Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
7. USL1: Mariners dumped overboard
March 29th, 2007 7:37PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

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
MLS All-Star Game: Acosta and Van Damme added    
Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas) and Jelle Van Damme (LA Galaxy) were added to the MLS All-Stars' ...
What They're Saying: Brad Evans    
"I owe a ton to Sigi, my 1st and only MLS coach. 10 yrs & over ...
What They're Saying: Herculez Gomez    
"Sigi achieved more in 7 yrs than most MLS clubs have in their history... and he ...
MLS Moves: Lodeiro arrives in Seattle    
On the same day Sigi Schmid departed as the Seattle Sounders coach, 27-year-old Uruguayan Nicolas Lodeiro ...
MLS Moves: 'Cap send Espindola to Necaxa    
Argentine striker Fabian Espindola was sold by the Vancouver Whitecaps to Mexican club Necaxa without ever ...
U.S. U-19s lose to Venezuela in Spain    
The U.S. U-19 men's national team, coached by Brad Friedel, opened the COTIF Tournament in Valencia, ...
U.S. Abroad: Soares and Stanko switch leagues    
Americans A.J. Soares and Caleb Stanko have moved to clubs in Denmark and Liechtenstein. Soares, a ...
MLS Power Rankings: Galaxy takes third, Red Bulls fifth    
Leader FC Dallas played a 1-1 tie with No. 2 Colorado that kept those teams in ...
TV Report: MLS up 32 percent on ESPN and ESPN2    
MLS is averaging 312,000 viewers on ESPN and ESPN2 in 2016, up 32 percent from the ...
MLS Spotlight: Sigi Schmid's long run in Seattle is over    
Sigi Schmid, the only coach the Seattle Sounders have ever had in their eight MLS seasons, ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives