US Soccer News Release – www.ussoccer.com
Thursday, January 7, 2010
CHICAGO, IL — The U.S. Soccer Federation, United Soccer Leagues (USL) and the North American Soccer League (NASL) have come to an agreement on the formation and operation of a Division 2 professional soccer league for the 2010 season. Under the agreement, U.S. Soccer will oversee the league for the 2010 season, working with both the USL and NASL on the day-to-day league activities.
The agreement pertains only to the 2010 season, and during the next year U.S. Soccer will continue to work with USL and NASL to build a long-term solution for the future. U.S. Soccer will also be developing new standards to govern Division 2 professional league applicants to ensure the long term viability and sustainability of the leagues and teams.
“We are extremely pleased that we were able to come to a solution that ensures we will have Division 2 professional soccer in the United States in 2010,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “This agreement allows us to continue to develop the professional game in many important markets around the country, while at the same time working towards the long-term stability of Division 2 professional soccer. I’d like to thank the representatives from both the USL and NASL for the time spent during our negotiations, especially their efforts in the past seven days.”
The league will consist of two six-team conferences – the USL Conference and the NASL Conference. The USL Conference will include teams from Austin, Minnesota, Portland, Puerto Rico, Rochester and Tampa Bay. The NASL Conference will consist of teams from Baltimore, Carolina, Miami, Montreal, St. Louis and Vancouver.
In the near future, U.S. Soccer will announce details of the new league, including league rules, a match schedule, television rights and other important operational issues.
Additional Comments – USL CEO Alec Papadakis:
“We are pleased to have a solution that will provide fans the continued presentation of an elite caliber of professional soccer in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. While some differences remain, the one common agreement was that everyone must play this season, and we are happy that we were able to work with US Soccer to find a compromise for the upcoming 2010 season.”
“The quality of play on the pitch has risen sharply over the past few years and will no doubt provide for an exciting campaign yet again in 2010.”