Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Austin... I mean Orlando and Rochester to USL

I really feel for Austin Aztex fans. The rumors of the move from Austin to Orlando that Inside Minnesota Soccer's Brain Quarstad broke out was right on the money. If anyone knows what Austin fans are going through it is us South Florida soccer fans who have been down that road before. The way it was done to Aztex fans seemed like a sneaky exit stage right (or wrong).

The fans didn't even get a chance to help the team find an investor. They had no warning. Did the front office really attempt to find buyers as they claimed? It seems Mr Rawlins had this deal done awhile ago. He just waited for the season to end and bye, bye!

So now its Orlando's team. A team that's headed to the USL Pro, the 3rd division so to speak, though the way they've been posturing it seems USL wants to pretend to be 2nd division. But more on USL Pro later...

Orlando's new team has come out even saying they want to make the jump to MLS! Thats 1st Division folks, so lets just skip 2nd division and jump up to the big leagues! So much for loyalty to USL Pro...
For more on the move to Orlando check out Brant Parson's interview of Phil Rawlins for the Orlando Sentinel

In other news this Monday, the Rochester Rhinos, a recent NASL member team, also decided they would re-join USL. The Rhinos basically relegated themselves and will now play regional soccer in Division 3.
I spoke to a few Rhinos fans and most are devastated by the move. Will this hurt them at the gate? We will see. More on their move to USL Pro HERE

USL's battle with NASL seemed to be over after USL claimed they would not apply for 2nd Division sanctioning. But, the return of the Rochester Rhinos to USL might be viewed as pay back after most 2nd division teams departed USL for NASL. Add to that a rumored Ft Lauderdale team that would enter USL this year and you might think the war is still on! Its no secret NASL is majority owned by Traffic Sports USA who is also the owner of Miami FC (Soon to be Strikers?) Currently playing in... drum roll... Ft Lauderdale.

Yup, it looks like this off season in the lower divisions of U.S. Soccer will be another one for the soap operas! get your popcorn, sit back and enjoy! I'm sure there is more drama to come.
Btw, check out a letter to The Rawlins by the Aztexan


Anonymous said...

what about MLS to Miami? No investors?

Anonymous said...

Rumored Ft. Lauderdale team to USL? So South Florida would have 2 teams, does Traffic group also own this one?

Uncle Ed said...

From what we know USL wants to put a team of their own in Ft Lauderdale... And no, Traffic would not own that team.
Looks like USL wants to compete with NASL in this market.
All this will do is divide the already small following 2nd Division has.
The only way we will ever see a large following for soccer in South Florida is with MLS.

Anonymous said...

I do not see the USL Pro(D3) as a threat to the NASL(D2) as I doubt more than a couple of the clubs can meet the new D2 requirements, so they are stuck in D3.
Are any possible MLS investors going to take Orlando serious about moving up to the MLS? With the MLS entry fee at 40 million why would someone invest in a city playing in a D3 regional league? Talk about a giant jump.
If the USL puts a club in Ft. Lauderdale they will play at the cricket stadium and most likely be in the PDL(D4?). What makes the USL think the result will be different than their 2009 USL failed entry? Same stadium, same league will be same result.

Anonymous said...

The new USL team in Ft Lauderdale will be D3 not D4/PDL. Miami FC/FTL Strikers play like D3 anyway, and this team will be well funded. It will be something South Florida can be proud of.

The market will be split. That's the only downside I see in it.