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Around the NASL

Welcome to the weekly, Around the NASL column on the AC St Louis Fanatic website. Every Thursday we will bring you the latest news from around the newly formed league.

Here are this weeks highlights and thoughts

    1. Crystal Palace Baltimore has gotten good news on the stadium front. While they will continue to play at the University of Maryland  at Baltimore County a study to build a 9,000 seat home stadium for the club has moved forward. An artist rendering of the stadium can be seen at the top of this column.
    2. The AC St Louis signing of Steve Ralston is huge news for the league. The upgrade from USL to NASL is now unmistakable. In the past, several squad type players jumped from MLS to USL for marginally more money, but never has a high-profile player of Ralston’s stature left MLS and joined a second division club. Throughout Europe and Latin America, you see players move down divisions to play at home or reunite with coaches. A strong second division, full of professional players and organizations can only enhance the good work MLS has done for fifteen years.  As Jason Davis at Match Fit USA argues, the signing has bought the NASL some credibility.  Robert Jonas, of Major League Soccer Talk feels Ralston’s decision marked a sad day for MLS.
    Also this week, St Louis owner Jeff Cooper sat down with Peter Wilt, the former GM of the Chicago Fire for an interview at Pitch Invasion.
     3.  FC Tampa Bay Rowdies have secured a favorable stadium and signed several well-known players. Jeremy Christie, Jason Beardsley, and Takuya Yamada all have substantial high level international or club experience, and the team has also signed a number of promising young players.
    Perhaps more importantly, Tampa Bay has announced plans to create a full-scale youth development residency program at near by Saddlebrook. This program would be the first of its kind, run by an American professional club in the country.
     4- Vancouver Whitecaps have signed Blake Wagner who has featured as a left back the past several seasons for FC Dallas of MLS.
     5- Montreal Impact re-signed Roberto Brown, who has been one of the best players in league, cup, and continental competitions for the team over the past several seasons. The Impact have seven foreign players
     6- Miami FC has come under open assault from some of its supporters who are seeking an MLS franchise in the area. But considering MLS has failed twice in the market (once in Fort Lauderdale with the Fusion and a second time when MLS basically handed Miami an expansion team but local support never materialized), the local fans groups ought to be  thankful that Miami FC parent company, Traffic Sports has led the effort to upgrade second division soccer in Canada and the U.S.A. NASL is a real upgrade over USL, and the burden is now on the fans of Miami and Fort Lauderdale to show they really support American professional soccer, not just soccer from Europe and South America.
     7- Another market that must prove itself in NASL is Minnesota. The National Sports Center has graciously stepped forward and kept professional soccer in the Twin Cities. The defunct Minnesota Thunder ran through owners the way college kids run through beer. With NSC taking the lead, Minnesota soccer fans can expect more stability and professionalism in their organization.
     8- Carolina Railhawks have been working on Haiti relief and have scheduled a clinic for this Saturday at Wake Med Soccer Park
     9- No news from Rochester this week.

8 Responses

  1. Why does every blogger copy and paste the same nonsense about Miami failing in MLS?
    The truth is Fusion owner Horrowitz didn’t have the money to keep the team. Miami’s attendance was on the rise its last year, look it up. MLS knows they made a mistake leaving South Florida that’s why one day there will be a team here. It’s only a matter of time.
    The Barcelona Miami bid failed because Barcelona backed out not willing to pay 40 million big ones…. not because of fan support. Claure had spent no money getting the word out about the team and everyone thought they were a shoo-in anyway.
    The fans support Miami FC but Traffic is more interested in the league and selling players then in running the team. As of today there are no players signed and the first game is in April… no wonder fans are not happy.

    • I love the Miami fan attitude. It is always some else’s fault.

      It was Horrowitz fault. Then it was Barca’s fault. Now it is Traffic’s fault. If only you had a perfect owner like every other MLS or NASL team you’d fill the stadium.

      What a bunch of whining babies.

      Break the 2,500 fan a game mark for your current team and start talking.

      • I love the people who are not in Miami and think they know what it is like down here. You guys hate for the sake of hating.

        Everything I state are facts. I’ve been a season ticket holder for the Fusion and Miami FC, I know what I’m talking about because i pay for my tickets and as a paying customer I want what is best for my team.

        How can they expect to get the 2,500 tickets as you point out if no one knows a Miami team exists? It’s the case with the Barca bid and currently with Miami FC. No one knows they exist because they don’t advertise.

  2. MLS basically handed Miami an expansion team but local support never materialized.

    Please !! no one knew about the MLS bid.

  3. The Ralston signing really puts MLS fans in a pickle. For years they have simply ignored the second division but now a player who has been among the best in MLS through the years has voluntarily turned down MLS to come to USSF DII.

    The Tampa signings are exciting and a buzz is beginning to develop in the area about the team. Now if we could simply get a schedule and season tix packages we would be set.

    As for the Miami argument, Tampa has always been a better soccer market. Miami teams tend to do better in Fort Lauderdale anyway, at least they have consistently had a base of support. Miami itself is about the worst possible pro soccer market in the US that has had teams. Even the old Miami Freedom disappeared in the APSL after a year while Fort Lauderdale’s team lasted until the Fusion showed up. When the fans were split, the team from Lauderdale lasted.

    As for us in West Central Florida, we’re torn about MLS. I think the NASL has a lot of potential and will be more like the soccer we watch from abroad. I did not like USL, but MLS has some of the stupidest rules around and we like what the Rowdies are building with youth academies and the ability to sign players from anywhere in the world and hold combines in England. We’re happy with TBR. If MLS wanted to come back, I am sure some fans would consider it, but others may just stick with NASL if the promise TBR is showing early on, is fulfilled.

  4. The Palace stadium looks sweet!

    Any chance they could ground share with DC United?

  5. That CP B stadium concept looks sweet. If they keep the roof, that will be a really nice venue.

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