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MLS Not Interested In Buying USL
New York Times, August 25th, 2009 3PM

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Nike is selling off some of its soccer empire. After inheriting United Soccer Leagues when it bought Umbro in 2007, Nike has decided that the league does not fit with its core business. But Nike is still searching for a buyer. Many argue that Major League Soccer would serve as the ideal owner of USL, which could then serve as a reserve league. But MLS isn't interested.

"We recently evaluated the opportunity to purchase the USL but elected to not submit a bid for the league," Dan Courtemanche, a senior vice president for marketing and communications at MLS said in an e-mail message.

A few issues factored into MLS's decision to refrain from bidding. Primarily, MLS has a long-term deal with adidas, which means that acquiring the Nike-owned league could raise potential antitrust snags. One potential buyer could be the Brazil-based soccer giant Traffic, which owns clubs and the rights to players throughout the Western Hemisphere. Traffic already owns the USL League 1 club Miami, and has reportedly been negotiating a larger takeover of the league.

 

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