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Bye Bye, Mariners

The Virginia Beach Mariners, who played in the top USL division, have been terminated -- gone, done, finished, wrecked by financial issues.

Here's the league announcement and a news story...

The players are free to go, but are any of them MLS worthy? Or will they land elsewhere in the second and third divisions? Among their 2006 players: goalie Matt Nelson, who worked out with United this preseason; former United call-up Greg Simmonds (Howard U.); and former MLSers Jeff Bilyk, Steve Shak, Roland Aguilera, Alan Woods and Craig Demmin. (Not sure if all of em had planned to play in Va. Beach this year or had already moved on.) Anyway, not much to choose from in terms of MLS potential.

By Steve Goff  |  March 29, 2007; 2:37 PM ET
Categories:  Misc.  
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If MLS owners become more thinskinned towards losses, their clubs could be next....

Posted by: Is MLS Next? | March 29, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

MLS investors are millionaires and billionaires; USL owners are not.

Posted by: Goff | March 29, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Shak already moved on the Charlotte of the D3.

Posted by: greg | March 29, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

All eligible USL1 teams were supposed to be in the USOpen Cup. There are 9 eligible USL2 teams, the
Richmond Kickers as USL champs get an automatic birth and the best 5 of the other 8 would qualify.

I'm guessing that will change to the best 6 of the 8
now. Let's hope Crystal Palace USA can manage that.
And then get drawn against DC in the third round!

Posted by: Drunken Duncan | March 29, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Not much better, but they had signed Kevin Novak from RSL last year, and Jared Montz from Chicago. Also, Colin Clarke was to be their head coach so I guess he's available to fill in for the first MLS coaching casualty of the season.

Posted by: Jesse | March 29, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

too bad - that was a nice place to watch games - of course I haven't been in a couple years, which is probably why they went under.

There were some good Open Cup games there back in the day.

Posted by: Lonnie | March 29, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

The main reason that it failed is lack of support. 6 owners in 13 years, a non-winning team, and lack of star power will do that to you. Okay, the Mariners had 'Supa' Roy Lassiter for a year (or two), but other than that almost no one the general public could even remotely identify with.

I went to see them 3 times in the 11 years I have been down here. Twice against our United, and once against the Metros in an Open Cup game ONLY to heckle the hell out of Mamadou Diallo (the Mutts got lucky to win 1-0)

Posted by: Jon in VB | March 29, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

$500 Million + in losses is $500 Million+ no matter how you cut it.

Posted by: Is MLS Next? | March 29, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse

This is horrible news. I went to a couple matches durring the summer and the play was actually pretty good. Simmonds was a the best player i saw on the team. He is a big target and was a great forward.

Posted by: Ian | March 29, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Was former United great G.R. Cannon on the Mariners? Anyone else remember that game in Dallas in the '04(?) season? I think we also got Jason Thompson for that game because our roster was so depleted from injuries.

Posted by: Godalfree | March 29, 2007 8:58 PM | Report abuse

don't forget dante washington

Posted by: mark | March 29, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Steve Shak had moved on to the Charlotte Eagles of the USL 2nd Division and Craig Demmin hasn't officially retired, but he's living in Rochester, NY (I saw him at the grocery store the other evening......) and it appears he's focusing on a coaching career.

He's been an assistant with one of the best women's junior college teams in the country (Monroe Community College) for the past few years and has interviewed with the Rochester Rhinos for a coaching position.

Posted by: James | March 30, 2007 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the updates!

RIP Mariners

Posted by: Goff | March 30, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Too bad for the Mariners and all their players. Is Roland Aguilera the obscurely famous "Jaime's cousin" that played in a reserve game or two for DC?

Posted by: garbaggio | March 30, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Too bad for the Mariners and all their players. Is Roland Aguilera the obscurely famous "Jaime's cousin" that played in a reserve game or two for DC?

Pato used to play here in Rochester before heading to Virginia Beach last season.

I don't remember him ever being with DC. But, perhaps former Rhino and current DC defender John Wilson might know?

Posted by: James | March 30, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

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