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U.S. Soccer refuses to sanction Division 2 leagues
by Paul Kennedy, December 31st, 2009 12:52PM



[USL-1/NASL DISPUTE] The weakness in the two competing leagues seeking to operate a Division II professional league in 2010 was apparent in the decision of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors to vote unanimously on Tuesday to not sanction either the USL or the NASL.

The decision was made on the recommendation of the Professional League Task Force, which determined that neither organization on its own was able to provide a viable and sustainable operation during the upcoming season. Both organizations were unable to meet U.S. Soccer's requirement of a minimum of eight viable teams for 2010.

The Board of Directors has given both organizations seven days to try to work out an interim solution for the 2010 season.

"After carefully reviewing the findings from the Task Force it was clear there are still too many uncertainties for both organizations, which would be extremely difficult to resolve in a timely fashion that would allow them to prepare for the 2010 season," said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. "In the best interest of soccer in the United States, we decided to not sanction either league at this point. However, we did encourage both leagues to come together in the next week and attempt to develop another plan which would allow a single league to be approved on a provisional basis. We are committed to finding ways to improve the long-term viability of all leagues and teams and continue the growth of soccer in the United States."

In response, USL said it was willing and able to meet all Division II standards.


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