MP & Silva and MLS aren't strangers. MP & Silva sold international media rights until MLS went in-house with MLS Business Ventures in 2014.
What's Riccardo Silva's interest in pro/rel? Silva launched Miami FC in 2016. The club is the most successful club in the NASL, but its path from here is uncertain without promotion and relegation.
Coached by former Italian star Alessandro Nesta, Miami FC won the 2017 NASL spring championship going away and is in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup (where it will play FC Cincinnati in a makeup game on Aug. 2). It averaged more than 6,000 fans a game at FIU's football stadium -- renamed Riccardo Silva Stadium in April -- an increase of 15 percent from 2016.
1. In its backyard, Miami FC likely faces competition from David Beckham's Miami Beckham United group, which (finally) has moved closer toward securing a stadium deal necessary for MLS to sign off on it as the league's 24th team.
2. The NASL only has eight teams and likely needs to field 12 in 2018 if it is to maintain its Division 2 recognition from U.S. Soccer. It has already announced plans to field teams in
Orange County and San Diego in 2018, but the future of its current eight teams is not entirely certain.
One problem team has been Jacksonville, which the NASL operated for the first part of 2017 until Central Florida businessman Robert Palmer agreed to take over as Armada owner.
Of the 11 Division 2 teams averaging more than 5,000 fans a game in 2017, nine are in the USL and only two -- Indy Eleven and Miami FC -- in the NASL. Of the seven returning NASL teams, four are averaging less than their final 2016 average. And the eighth team, the expansion San Francisco Deltas, is last in the NASL with average attendance of less than 2,500 a game.