Wait continues on decisions on three fronts with huge implications for American soccer

The week after MLS Cup was a busy one for American soccer.

In addition to the usual wheeling and dealing on the player front as teams prepare for the next season, three key events took place that will shape American soccer in the short term and for years to come, yet no decisions on any of them were immediately forthcoming.

The good news is that Christmas is a week from Monday, so any decisions that will need to made will likely be announced before Christmas week when many offices are closed or short-staffed.

-- Tuesday: U.S. Soccer deadline for presidential candidates to submit paperwork.

U.S. Soccer's Nominating and Governance Committee must review the nomination letters and background checks of the eight candidates -- from among nine active candidates -- who U.S. Soccer stated had received the required minimum of three nomination letters.

The Tuesday deadline followed almost five months of politicking and the decision by current president Sunil Gulati to not seek another term. It came 60 days before the next president will be elected by the National Council at U.S. Soccer's AGM Feb. 8-11 in Orlando, Florida.

-- Thursday: MLS board of governors meeting to select two expansion teams.

No announcement will be made by MLS this weekend regarding the outcome of the board of governors' meeting on the expansion bids of Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento. That doesn't mean news of any decision won't leak. The winning bidders, though, would be expected to hold events by mid-week.

The week's big winner was Miami Beckham United, whose new ownership group was approved by the board of governors, paving the way for a likely announcement early next year of MLS's move into Miami.

-- Friday: NASL v. USSF oral arguments before U.S. Court of Appeals for 2nd Circuit.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for 2nd Circuit finished its last sitting for 2017 when it heard oral arguments in the NASL v. USSF case that might decide the fate of the NASL, which is seeking an injunction against the decision of U.S. Soccer's board of directors to deny it Division 2 sanctioning for 2018.

Attorneys Jeffrey Kessler (NASL) and Gregory Garre (USSF) each made arguments in an hearing before three judges that lasted 25 minutes.

Kessler was frequently questioned as he pressed the argument that the NASL is likely to win its underlying case against U.S. Soccer and the standard needed is lower than the district court judge decided. Garre, by contrast, went for long stretches without being interrupted.

The appellate judges won't hear more cases before the New Year, but the NASL v. USSF case is just one of many appeals they will still have to issue opinions or summary orders on.

2 comments about "Wait continues on decisions on three fronts with huge implications for American soccer".
  1. Bob Ashpole, December 16, 2017 at 8:59 a.m.

    Thank you for providing the coverage. I found it very interesting. USL's history should make it very difficult for NASL to convince people that Division 3 status is a death sentence for soccer leagues. Mr. Kessler's rebuttal argument was in a word--desparate.

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, December 16, 2017 at 9:05 a.m.

    Misspelled: "desperate". (Windows 10 spellcheck is not working for me at all.) 

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