NASL takes battle with USL to Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City was at the forefront of the battle between the NASL and USL as they looked to move into new markets before the USL's massive expansion in 2015. The USL's OKC Energy FC began in 2014, and two years later Rayo OKC will enter the NASL. That's Rayo as in Rayo Vallecano, the Spanish club that will own a majority interest in the new team that will play at the new 6,500-seat Miller Stadium, a $17 million facility on the campus of Yukon High School.

Rayo Vallecano owner Raul Martin Presa will be the majority owner of Rayo OKC and Sold Out Strategies will serve as managing partner.

In a battle of sports entrepreneurs, Sold Out Strategies and co-owner Brad Lund had been at odds with the USL in 2013 and eventually lost out to Bob Funk Jr. and Prodigal LLC, which operates OKC Energy FC. MLS has had a number of arrangements involving international ownership, but this is the first by the NASL.

OKC Energy FC played at Pribil Stadium on the campus of Bishop McGuinness Catholic High in 2014 before moving this season into renovated Taft Stadium, at the heart of the USL-NASL battle.

“Our launch of Rayo OKC is another groundbreaking addition to the international soccer community,” said NASL commissioner Bill Peterson. “The club’s unique partnership with Rayo Vallecano de Madrid highlights the global nature of the game and the global vision of the league. Rayo OKC will be the first American club able to take advantage of the expertise of La Liga to identify top players and build its roster accordingly.”
5 comments about "NASL takes battle with USL to Oklahoma City".
  1. Jeffrey Organ, November 11, 2015 at 6:26 p.m.

    Two teams in Oklahoma City is ridiculous. The NASL may achieved a short term advantage when they first broke away from the United Soccer Leagues a few years ago, but they are clearly losing the long term competition now. Despite their complaining about MLS, most of this is their own fault. Observe what is happening in San Antonio as Exhibit One for the future of the NASL. NASL needs to admit they lost and merge back into USL. The egos of the NASL leadership and the Cosmos will never allow this to happen and that is a shame.

  2. Wooden Ships, November 11, 2015 at 10:53 p.m.

    Not enough market for two in the OKC area. Also, not sure that we will ever be considered apart of the global game until we get rid of synthetic turf. Don't care what it takes, but this trend has to stop. United States, can you not admit that the rest of the world is right about Futbol. It's a continual embarrassment laying grass over turf and dangerous too.

  3. Juan Masa, November 12, 2015 at 6:06 a.m.

    The rest of you might think that NASL is a bad idea but it offers what soccer really is supposed to be like in the rest of the world. Promotion/relegation single table and free market. No matter how far they get, this is the best system to develop players to compete internationally. I don't care if this is America and if sports are played a certain way than most of the countries but if we want to be taken serious and as a strong league then we have to start being competitive and start developing players. We are so behind in player development. The college system which we try and do drafts from is broken and useless that majority of those college players end up in the reserve USL league. Drafting doesn't work for soccer, especially when the college system is broken. So this socialist system of single entity is pointless as they have either no punishment for ending up in bottom of the tabke, and no reward for failing. Almost the same can be said for the top of the table. MLS Cup?! The red bulls manager was right, their main goal is the community shield because the community shield should determine the winner. Not playoffs. The community shield should be the main and final cup. How the heck does being the most consistent team all season not make u the champion? I'm American and I can't stand American sports because they arent competitive.

  4. Eric Mills replied, November 12, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.

    @Juan Masa, Pretend for a moment that I am a wealthy investor/operator of an MLS team. Convince me that I should risk my investment and support promotion/relegation. Remember, I am a businessman, not a US soccer super-fan.

  5. Wooden Ships, November 12, 2015 at 4:52 p.m.

    Juan, I agree, relegation-promotion would be more entertaining and I think would help in competitiveness. What's at stake the way it is now? Eric, I think the question of ownership and risk is defined differently by the individual. I remember the Bidwell family and the St. Louis football Cardinals in the 60's and 70's and me a fan asking why they even wanted to own a pro franchise. Mediocrity seemed acceptable to them. The desire to achieve excellence in a competitive market use to be the goal. Combining the leagues we have in Futbol into a divisional/tiered structure needs to also be the goal. As a businessman, its either for you or not. Relegation-Promotion is flat out more exciting. No turf though.

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