[NASL]U.S. Soccer's board of directors gave the North American Soccer League was provisionally approval as the 2011 Division II men’s outdoor professional soccer league.
The sanctioning requires approval by the National Council of the USSF. This approval is expected to be forthcoming at the USSF Annual General Meeting in February, 2011 in Las Vegas.
The NASL will play the 2011 season with eight teams and open on April 9.
The NASL's original application included six teams. Five played in the 2010 USSF D-2 Pro League: Montreal Impact (headed to MLS in 2012), Miami FC, Carolina RailHawks, Tampa Bay Rowdies and D-2 Pro League champion Puerto Rico Islanders. FC Edmonton is an expansion team.
The NASL later approved the NSC Minnesota Stars and Atlanta Silverbacks for the 2011 season, upping the number of teams to eight teams.
The NASL was formed by a breakaway group of USL-1 owners in 2009. The NASL and USL sought Division II sanctioning from U.S. Soccer, which chose to operate the D-2 Pro League itself in 2010.
Of the other teams in the 2010 D-2 Pro League, Portland and Vancouver are headed to MLS in 2011. The future of AC St. Louis and Baltimore Crystal Palace is uncertain.