Monday, November 23, 2009

Blast from the past: New league to be named NASL

The NASL could be making a comeback.

The group of nine teams, including the Tampa Bay Rowdies, announced on Monday that the new league they are planning on forming will be named the North American Soccer League, a nod to the predecessor of Major League Soccer that was formed in 1968 before folding in 1984.

“By becoming the NASL, we are paying respect to the players, coaches and leaders who were pioneers for men’s professional soccer in North America, many of whom remain involved and committed to the growth of our game in various capacities throughout the U.S. and Canada,” Selby Wellman, principal owner of the Carolina RailHawks and newly appointed president of NASL, LLC said in a press release. “For that, we honor and thank them with a new era for the NASL.

“Further, by going with NASL, we’re obligated to operate our league at a high standard befitting a name that means so much to the soccer community throughout North America. Our intention is to offer an elite brand of soccer and outstanding experience for our partners and fans, something the old NASL did very well during its day. We will do the same in the new NASL.”

The group of nine teams has submitted an application to the United States Soccer Federation to be sanctioned as a Division II Men’s Outdoor Professional League. The next step for the league would appear to be the search, and appointment of a new commissioner.

The newly-monikered league has stated that it intends to begin play in April, 2010.

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