Report: USL Exec Meeting with NASL Owners in Atlanta

Image, USL

by JAKE NUTTING

The North American Soccer League’s Board of Governors is currently holding meetings in Atlanta in an attempt to resolve a host of issues facing the beleaguered league.

However, an outside force could also be on the ground in the city, speaking with owners possibly unsure of the league’s viability.

Neil Morris of WRAL Sports Fan and The Inverted Triangle Podcast reported after the conclusion of the first day of BOG meetings that United Soccer League CEO Alec Papadakis is holding talks with multiple NASL owners.

The USL is already set to take on two former NASL sides in the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Ottawa Fury FC for the 2017 season. Papadakis’ presence in Atlanta might explain the delay in the USL announcing its schedule and conference alignment for the next year. USL President Jake Edwards indicated in recent interviews that the league was done expanding for next year, but his statement in late October that the schedule would be released in early November might suggest the league is keeping options open.

As questions linger about the future of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Rayo OKC and even the league champion New York Cosmos, the NASL is continuing to meet with potential expansion groups. The league is reportedly meeting with four investors during the week for four different markets, although it’s unclear how far down the line the talks are at this point.

Along with possibly losing several teams to the USL, the NASL could also see its sanctioning as the second division of U.S. Soccer slip away. The U.S. Soccer Federation is reportedly meeting to decide on the USL’s application to move up from the third-tier. Sources have told EoS that the USL is likely to gain approval for its application but that the federation is not in favor of sanctioning two leagues at the same level.