[NASL] The on-again, off-again North American Soccer League will go forward in 2011 thanks to the decision of U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, in a 6-5 vote, to provisionally sanction the Division 2 men’s outdoor league.
The NASL will need to meet certain requirements defined by the Board of Directors to be granted full sanctioning beyond the 2011 season.
“Division 2 soccer is an important element in the success and popularity of the sport in the United States and we are pleased the NASL will play professional games in their markets this season,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, who was reported to have abstained in the vote. “The Federation’s continued interest is in sustainability and stability at the Division 2 level of professional soccer.”
The first-year NASL had recently lost its provisional sanctioning over concerns about the depth of its ownership support.
Traffic Sports USA, the sports management firm that owns Miami FC, is part-owner of the Atlanta team and was reported to be negotiations to take over Carolina, while Minnesota was operated by the league.
The league's most stable team, Montreal, will move to MLS in 2012.
“Today is a historic day for soccer in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico,” said NASL CEO Aaron Davidson. “We’ve worked diligently over the past several years to implement a new vision for second division and would like to thank USSF President Sunil Gulati and the USSF staff for their leadership, cooperation and support in creating this next chapter for the professional game in the region. We are committed to building a new second division which will develop markets, players, coaches, referees, executives and administrators and give soccer fans throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico a league and teams to be proud of.”