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


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
U.S. under-20 national team wins semifinal thriller    
[DALLAS CUP] Rubio Rubin scored his second goal of the game on a rebound of his ...
What They're Saying    
"Miami's greatness is about the interaction of a vibrant culture and the water. We will earn ...
Strikers will test measure of progress at Carolina    
[NASL: Week 2] The Fort Lauderdale Strikers, seventh and fifth in the NASL's two half-seasons, will ...
Chelsea takes on its U-8s    
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Chelsea's John Terry, David Luiz, Frank Lampard et al took on ...
Collins John slapped with three-game suspension    
[USL PRO: Week 5] The USL PRO career of Collins John, the Liberian-born Dutch international who ...
What They're Saying    
"There is no problem. Tensions are a bit high; I have no problem with that. They ...
Chivas USA's McNamara faces knee surgery    
[MLS INJURY REPORT] Rookie Thomas McNamara, who had started every game for Chivas USA until being ...
Road to Rio begins for Tab Ramos' group    
[USA UNDER-21 MEN] The road to Rio begins for the U.S. men's Olympic team begins with ...
New-look Thorns aim for two in a row on road    
[NWSL: Week 2] The defending champion Portland Thorns FC remain on the road for the second ...
Lack of playing time worrying for bubble players    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] With only four weeks at most for most players before the end of their ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives