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Atlanta group buys minor league from Nike
by Paul Kennedy, August 28th, 2009 11AM
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Nike sold United Soccer Leagues to an Atlanta group NuRock Soccer Holdings LLC headed by real-estate developer Rob Hoskins and attorney Alec Papadakis, a former NASL player.

Nike assumed ownership of USL when it bought Umbro, which owned 98 percent of USL.

Hoskins is the chairman of NuRock Soccer Holdings and Papadakis is its Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner. NuRock Soccer Holdings operates a Premier Development League operation in Atlanta and holds the rights to acquire two USL First Division teams in Atlanta and Birmingham, Ala.

Hoskins heads the NuRock Companies, successful real-estate developers in the Southeast.

Nick Papadakis and Alec Papadakis rank 1-2 all-time in scoring at Hartwick College, where both played with USL founder Francisco Marcos.

USL is comprised of more than 120 teams in the United States, Canada, Bermuda and Puerto Rico in six leagues -- USL First and Second Divisions, Premier Development League, W-League, USL Super-20 League and Super Y-League.

The USL-1, USL-2 and PDL represent the second, third and fourth levels of American soccer, after MLS, which declined to bid for USL.

The most visible league is the USL First Division, which lost Seattle to MLS in 2009 and will lose Portland and Vancouver to MLS in 2011. The USL-1 has agreements to expand in New York and Tampa in 2010.

The Miami Herald reported that USL's sale might signal the demise of the USL-1's Miami FC.

According to the Herald, Miami FC owner Traffic, the Brazil soccer management firm, had tried to buy USL from Nike, which will maintain a sponsorship partnership with USL.

On Wednesday, Miami FC suffered one of the worst drubbings in USL history when it fell, 9-0, at Carolina.

Ironically, Carolina was one of the two clubs -- Minnesota was the other -- whose owners were believed to be bidding to structure a deal with Traffic to buy USL.

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