Spurs owned San Antonio club to join USL

IMAGE, USLSOCCER.COM

by ANTHONY MERCED

U.S. Soccer’s worst kept secret is now official.

Spurs Sports & Entertainment, owners of the San Antonio Spurs and several other local teams, received approval for their USL application and are tentatively scheduled to join the league for the 2016 season. The team will play in Toyota Field, an eight-thousand seat stadium recently acquired from former San Antonio Scorpions owner Gordon Hartman.

“We are extremely honored to have an organization of the caliber of Spurs Sports & Entertainment request entry into the USL,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis. “They are an incredible fit to our ownership model, which is based on vibrant local ownership, great venues and a marketplace with a hunger for the game.”

The previous tenants at Toyota Field were the San Antonio Scorpions. Playing in the NASL from 2012 to 2015, the team won a regular season championship in their inaugural season and an NASL Championship in 2014. After the 2015 season, the Scorpions team was dissolved. Whether or not the brand will continue in the NASL, perhaps in a different location, remains to be seen. However, the team playing at Toyota Field will have no direct link to the Scorpions aside from playing in the stadium they once inhabited.

If the announcement of San Antonio joining the 2016 USL season seems sudden that’s because it is. Only two weeks away from 2016, it will leave the team less than ninety days to build a competitive side. There is a chance that San Antonio will not be ready by March. However, it has not been the norm for team to join the USL mid-season like the split-season format of the NASL permits.

Once approval is confirmed, Spurs Sports & Entertainment would become the second NBA ownership group in the USL. Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon is involved with the Reno club joining the league in 2017.

  • EPL fan

    One **** team out, another **** team in. Same old ****.

  • Engish football players suck

    This is good , they will get stable ownership with deep pockets build a team and improve the existing stadium and possibly in 3 or 4 years they will get a franchise in MLS.

  • Budweiser frog

    I like more Austin for MLS. MLS in Austin would be an explosion

  • EPL fan

    The entire state of Texas suck. You should give it back to Mexico with a letter of apology.

    • Larry’s A Simpleton

      uk scum. go away nobody gives a **** about you queen worshipping poofs.

      • EPL Fan

        No one gives a **** about you & the gerbil that lives up your ass either, fat boy. You’re the first person in history to fail an IQ test because you couldn’t spell “IQ” you stupid ass.

        • Engish football players suck

          The english players and national team sucks, worry about that crap then US soccer.

          • EPL fan

            Well I live in the US so I will worry about this steaming pile if **** as well if you don’t mind, you stupid imbecile.

            • Anonymous

              Please tell me you’re some 12 year old kid with nothing better to do?

  • Larry’s A Simpleton

    scorpions going to the usl is definitley a step up. Fold the nasl!

  • joe the plumber

    Haa, the downgraded to usl …. san Antonio is a bad market for.soccer . Not very good , its just the truth

  • Mike T

    This is going to provide good regional rivalry for Tulsa, OKC, and Rio Grande Valley. If Austin ever makes it back that would be a good addition too. Too bad, however, that SA won’t be in NASL. It was fun to watch them compete in the league but hopefully the move the team in Las Vegas.

  • Luke

    san antonio is a bad market? — they had thousands more fans show up for their last place team this year than the cosmos had for their top nasl team — guess the NYC market is terrible for minor league soccer while san antonio seems ok for soccer, especially an MLS product.

  • ted dev

    agree that the NASL’s days are numbered, with san Antonio and Minnesota leaving, Atlanta will fold soon –

    any decent teams left minus the cosmos will move to MLS or USL – the writing is on the wall, its like watching a slow motion train wreck.

    • HydraHamster

      I disagree. Minnesota and the San Antonio are a big lose and MLS getting a Atlanta team is a bad thing for the NASL. However, those three things happening are not enough to fold the NASL since they are still getting people lining up to expand into the league. The singer Sting is trying to start an Orange County soccer team in the NASL. Also, San Francisco, Detroit and Chicago are also cities that are trying to get a NASL team. You win some and you lose some.

      • Hernando Peralta

        For the well being of soccer/football in this country the NASL should get together with the USL and form an strong second division.

        • HydraHamster

          That would be nice, but it can not happen under such dysfunction. With leagues split on how American soccer should run, uniting the two lower division professional leagues will be challenging. People thinking that NASL clubs will return back to the USL if the league folds. To me, I see another league taking the NASL’s place if that happen by some of those clubs. The Cosmos and the Miami FC owners most likely will be among the people I see starting another league if anything happens to the NASL just like how some clubs owners from the ASL 2 formed the APSL. The USL still is below the NASL when it comes to TV deals, marketing and appealing to rich soccer experienced people. The NASL also have the biggest fan base and actually pay the players. A league like that can not simply die off because two clubs are leaving and NASL’s Atlanta having to fight for support against MLS’s Atlanta team.

          In order for a strong second division to be formed, a strong first division that don’t hold a monopoly against them must happen. For the well being of soccer/football, MLS needs to end it’s monopoly or be replaced with a first division with a purpose of American soccer’s national grow like what they supposed to be doing under FIFA. Garber in an interview in England already express his fear of FIFA’s new president making them turn into a traditional league with pro/reg.

          It makes me wonder what MLS had to do to get away with running this way under Blatter. Chuck Blazer could possibly have something to do with it since he was already doing bribery on other things with FIFA.

          You see my point about this dysfunction?