In a letter
to U.S. Soccer's secretary general, Dan Flynn
, the NASL's interim commissioner, Rishi Sehgal
questioned the process of allocating delegates for U.S. Soccer's National Council, which will select the next U.S. president on Feb. 10, and more generally the role of U.S. Soccer president Sunil
and MLS commissioner Don Garber
in the election.
The Professional Council -- which includes MLS, the NWSL, NASL and USL -- holds an equal voting strength with the Adult
and Youth Councils (25.8 percent each at the 2017 AGM in Maui).
The Professional Council failed to reach an agreement among the four leagues on the distribution of delegates for the 2018
National Council, and Sehgal presented the NASL's case to the board of directors at its Dec. 10 meeting in Toronto. Gulati deferred board action until its next meeting.
MLS's proposal is
that the leagues' positions should be divided:
-- MLS 57.14%
-- NWSL 18.05%
-- NASL 4.51%
-- USL 20.3%
The NASL argues that the four leagues should each get
At issue is the interpretation of U.S. Soccer's by-laws related to the voting structure of the councils. The NASL's position is that the Pro Council has the authority to
determine the number of delegates -- MLS wants it increased from 14 to 16 -- but that the allocation of the delegates should be "based on the level of competitive division" among the leagues.
Just what is the definition of "the level of competitive division" is what MLS and the NASL are arguing over. (Other councils use registration figures to determine the voting strength of state
and national members.)
MLS's majority control of the Professional Council not only makes it the most powerful member organization in the National Council -- the only one with more than 10
percent of the overall vote -- but also gives it control over the nomination of the two Professional Council seats on the board of directors. (The NASL wants North Carolina FC and North Carolina
Courage owner Steve Malik
removed from the board following NCFC's decision to leave the NASL for the USL.)
Sehgal also argues for U.S. Soccer to utilize a third party to monitor
the entire election process, not just the election itself in Orlando. He also suggests that candidate Kathy Carter
, on leave from her position as SUM president, has an unfair position because
of her ties to Garber and Gulati, who serve as chairperson and member, respectively, of the Nominating and Governance Committee.