball attracts huge crowds in many areas. This argument that “the lack of promotion limits their ability to attract big time investors”, doesnt fit the reality.

Arsenal 10023
Guest
Arsenal 10023
6 months 3 days ago

My point is that there are plenty of cities in the US that could operate a top soccer club – why forever limit them to minor league status if they don’t make the MLS cut? Does not make sense.

Also television revenue would be limited under your minor league model for soccer here in the US….I don’t see much minor league baseball on television these days….and we all know that television revenue is what is driving valuations of sports leagues and teams (see the EPL as example).

DivintyHope
Guest
DivintyHope
6 months 3 days ago
Minor league status does not limit the excitment of a fanbase, nor does it limit big time investors from investing into a team. Many people like the Minor league feel better. Why? no big money involve, more engagement with the community…ect. Also many minor league teams have television revenue, is it as much, as a first division? no. However, it doesnt need to be. As said before, Minor league teams collect 8-10M a year, some more. Maybe instead of complaining about a sytem, that will never happen in the US. People should instead be learning from what Minor league baseball… Read more »
HydraHamster
Guest
HydraHamster
6 months 3 days ago
You keep missing his point. Soccer is the only sports league under a global entity in the United States. To grow it like a NFL league under a national entity is not a good thing for soccer for the long run. While the MLS continue gaining profit, the lower division will struggle once MLS expansion end. When MLS expansion end, many of the clubs that wanted to be a D1 club will have a higher chance of getting sold to another person or folding. When you start a soccer league, the purpose of it is to grow the game nationally.… Read more »
Arsenal 10023
Guest
Arsenal 10023
6 months 3 days ago

Thank you HydraHamster! You are spot on with your comment. Many here in the US are constantly looking to our other professional leagues for a model to run a league. This is shortsighted on their part.

As you point out, over the long term these models don’t work for soccer and will ultimately stunt the development of US soccer players…and will leave many markets forever missing the opportunity to host a D1 team.

MTF
Guest
MTF
6 months 3 days ago
Read ‘Soccer in a Football World’ by Dave Wangerin for some perspective on the sport in this country going back to the 1890s. I disagree with your statement, “When you start a soccer league, the purpose of it is to grow the game nationally.” Not one of the 10s of professional (mostly regional) leagues that have tried to make a go of it in the U.S. have worried one bit about developing American players or the success of the National Team. The owners who have invested in MLS, the NASL, and the USL have one, perhaps two, thing in mind:… Read more »
DivintyHope
Guest
DivintyHope
6 months 3 days ago
Basketball is a global sport and FIBA has power over the worlds game, outside the united states. And how do you know a NFL style league, under a national entity, would not be a good thing for soccer? In fact, I believe it would be. In US leagues, we have revenue sharing, salary caps…ect, all things I think are lacking in many soccer leagues. And Single Entity, allows MLS to not only grow, but grow without teams in the red. Also why shouldnt MLS gain in profit,when it was their owners who lost millions, near billions, on the game? Dont… Read more »
DivintyHope
Guest
DivintyHope
6 months 3 days ago
Basketball is a global sport and FIBA has power over the worlds game, outside the united states. And how do you know a NFL style league, under a national entity, would not be a good thing for soccer? In fact, I believe it would be. In US leagues, we have revenue sharing, salary caps…ect, all things I think are lacking in many soccer leagues. And Single Entity, allows MLS to not only grow, but grow without teams in the red. Also why shouldnt MLS gain in profit,when it was their owners who lost millions, near billions, on the game? Dont… Read more »
DivintyHope
Guest
DivintyHope
6 months 3 days ago

fail*

Arsenal 10023
Guest
Arsenal 10023
6 months 3 days ago
I guess you and I are in disagreement as I am a supporter of the “foreign way” as you call it. We here in the USA have made our adjustments to soccer and how it is played over the years (shootouts, 35 yard offside line, clock ticking down rather than up, odd substitution rules etc..) and all have fallen flat. Now we want to set up the league like a baseball league which I think is the wrong way to go. Doing so will leave many cities out in the cold when MLS stops expanding – what do you day… Read more »
DivintyHope
Guest
DivintyHope
6 months 3 days ago

Why would independent USL teams, join a shinking ship?

DivintyHope
Guest
DivintyHope
6 months 3 days ago

*Sinking

Tomas
Guest
Tomas
6 months 3 days ago

If there is any sanity and common sense in the USSF the D3 Usl will be only sanctioned at the level their currently at and no higher. They chose to become the MLS’s farm team/affiliate minor league and as such should remain limited to D3.

DivintyHope
Guest
DivintyHope
6 months 3 days ago

Which is above the NASL. In quality of play, USL is higher. And Spain has 2nd division, with reserve team tags Bill. Bill needs to focus on their lack of quality, than what division USL should be at.

:O
Guest
:O
6 months 3 days ago

USL attendances, operating fees, and wage budgets aren’t even comparable.

WSW
Guest
WSW
6 months 3 days ago

USL will have teams fold like back in the day.

Rebel Fighter
Guest
Rebel Fighter
6 months 3 days ago

Great. A droid league that Garber controls. Just a matter of time the NASL teams will beat MLS teams on a regular

Hernando Peralta
Guest
Hernando Peralta
6 months 3 days ago

These people on NASL they are a set of complete losers. Probably , B. Pererson and Erik Stover are honestly workers of the Saud Arabia league trying to get into the American market. The ISIS COSMOS OR the ISIL COSMOS , never will part of our country.. So, please expel these A$$ HOLES, Before any thing happens, please..!!!

OpenCupFan
Guest
OpenCupFan
6 months 3 days ago

The intelligence of this post clearly demonstrates the competency of mls fans for all to see. Well done.
.
#greentideworldwide

HERNANDO PERALTA IS A PIECE OF SHIT
Guest
HERNANDO PERALTA IS A PIECE OF SHIT
6 months 3 days ago
HI Hernando, Hope all is well with you. Just saw this gem of a post. You’re really screaming out for help and attention arent you? When I read your post I see the a 40 year old man in his tighty whities rolling around on the floor screaming out anything which will get him held…. Face it, no one is going to pick you up… You’re just a piece of ****… Why are you such a racist? What is wrong with people from SAUDI Arabia (not Saud Arabia)? You saying they don’t have good people? Does your mom know that… Read more »
Hernando Peralta
Guest
Hernando Peralta
6 months 3 days ago

YOU NOT WHAT, EMPIRE OF SOCCER.. SINCE YOU ARE THE MOUTH OF THE STUPID
COSMOS,, I SWEAR I WILL NEVER COME BACK TO THIS FUCKING OR MOTHER FUCKER PLACE… PETERSON AND STOVER : YOU ARE A BUNCH OF LOSERS..**** YOU BIG TIME, HOPEFULLY YOU’LL IDAS…

Larry's A Simpleton
Guest
Larry's A Simpleton
6 months 3 days ago

you mad bro?

Hernando Peralta
Guest
Hernando Peralta
6 months 3 days ago

SORRY, YOU WILL DIED OF AIDS… Patterson and Stover.. probably they know by know..

Dave Martinez
Admin
6 months 3 days ago

It’s just an interview Hernando. We cover all three leagues, all three teams. No need to wish AIDS upon me …

Prez TICC Copa
Guest
Prez TICC Copa
6 months 3 days ago

Don’t worry Dave, I like you.

HERNANDO PERALTA IS A PIECE OF SHIT
Guest
HERNANDO PERALTA IS A PIECE OF SHIT
6 months 3 days ago

Hi Hernando,

Here are a few facts for you.

1. You’re a piece of ****
2. You live in your mom’s basement at age 40
3. You’re the real life virgin at 40
4. Please do us all a favor, shut the **** up and kill yourself because no one is going to know or give a **** when you’re gone.

Don’t know much about the Cosmos, but sounds like you’ve got a massive hard on for them. They reject you in some way? Or are you just the crazy guy who cant take rejection? Either way, just die.

Mrs Garber
Guest
Mrs Garber
6 months 3 days ago

Forgive me , but what do MLS fans have to brag about?
Oh right, nothing. Professional US soccer still sucks. Thank you MLS for your great player development and promoting of US soccer players like David Beckham.
My husband thinks he invented soccer.
Have a great day everyone.

:O
Guest
:O
6 months 3 days ago

::clapping furiously::

trackback
6 months 3 days ago

[…] of Soccer has a great article on USL shooting for Division 2 status. The theme: be careful of what you wish […]

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[…] Goal.com's Ives Galarcep gets USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann's response to Benny Feilhaber's questions about his squad selection. ESPN FC's Jeff Carlisle has Klinsmann talking about Jordan Morris likely signing with MLS and Seattle. The Washington Post's Steven Goff looks at the US Soccer Federation's latest tax filing. SI.com's Brian Straus profiles new NYCFC coach Patrick Viera. Fox Sports' Kyle McCarthy focuses on the biggest need for MLS clubs as they build for the start of the 2016 season. Empire of Soccer's Jake Nutting and Dave Martinez talk to NASL commissioner Bill Peterson about the sanctioning issues in the lower… Read more »
Nycsportspunk
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Nycsportspunk
6 months 3 days ago

The best part of this comments page was the ad for a toilet that lights up at the bottom of the page. #touchofmodern

Philip
Guest
Philip
6 months 3 days ago

Does anybody else think that the independent teams should join the NASL teams and form a new league? It could represent a strong second division that could only benefit the game. And MLS should require that every team have a reserve team of their own.

trackback

[…] addressed several topics surrounding the league in his conversation with EoS, including his take on the USL’s D2 run, the league’s West Coast expansion, Traffic Sport’s involvement in the league and the […]

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[…] commissioner Bill Peterson summarized his view of the leagues to Empire of Soccer by describing MLS and NASL as championship leagues and USL as a reserve league. “To me, there are […]

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