Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: NASL and NPSL leaders launching new D3 league for 2018

Yesterday's Scores
USL
Oklahoma City Energy 3-2 Phoenix Rising
(Wojcik 45+2', 69' Hyland 56')-(Greer 47', Arreola 83')

North American League Tables

World Cup Qualifying- OFC
Fiji 2-2 New Caledonia
(Waqa 45+2', Krishna 54')-(Wamowe 13', 24')

Headlines
Peter Wilt, former Chicago Fire and Indy Eleven president, and leaders of the NASL and NPSL are launching their own division three league next year. They're calling it the National Independent Soccer Association. They hope to launch with 8-10 teams in 2018 with the hope of jumping to 14-16 for 2019. Eventually they would like to cap off at 24 teams and begin a *gulp* promotion/relegation system with the NASL and NPSL. No markets were specified in the announcement, but there are strong rumors saying Detroit, Chattanooga, and Cleveland are joining the league for next year. These are some of the strongest NPSL markets and are obvious choices for this new pro league.

The league hopes to bridge the gap between the amateur NPSL and the pro NASL and eventually set off a pro/rel chain between the three of them. This is as good a way to get pro/rel started in this country as any. It also serves as a nice testing ground to see how well it would work around here. It probably won't compete with the MLS-USL partnership that serves as the top level of soccer in the USA, but it will give the pro/rel snobs and anti-MLSers something new to cheer for.

Plus, it provides a clear path for Detroit City FC to turn pro.

I am skeptical of how well it will all work, though. The NASL hung on by its fingertips over the winter and I get the feeling they might end up in a similar spot after this season. They have trouble running their own D2 league and I am not sure I can trust them being associated with this new venture. I feel like they should worry about stabilizing themselves and develop a smarter expansion plan before diving head first into operating a D league, let alone a pro/rel system,

I'm hoping to be proved wrong. I don't want any soccer league to fail. But I can't say I am overly excited for this new league, yet.

Romelu Lukaku apparently knows his future. He told journalists he knew what was happening after he leaves Everton this summer, but could not say any more about it. All we know is that he is leaving Everton and joining another Premier League club. He also expressed his desire to win the Premier League, perhaps more than once, and play in the Champions League. That limits his choices and just about reinforces the rumors that he will head to Chelsea.

Virgil van Dijk has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool despite signing a six year contract extension at Southampton last winter. Some reports indicated he had a deal in place, despite Liverpool never making a bid for, or even asking permission to talk to, the defender. Southampton are reporting the Reds for an illegal advance on the player and are prepared to deny all transfer offers.

Luciano Spalletti left AS Roma just about a week ago and he already has a new gig in Italy. He claims to be taking over the manager job at Inter Milan, He has reportedly signed a two year deal with the former Champions League winners.

Finally, Miami-Dade County Commissioners have approved the sale of a three acre plot of land to David Beckham's MLS expansion efforts, which completes the real estate puzzle for his potential soccer stadium in the Overtown district of Miami. He will buy the land for $9 million and then go to work with the city of Miami to gain approval to build the privately financed stadium.

Today's Matches
NASL
New York Cosmos v. FC Edmonton- 7:30pm- ESPN3

USL
Louisville City v. Charlotte Independence- 7:30pm
Orlando City B v. Rochester Rhinos- 7:30pm
Reno 1868 v. Rio Grande Valley- 10:30pm

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