Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
7. USL1: Mariners dumped overboard
March 29th, 2007 7:37PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

USL has terminated its troubled USL-1 club, the Virginia Beach Mariners, releasing all their players and reducing the USL-1 to 12 teams just two weeks before the start of the 2007 season. The fate of the PDL's Submariners remains to be determined.

The Mariners' demise came after the apparent sale of the team from Norfolk businessman Jerry McDonnell to a company owned by Florida businessman Mike Sidebottom never went through. Sidebottom announced in December that he had bought the team but two weeks ago claimed he didn't own the team, saying McDonnell never followed through with the sale -- a charge McDonnell denied.

"This is an extremely unfortunate situation for everyone involved," said USL Executive Vice President and COO Tim Holt. "The Virginia Beach Sportsplex is an excellent facility, there is a great core of dedicated fans, and in many ways the Mariners were headed in a positive direction for the first time in several years. To have this happen in the 11th hour has been a stunning development for all, especially given the rise in the quality of ownership across the league the past few years and the stability that has come with it."

The Mariners were to be coached by former FC Dallas head coach Colin Clarke in 2007. Trouble surfaced in mid-March when the players and staff weren't paid, and Clarke canceled practice. Sidebottom downplayed the situation, telling the Virginia Pilot, "I don't think any harm has really been done to anyone other than the players missing practice, I'm sure the players were disappointed, but I don't think any particular damage has been done to sponsors or fans.''

Tidewater soccer had seen five ownership changes since the debut of the Hampton Roads Hurricanes in 1994. The Mariners became part of the A-League in 1998 but did not qualify for the playoffs in five of their eight seasons -- including the last three in a row. They were on hiatus in 2001.

The only other USL-1 team not returning in 2007 is the Toronto Lynx, which stepped aside with the arrival of MLS's Toronto FC. The Long Island Rough Riders and Pittsburgh Riverhounds, both former A-League clubs, did not return to the USL-2. New pro teams in 2007 include the USL-1's California Victory and Carolina RailHawks. There are new USL-2 teams in Bermuda, Baltimore and Cleveland. The Baltimore team is affiliated with English club Crystal Palace.

2007 USL PRO ALIGNMENT:
USL-1
Atlanta Silverbacks
California Victory (new)
Carolina RailHawks (new)
Charleston Battery
Miami FC
Minnesota Thunder
Montreal Impact
Portland Timbers
Puerto Rico Islanders
Rochester Raging Rhinos
Seattle Sounders
Vancouver Whitecaps
USL-2
Bermuda Hogges (new)
Charlotte Eagles
Cincinnati Kings
Cleveland City Stars (new)
Crystal Palace Baltimore (new)
Harrisburg City Islanders
New Hampshire Phantoms
Richmond Kickers
Western Mass Pioneers
Wilmington Hammerheads


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Haji Wright strikes as U.S. U-17s down T&T     
Haji Wright, the USA's leading scorer coming into the Concacaf U-17 Championship, got his first goal ...
Roster: U.S. U-15 girls kick off new cycle    
The U.S. U-15 girls national team convenes March 14-21 at U.S. Soccer National Training Center in ...
Edwards replaces longtime exec Holt as USL president    
Tim Holt, who spent the last 16 years at the United Soccer League, the last six ...
Roster: U.S. U-16 boys to play in Dutch tourney     
The U.S. U-16 boys national team will play in the Netherlands International Tournament in Rotterdam, facing ...
Roster: U.S. U-15 boys head to Florida camp    
Coach John Hackworth has named a 36-player roster for a March 7-15 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., ...
Man City-Barca breaks FS1 viewing record    
Last Tuesday's Manchester City-Barcelona match set a new viewing record for a UEFA Champions League match ...
Bocanegra joins MLS Atlanta as technical director    
Former U.S. national team captain Carlos Bocanegra, who retired as a player following the 2014 season, ...
MLS labor talks going down to wire    
K Street, home to many Washington lobbying firms, generally has a negative connotation, but soccer fans ...
Past national team stars head Hall of Fame ballot    
Tiffeny Milbrett, a 1996 Olympic gold medalist and 1999 Women's World Cup champion, two-time gold-medalist Lindsay ...
What They're Saying: Third Rail's Brian Toto    
"We'll see if something develops between NYC and the Red Bulls, but right now, I don't ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives