Jeff DiVeronica -Devo’s Direct Kicks
BREAKING NEWS: Veteran forward Eduardo Sebrango, who has played for Hershey, Rochester, Monteral and Vancouver previously in the USL and helped the Whitecaps win two of the past three titles, is headed back to Montreal. Also signing with the Impact is Jamaican free-agent Stephen de Roux (Minnesota) and Puerto Rico forward Fabrice Noel is expected to join Montreal. Now THAT is how to get it done in the off-season.
The USL and the Rhinos have declined comment on the rumored defections of some of its teams. So they remain rumors and I don’t write news stories on rumors. Waste of time. I’m sure any issues will be ironed out at league meetings next week in Tampa and if they’re not, then we’ll have a story to write.
But let’s be clear here: If some USL owners want to leave to start their own league, it’s just dumb. It’ll just create two mediocre minor-league soccer leagues, a recipe for disaster in America. Tell THAT to your fans as you ask them to plunk down season-ticket deposits. And these rogue owners, they better be certain their league can be sanctioned by FIFA because if they can’t, they could have some pretty peeved players.
This isn’t a new idea. Back in the late 1990s when the Rhinos were flirting with MLS and telling the A-League that they’d outgrown it, the former ownership group looked into starting their own «breakaway league.» They found out FIFA wouldn’t sanction it, so if any player signed on with that rogue league, FIFA could blackball the player from playing in FIFA-sanctioned leagues.
Do you think a player would risk his future on a few owners thinking they’re smarter than everyone else?
In my opinion, Montreal will be in MLS soon. But if Carolina (laughable, really), Miami, Atlanta and Vancouver ALL think they’ve got a similar shot at MLS, they’re dreaming. And what happens after they don’t make it?
Rather than fracture the USL, the owners should concentate on fortifying the USL First Division, which is closer to MLS now than ever before when you consider level of play, quality of the operation (i.e. having soccer stadiums). But, everyone wants to be a big shot.
This is about ego, as much as it is about business. Check yourselves, USL owners. It’s still just soccer in America and minor-league soccer, at that.