USL General News thread

Discussion in 'United Soccer Leagues' started by thefishy, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. Sting111

    Sting111 Member

    Jan 17, 2011
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    I hope you are right. I have just seen too many teams come and go over the years. Any league needs consistent standards and objectives from team to team. The teams with the best attendance all want to use the USL as a springboard to MLS. Other teams are set up as reserve teams. I know that the D2 and D3 split is being set up to address some of that, but where are all of these new teams going to come from? I know some PDL teams may make the move up. I just don't see the economics working for both a USL 2nd Division and a USL 3rd Division. That approach has been tried before. I just don't see it as being sustainable. I really hope that I am wrong.
     
  2. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    No, I mean I don't understand why people keep mentioning Omaha, Nebraska as if it would be this great untapped market.

    It's Omaha, Nebraska.

    Omaha is the third-string quarterback of sports markets. Never plays, everyone seems to clamor for him and on the rare occasion he gets to play, you see why he's third string.
     
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  3. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    No, it really hasn't.

    Everyone went a little soccer-happy right after MLS came into being, thinking we were going to have another boom like the Pele era.

    The USISL was one league. They only split into two outdoor leagues before MLS came to be because some teams wanted to be professional and some wanted to stay amateur, so to accommodate that, we ended up with the Pro League and the Premier League. There were a lot of teams in both, but, again, boom time land rush.

    Then there were some clubs who wanted a bit more in terms of professionalism and went after D2 status. (With the APSL no great shakes at that time, it made sense.) Hence, the provisionally D2 Select League in 1996. It was to be full D2 in 1997 when USISL merged with what remained of the APSL.

    But there was no other split. The merged A-League remained D2, while what had been the Pro League became the D3 Pro League (and played under many other names, including Pro Select League and Pro Soccer League).

    The USL1/USL2 thing was not a split, it was just a rebrand. The enthusiasm of the mid-90s gave way to the realism of the mid-2000s and the combined USL1/USL2 had just 21 teams, whereas D3 alone had 39 just eight years prior. A lot of that was because they were, basically, giving franchises to anyone who applied.

    They can't do that now. And they have not done that nearly as much recently.

    2012, I'd say. VSI Tampa Bay was about the only big mistake since then.

    As referenced elsewhere, this is not a split per se. I would not at all be surprised to see some teams currently in D2 drop into this new league because it makes more sense for them, but they're not doing it because it's become unwieldy (they have far more teams now than they did when they rebranded into USL1 and USL2). This is a new league, it will probably tap into the continued interest in operating professional teams by people who will be unlikely to be able to pay the freight in what D2 will be in 2019. They're thinking of it as filling the void left by the twin D2 designations (which, for all we know, could be the way it happens in 2018), probably.

    But thanks in part to NuRock's folks being aggressive and (in some cases, ruthless) and the USSF putting in and strengthening standards, USL can't make all the same mistakes it used to make.

    And the failure rate for new lower-level pro soccer franchises, which was over 75% at one point, is less than that now, even with OKC and Fort Lauderdale going away.
     
  4. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    Again, it happens less than it used to. You can't project 2019 based on the experiences of 2002. We are in a new landscape.

    And, again, USL has been pretty intelligent with how they've handled everything post-split.

    Even though they could have at any point and did not.

    Name for me the PDL teams that may become pro. It's a very, very big leap and it has not gone well for those who have tried. There's a reason those teams are in the PDL and not paying players and only playing 7 or 8 road games a year. Becoming professional opens up a whole 'nother can of expense worms.

    While they will tell you they wanted to concentrate on their D2 application, it's just as likely the "PDL Plus" model they floated found very few takers. Smart PDL teams are smart enough to know they're better off in the PDL.

    There will likely be prospective owners who balk at the cost of doing business in D2 and/or markets that simply aren't D2 markets (either by the standards or by the market basically telling you) who will make sense for the new D3. If I had to guess, I would suppose it would start regional (like USL-2 was in 2010), probably East Coast and near-Midwest, and would not launch with a whole bunch of teams.

    As you mention, it's been done before. USL had a D2 and a D3 pro league from 1994-2009. Individual teams weren't sustainable, mostly, because of a lack of standards and patience and the fact the sport (at this level, in this country, at that point) was simply not as popular or seen as desirable as it is today in this renaissance era. But the model was sustainable. In fact, if they don't do it, someone else likely will. This is a smart pre-emptive strike, too.
     
  5. Sting111

    Sting111 Member

    Jan 17, 2011
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    My recollection of the USL or UISL as it was called at the time was 1996. Then we had the Select Division, the Professional Division and The Premier Division. The Select Division merged with the A-League, and we also had a D-3 League. Eventually we had a USL First Division and a USL 2nd Division. The USL 2nd Division eventually died. Leaving only a USL First Division, the USL Pro. Now we are seeing again the creation of two leagues in addition to the PDL in the umbrella United Soccer League. It just seems to me that we have been there before. I still am amazed that a 5 team Southwest Indoor Soccer League has continued to evolve and now exists as the United Soccer League, but stability has never been achieved by the league. I always saw the USL as a league that based its existence on making sure that they had more new teams entering the league than teams that folded. Since the league's inception, there has to be over 100 teams that have come and gone. I am not sure that creating another 3rd Division will stop that trend.
     
  6. USRufnex

    USRufnex Member+

    Tulsa Athletic / Sheffield United
    United States
    Jul 15, 2000
    Tulsa, OK
    Club:
    --other--
    #706 USRufnex, Apr 3, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
    A 3rd division USL makes sense because the league's expansion fees rose significantly in anticipation of gaining 2nd division status from USSF. A Colo. Springs owner already admitted that if he'd tried to gain entry to USL in 2015 or 2016, he'd have been priced out. USL and USSF will give the current teams this year and next year to respond to the USSF's concerns about some of those teams' individual weaknesses... USL wants to give those outfits an additional option to join a new 3rd division in 2019 rather than fold or relocate. USL likely has quite a few interested new markets they'd like to be in, but know that the 2nd division won't be a good fit for all of them.

    Still hard to say how stable USL will ultimately be, since there are so many new teams and new owners. Watch what happens after all these new teams/owners reach 3 years old because that seems to be the required commitment before it makes any sense to fold, sell, or relocate.
     
  7. soccersubjectively

    soccersubjectively BigSoccer Supporter

    Jan 17, 2012
    Dallas
    Country:
    United States
    Can you dive more into that last comment. I assume you mean the current USL is being smart about their expansion by founding teams in stable locations?
     
  8. aetraxx7

    aetraxx7 Member+

    Jun 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    Club:
    Des Moines Menace
    Country:
    United States
    Omaha is extremely overrated on these boards. It's almost like nobody has ever actually been to Omaha. It's literally a slightly larger Des Moines or a smaller Kansas City, only dirtier and with a worse layout. The sports fans are by and large Huskers above all else.
     
  9. Balerion

    Balerion Member+

    Aug 5, 2006
    Somerville, MA
    Country:
    United States
    This isn't quite how it happened. 2010 was the season when the USL ownership split occurred, but it didn't sort out quickly enough so the USSF stepped in and ran a joint D2 league. The six rump USL2 teams still competed at a D3 level and this league was rebranded "USL Pro" in 2011 and then back to plain old "USL" in 2015.
     
  10. SierraSpartan

    SierraSpartan Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    Placer County, CA
    Club:
    Sacramento Republic FC
  11. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    Right. The USISL (which stood for many things over the years) started as an indoor circuit (the SISL) and went outdoor for the first time in 1989.

    Before '96, there was a Pro League and an amateur Premier League. You can trace the Pro League to today's USL and the Premier League to today's PDL.

    That is largely true, though the A-League that emerged in 1997 from the merger had some holdover APSL teams (like Rochester, Seattle, Vancouver), some Select League teams, two Pro League teams (Worcester and Charleston) and a Premier League team (Nashville).

    Many teams were left in D3 and more came on board.

    Which, again, was a rebranding and not anything else. The A-League became USL-1 and what had been the D3 league became USL-2.

    The USL's league with second division status was ripped apart by the TOA defections, but the USL 2nd Division (or USL-2) did not die and, in fact (though USL acts as if it's not the same league) became, with some additions in 2011, USL Pro (as we know it today, just USL).

    No.

    What became USL Pro was, basically, the USL Second Division (USL-2), which did not become a second division league, though it was, by default, USL's top professional offering. USL Pro and USL First Division (or USL-1) were two different things.

    No, they are not creating two leagues. They are creating one additional league. The new third division league that will start in 2019 (and which might, for all we know, become USL-2).

    Yes, just not the way you're describing it, and certainly without the connotation of doom you appear to be putting on it.

    Have you been paying attention at all to the USSF standards that have been in place for like seven years now?

    Have you at all seen how the failure rate of franchises has slowed?

    Do you get that this new league won't start for another two years?

    Can you not see the differences between then and now?
     
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  12. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    I'm not sure there's such a thing as a "stable location." It's more about ownership capability and management.

    And USL has not made as many poor choices in that regard as they used to. (VSI Tampa Bay notwithstanding.) They have clearly made better choices than the NASL has over the time since the split.
     
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  13. USRufnex

    USRufnex Member+

    Tulsa Athletic / Sheffield United
    United States
    Jul 15, 2000
    Tulsa, OK
    Club:
    --other--
    #713 USRufnex, Apr 4, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
    This from a fellow Tulsa Athletic fan on facebook:
    "They failed to file all the paper work. Player played in Croatia the last few years. Think the guys name is Paris Gee. Played the ineligible player for the last 17min of the game forcing the forfeit."

    I'm gonna chalk this up to front office incompetence, because I doubt the coach would have made the sub if he knew his player was ineligible.

    Back on topic: the influx of MLS2 and multiple hybrid MLS clubs have helped USL reach critical mass. People look at Omaha and see Warren Buffet and Morrison Stadium... IMHO Omaha is to USL/NASL expansion what St Louis is to MLS expansion, sexy but overrated unless a whole bunch of puzzle pieces come together.
     
  14. USRufnex

    USRufnex Member+

    Tulsa Athletic / Sheffield United
    United States
    Jul 15, 2000
    Tulsa, OK
    Club:
    --other--
  15. Owen Thornhill

    Dec 22, 2012
    Club:
    Cork City
    I agree, I would rather have seen 4 regional conferences reducing travel even more (Lower travel costs for clubs and greater possibility of away fans)
    T2 do as we now play in the MLS stadium, including Giant TV with replays etc. Merlo park last year had a digital scoreboard but no TV.
     
  16. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    Jesus, you're just OBSESSED with the away fans thing.
     
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  17. SierraSpartan

    SierraSpartan Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    Placer County, CA
    Club:
    Sacramento Republic FC
    Well, when you can't get your home fans in the building...:D
     
  18. soccersubjectively

    soccersubjectively BigSoccer Supporter

    Jan 17, 2012
    Dallas
    Country:
    United States
    Ah, makes sense. What are the red flags for potentially bad ownership/management, either prior to or while having a team ran?
     
  19. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    There's also the possibility that it is strategic. I assume they play youth soccer in Nebraska. Creighton is the regional (including Kansas City) collegiate powerhouse.

    MLS teams are definitely jockeying for homegrown territory rights. I don't think anyone is disputing SKC's claims on Wichita, but having a minor league or amateur apparatus in Omaha might have other longer term purposes in mind.
     
  20. song219

    song219 BigSoccer Supporter

    Apr 5, 2004
    La Norte
    Club:
    DC United
    Country:
    Vanuatu
    Think of Omaha as present-day Rochester.
     
  21. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    In what way? (I'm serious - I don't get the connection)
     
  22. song219

    song219 BigSoccer Supporter

    Apr 5, 2004
    La Norte
    Club:
    DC United
    Country:
    Vanuatu
    You don't remember the hype about Rochester being the next good MLS entrant here on these boards? The hype also lasted for years past any justification for it.
     
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  23. SierraSpartan

    SierraSpartan Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    Placer County, CA
    Club:
    Sacramento Republic FC
    Lots of people are "from" there, but very few people actually "go" there?
     
  24. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    I remember them packing Frontier Field to the gills and convincing Rochester to build a soccer specific stadium. I remember them being the only minor league team to win the USOC in the MLS era. I also remember the rumors that Clark Hunt convinced Lamar to let him sell the Wizards to DuRoss and friends if Lamar couldn't get the Wizards average attendance over some line.

    I honestly don't remember any professional soccer team calling Omaha home.

    I don't see any parallels between Rochester and Omaha.
     
  25. song219

    song219 BigSoccer Supporter

    Apr 5, 2004
    La Norte
    Club:
    DC United
    Country:
    Vanuatu
    I was referring to these forums. What does that have to do with the attendence at Ford Field or anything else going on in the real world at that time?
     

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