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Tuesday Kickaround

*No surprise: Peter Vermes, who named himself interim coach of the Kansas City Wizards after dumping Curt Onalfo mid-season, will give himself the full-time gig at a news conference today. The Wizards were 3-6-3 under Vermes.

*The Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina Railhawks, Miami FC, Minnesota Thunder, Montreal Impact, St. Louis Soccer United and Vancouver Whitecaps have joined forces to form their own second division league. All but St. Louis are USL affiliates upset over the league's structure. The new group has applied to the USSF for sanctioning and plans to begin play in 2010. "This is not your typical new league," said Montreal President Joey Saputo, chairman of the unnamed new league's board of governors. "Most of our teams have existed for years. We have united some of the best owners, teams and markets around a new vision for a professional soccer league in North America."

*Postseason college honors are largely ignored, but when it comes to the ACC, which has provided an abundance of talent to MLS over the years, you should probably pay attention. The offensive and defensive players of the year are, respectively, midfielder Corben Bone and center back Ike Opara, both juniors from Wake Forest. We'll wait to see if they turn pro this winter. Only four seniors were named to the first team: UNC defender Zach Loyd, N.C. State midfielder Alan Sanchez, Wake midfielder Austin de Luz and Wake forward Zack Schilawski. Click here for the complete lists. The ACC tournament gets underway at 1 p.m. today in Cary, N.C., with No. 8 seed Virginia Tech playing No. 9 Clemson.

By Steve Goff  |  November 10, 2009; 9:48 AM ET
Categories:  College Soccer , MLS , USL  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Cup Qualifying Nears End
Next: Montero, Thornton Honored


Can we put the Wake coach on the DC United list?

Posted by: OWNTF | November 10, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

new league = MLS farm/reserve teams? sure seems like a good opportunity anyway.

Posted by: nairbsod | November 10, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

. . .and Montreal Impact belong on the list . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | November 10, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

. . and according to some reports, a re-born Tampa Bay Rowdies . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | November 10, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

What an awful idea, Saputo.

Posted by: Reignking | November 10, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

And...the Whitecaps? The future-MLS-expansion Whitecaps?

Posted by: Reignking | November 10, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I keep looking at this:

and wondering about how it could work with DC United to keep the club in DC and combined with some tax assistance (not money, but tax abatement and maybe some grants towards United for DC to expand and do more work with the In Need parts of DC) in a good and productive location for the club and city. I know most people would choke at the idea of a mortgage for seats and it would be a hard pitch to people, especially if you went to "sell" your seats after a season like the most recent one. But it would go a long way toward providing the club with a source of capital for infrastructure development as well as serve as a way to somewhat sell an ownership interest in the club to committed supporters.

Just a thought.

And - Mr. Chang and Mr. Payne - if you do go with this idea - I'll be happy to submit my resume for employment in the front office.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | November 10, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Oh wait, St. Louis is getting a a team in the "new vision professional soccer league"? What will happen to the "if we don't build a stadium in Reston/Shady Grove/Baltimore then United will move to St. Louis" boogie monsters?

Posted by: Kev29 | November 10, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

This new league does seem like a bad idea.
Seems like small potatoes making a fuss.

Posted by: WorldCup | November 10, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I'm just glad Portland is getting out of this mess in 2011.

Posted by: Captain_Haddock | November 10, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I feel sorry for the Atlanta investors that bought USL, too...

Posted by: Reignking | November 10, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

am I the only one excited for the new league? good luck... I will support as best I can..

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | November 10, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Hooray for breakaway re-branding! zzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: Kev29 | November 10, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm looking forward to the USL's response.

Posted by: sitruc | November 10, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

That's a cool idea VBB, but my guess is there aren't enough people to "put their money where their mouth is" and actually pay cash money for the stadium they want, where they want it. Much easier to "demand" that politicians take other people's money to pay for it.

But the math works, and you could buy most seats for 20 years for the price of a new Hyundai. Who would loan against the right to future DC United tickets though?

Posted by: OWNTF | November 10, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

The one major problem I have with the Seat Rights idea, which I've seen tossed around and discussed in a few articles here and there, is that I wouldn't be able to afford one. I say that largely in jest, but I do think that some sort of membership scheme in the club that doesn't cost the individual thousands of dollars would have lots of benefits as well. I believe that Chicago's FO is discussing or considering some kind of plan like this, and then of course there's Seattle's Fan Council or whatever it's called that you can join for a fee even if you're not a season ticket holder.

I have a feeling I'm not the only one in my situation which is this: I didn't miss an MLS home game this season, but I'm not a season ticket holder because I have a rotating group of friends that I bring to games and don't want to get locked into a section where there may not be space for them. I want to support the club and be a "member" so-to-speak, but circumstances prevent me from going to season ticket holder route. An affordable membership scheme would fix this. Again, not saying I dislike the Seat Rights idea, but I do wish there was a more affordable option as well.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | November 10, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

If the new league is capitalist in structure, rather than the collectivist MLS, there is a very decent chance that one of the teams might be really high quality . . . high enough to make an AFL-NFL style "Super Bowl" exciting, and high enough to increase the odds of going to Mexico and kicking some . . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | November 10, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Actually, what I find surprising is that some USL1 team owners did not follow suit. Firstly, I can't imagine what they're getting out of staying in a league that is owned and operated by an outside company. Moreover, without the defectors, what sort of USL1 is left for those other teams? You'd think they'd tag along just because there isn't much other choice.

Posted by: fischy | November 10, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

USL-1 is apparently looking to elevate some USL-2 and PDL teams. Ives said this earlier today: "As for the USL, it will continue operation in 2010 with as many as 11 teams. Austin, Cleveland, New York, Puerto Rico, Portland, Rochester, Tampa Bay, Edmonton and Ottawa had representatives at a recent meeting to discuss the future of the USL, while Baltimore and Detroit were also represented."

Posted by: Captain_Haddock | November 10, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

On the ACC thing -- Opara must have had some season. He missed a good chunk of the year with the USA U20s, and still is ACC Defender of the Year. Or, is that all reputation?

I'm intrigued by the freshman defender at Duke, Andrew Wenger, who made the 1st All-ACC team, and the BC goalie and UVa striker who made the second team as freshmen. They must have a lot of promise.

Posted by: fischy | November 10, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I don't really get the Whitecaps involvement when they are set to enter MLS in 2011. Is USL really that bad?

Maybe this makes for stronger competition in the Open Cup? Now that Seattle has singlehandedly made the tournament relevant again things could get really exciting...

Posted by: DadRyan | November 10, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

@Dad -- Lenarduzzi has said Vancouver is doing it out of concern for the future development of Canadian soccer. I'm not sure of the point of that, since Montreal will probably follow Vancouver into the MLS in fairly short order. It does make one wonder about the point of this -- however, it isn't that USL is "bad". USL is an entity that was sold by one outside company to another. Some of the new owners don't like the new league ownership, and they don't like the fact that they have no say in how the league is run. It's all about control of their personal investments. For Vancouver, maybe it's about maintaining a decent level of competition in the year before they go into MLS. Or, maybe we have to take Lenarduzzi at his word, even if it's not clear what he means.

Posted by: fischy | November 10, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

This USL soap opera? It's like the finale of Mad Men.

Posted by: Reignking | November 10, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse


The bank of AEG.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | November 10, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

It seems that in Montreal and Vancouver's case, joining this upstart league has more to do with the MLS mandate of developing a youth system. By having an MLS team and a "D2" league team Montreal and Vancouver would have a great way to give reserves and youth prospects the opportunity to play very competitive games. Just a thought....

Posted by: temuco | November 10, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Goff.... who are your top ten NCAA men soccer players?

Posted by: temuco | November 10, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Goff -
Is Saputo heading the league but not bringing Montreal into it? What gives? Has he severed relations with Montreal? Are they then planning on staying in the USL?

Posted by: Modibo | November 10, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see if they can pull the USL, NewSL (I just copyrighted that) and MLS together in the Open Cup.

I am all for smaller regional leagues that can increase rivalries and decrease travel costs, which is why I think it is strange Vancouver is in this.

Posted by: IamAM | November 10, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

FYI - here's a statement about the new league, posted on the Carolina site:

Posted by: nairbsod | November 10, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse


heard that it was going to go under that name, not a pro/reg but MLS's second league that would ease transitions to MLS like Montreal.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | November 10, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Vermes really impressed himself with his 3-6-3 record.

I hear he really blew himself away in the interview with himself also....

Posted by: JkR- | November 10, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I find it weird as well so many leagues sounds like the NFL/AFL or the NBA/ABA...

merger in the future?

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | November 10, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@temuco -- I'm not sure what you mean. I don't think there is any intention that Vancouver would continue to play in the new league beyond next season. They're going into MLS, and that's that. They're not going to compete against themselves in the same market. Ditto for Montreal -- they'll play in this league until the MLS comes calling.

I doubt that there is any real thought of turning this league into an MLS farm system. They might be able to work out some more cooperative system where players are given more opportunities to play at a lower level while MLS clubs retain rights, but the clubs have to run independently.

Posted by: fischy | November 10, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Goff -
Is Saputo heading the league but not bringing Montreal into it? What gives? Has he severed relations with Montreal? Are they then planning on staying in the USL?

Posted by: Modibo | November 10, 2009 12:14 PM

Did it occur to you that Goff goofed and left the Impact off his list?

Posted by: fischy | November 10, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

See ya when I see ya. No hard feelings.

But let's just sort of give a Yanki-Yank review of the franchises in question (just for kicks):

Good luck with your new league when Vancouver heads to MLS.

Montreal Inmpact: Uncel Joey Saputo didn't have any interest in the MLS model (blasted it publicly in fact--the business model as well as the play). Then he wanted in and expected and discount when he filed his bid. Now he is at the vanguard of the breakaway league.

Carolina Railhawks: Ownership is delusional (you want an automatic berth to Champion's League play for winning a second division league--are they on crack and crystal meth??). They have a nice, intimate venue, get great friendlies with Latin (especially the Mexican clubs), have an impressive front office and sweet production studio at the stadium. In my opinion, Carolina is rolling the dice more than anyone. MLS is not an alternative for them. It never will be. They have decided to hitch their wagon to a league that might not be around in two to three years. Say what you want about the USL pro divisions-They have evolved, shed teams but it still exists. Might not be able to say the same about the league that Carolina has decided to align itself with.

Minnesota Thunder: a club with fantastic fans that deserve mad props--can't make payroll since September and release it's players and front office staff. Employees are using their personal credit cards to pay operational expenses. Thier participation and thier owners quotes about it in the new league are like a bad joke. The only thing Mr. Johnson is missing is, a multicolored outfit, a bright red nose and big funny-looking shoes. Enough, already...

St. Louis: That "team" hasn't even kicked a ball yet--won't miss them. any. In fact, they don't deserve any more mention. Movin on...

Miami: Want to fold because they are bleeding money. Then they want to be in on MLS with Claure. Then they want "protection" from MLS. Then wants back in on MLS. Nuff said about the Americas' team.

Atlanta: Boris don't have the best rep, does he? Word is that he didn't do right by his players and front office when he pulled the plug on the USL1 men's side. But hey--Dude is smart. He got a boatload of money for Khandji from MLS and Energy Drink FC.

I got $5 bucks that says that the USL will be still around when some of the clubs that manage to survive come back asking to kiss and make up after the new league proabably goes belly up.

Did the teams that might not make it learn anything from the indoor debacle of the MISL(NISL)/Xtreme Soccer divorce???

Posted by: yankiboy | November 10, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

This could also be St. Louis' audition for MLS status...

It's just a bit funny to have the teams talking about this move being good for growth and stability of a league, when at least half the teams are headed to MLS or interested in doing so...

Posted by: fischy | November 10, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Vermes really impressed himself with his 3-6-3 record.

I hear he really blew himself away in the interview with himself also....

Posted by: JkR- | November 10, 2009 12:55 PM

Good point.

And he just named himself the winner of the team's 2010 "Administrator of the Year award" because of his plans to build a successful team and to bring hope and change to the organization.

Posted by: joedoc1 | November 10, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

my prediction to this inside job..

5 years from now..

half of the new league will be in MLS..
the other teams will return to USL..

USL1 and 2 will merge into one league...again..

10 years from now...
USL will have expanded to 16 teams...

15 years from now...

MLS will consume USL and have a pro/reg... with 16 teams fighting for pro.

its a conspiracy lol

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | November 10, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Montreal is in. My bad

Posted by: Steve Goff | November 10, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Joey Saputo: There are still ongoing talks with USL.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | November 10, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse is reporting that Preki is out as Chivas USA head coach and Martin Vasquez is in. Though they contacted Chivas USA and the club said no decisions have been made yet.

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | November 10, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

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