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Puerto Rico Islanders Join NASL, League to Submit Bid for D2 Sanctioning

This is a press release from NASL Director of Communications Kartik Krishnaiyer.

NASL to Submit Application for USSF Sanctioning as the Second Division

The North American Soccer League (“NASL”) is proud to announce the addition of the Puerto Rico Islanders. The Puerto Rico Islanders currently compete in USSF Division 2 and have qualified for the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League for three consecutive seasons.

“We are honored and proud to welcome Puerto Rico to the NASL. The Puerto Rico Islanders, who are the preeminent Caribbean team and whose remarkable accomplishments in league and international play, have elevated second division soccer in the United States,” said NASL CEO, Aaron Davidson. “The Puerto Rico Islanders have been at the forefront of the remarkable growth the sport has experienced on the island of Puerto Rico and their addition to the NASL makes our league stronger.”

“It is the perfect time for the Puerto Rico Islanders to continue moving forward to next and better levels in professional soccer. NASL and its members are on the right track and our organization and soccer development in Puerto Rico deserves no less. We are confident that NASL will be excellent for Second Division Soccer in the United States. Through NASL soccer in Puerto Rico will experience the continuous growth that it has achieved thus far. This is yet another step in the right direction as we have done since the inception of our organization,” expressed the Puerto Rico Islanders President, Andres Guillemard-Noble.

He also added: “That the future is promising more than ever and we will continue to showcase to the soccer world that Puerto Rico does it better.”

As the only professional club in Puerto Rico currently aligned with a North American professional league, the Puerto Rico Islanders on-field success has led to incredible growth for the sport on the island. The Puerto Rico Islanders have developed one of the Caribbean’s best soccer traditions and history of achievement dating back to the inception of the club in 2004.

In the 2008-2009 CONCACAF Champions League, the Puerto Rico Islanders reached the semifinals falling on penalty kicks to Mexican giants Cruz Azul. In 2009-10, the Puerto Rico Islanders eliminated Toronto FC of MLS in the Preliminary Round. In the current 2010-2011 edition of the competition, the Puerto Rico Islanders defeated MLS leaders, LA Galaxy in the Preliminary Round and are currently tied for the lead in Group D with Mexican club Toluca. Earlier this season, the Puerto Rico Islanders won the 2010 CFU Club Championship after placing second in 2009.

The NASL is committed to developing the highest level professional soccer league below MLS in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The NASL will be submitting its application to the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) to officially become the only second division professional soccer league in the United States.

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4 Responses

  1. I’m so glad to hear this !!! ‘La Tropa Naranja’ belong in D2 and have represented so well over the years. Fantastic.

  2. This is great news for the NASL and should solidify them as the one and only 2nd division in North American Soccer. It looks like the USL is headed in a positive direction as well. I don’t have all the information but as I understand it the USL is setting up regional leagues. I think this is a brilliant idea given the large land mass of North America. It should also create some interesting local rivalries, I believe they refer to them as a “Derby” (pronounced “Darby”) over in England. Cheers.

  3. I don’t see how this is “Great” for NASL, it one more simple notch in their belt, however.

    NASL still does not have enough teams that meet the financial requirements and does not have enough US based teams to qualify for D-2 sanctioning, however, that is a simple fact.

    So, short of a series of waivers, which USSF has said would not be granted unless they were temporary and minor in nature, this ship will not fly.

    Further, once you remove Portland, Montreal and Vancouver (MLS) and Rochester (I seriously doubt they will play D-2 again), the fan numbers are abysmal and each team is losing money. Collectively, the teams in D-2 will lose $5,000,000 this year. Hardly a successful venture.

  4. Hi Julie, It sounds like you have some “inside” information especially as it relates to the finances of the clubs. Admittedly I don’t know everything about the rules related to USSF sanctioning leagues but maybe some MLS reserve teams could participate. I would see that as a win-win for both NASL and MLS.

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