Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: The NASL has its day in court

Yesterday's Scores
UEFA Champions League
FC Basel 1-2 CSKA Moscow
(Zuffi 32')-(Dzagoev 65', Wernbloom 79')

Manchester United 2-0 Benfica
(Svilar OG 45', Blin PK 78')

Celtic 1-2 Bayern Munich
(McGregor 74')-(Coman 22', Martinez 77')

Paris Saint-Germain 5-0 Anderlecht
(Verratti 30', Neymar 45+4', Kurzawa 52', 72', 78')

AS Roma 3-0 Chelsea
(El Shaarawy 1', 36', Perotti 63')

Atletico Madrid 1-1 FK Qarabag
(Thomas 56')-(Michel 40')

Olympiakos 0-0 Barcelona

Sporting CP 1-1 Juventus
(Cesar 20')-(Higuain 79')

Bayern Munich and PSG are the first teams to seal spots in the knockout rounds thanks to their victories today. On the flip side, Celtic and Anderlecht are mathematically eliminated from the Champions League, but can still fall back on a Europa League spot.

Contnental Tables

MLS Cup Playoffs- Conference Semi-Finals First Leg
Columbus Crew 4-1 New York City FC
(Kamara 6', Artur 58', Meram 69', Afful 90+3')-(Villa 78')

Headlines
The NASL got the chance to plead its case in a federal court yesterday as they seek a preliminary injunction on USSF's decision to deny their second division sanctioning for 2018. They argued the arbitrary nature of USSF's league sanctioning guidelines as being anti-competitive due to their artificial barriers for entry and advancement. They claim MLS and Soccer United Marketing have a relationship with the USSF that presents a clear conflict of interest due to financial and political connections. They also claim that the league will cease to exist if they are demoted to division three, thus causing irreparable.

USSF, meanwhile, argues that the NASL "going out of business" would be a voluntary decision, not one forced upon them. They cite the USL's success at that level as evidence that the demotion won't be the end of the world.

In the end, both sides are right in their own way. The USSF league sanctioning standards are arbitrary and anti-competitive and they do hold the NASL back. Although I would be just as willing to say the NASL holds itself back thanks to a flawed and failing business model.

USSF is right that a demotion to the third tier would not be the end of the world for the NASL. As the NASL correctly points out, the division sanctioning standards are arbitrary. Plus. due to a lack of pro/rel, which tier on the pyramid is more or less irrelevant. Lower league soccer fans don't really care about what USSF calls their league. Supporters of the NASL aren't going to turn away in droves just because the league isn't second tier anymore. Yeah, a couple teams are leaving, but the reportedly have half a dozen more signing on in their place. Plus, there is the NISA starting soon, which is basically an extension of the NASL anyway and represents a place for the clubs to land in the case of a league collapse.

All in all, I really think this whole process is a waste of time and money for the NASL. It might be better for them to take a step back, not worry about whatever number the federation slaps onto their league and concern themselves with recovering from this hit and developing their independent league system, complete with promotion and relegation. They aren't going to compete with the MLS/USL alliance and they are never going to join them. A preliminary injunction isn't going to change that and it won't stabilize a league that is a victim of its own mismanagement more than they are of a conspiracy organized by the USSF, MLS, SUM, and the USL.

A decision on the injunction is expected by the end of this week.

Here are a couple other nuggets from yesterday's proceedings:

  • North Carolina FC is definitely heading to the USL.
  • San Francisco Deltas are folding, and the league has known this since September 1.
  • Detroit City FC is reportedly one of the new teams for 2018, they were the only new club mentioned during the hearing.

MLS released their finalists for their seasonal awards yesterday. Atlanta United is well represented with five nominees in four different categories, including MVP, Newcomer of the Year, Coach of the Year, and Rookie of the Year. Here are all the finalists for the big awards;

MLS MVP
Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United)
Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC)
Nemanja Nikolić (Chicago Fire)
Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)
David Villa (New York City FC)

COACH OF THE YEAR
Gerardo “Tata” Martino (Atlanta United)
Veljko Paunović (Chicago Fire)
Greg Vanney (Toronto FC)

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Abu Danladi (Minnesota United FC)
Jack Elliott (Philadelphia Union)
Julian Gressel (Atlanta United)

DEFENDER OF THE YEARJustin Morrow (Toronto FC)
Ike Opara (Sporting Kansas City)
Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
GOALKEEPER OF THE YEARAndre Blake (Philadelphia Union)
Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders FC)
Tim Melia (Sporting Kansas City)

NEWCOMER OF THE YEARMiguel Almirón (Atlanta United)
Josef Martínez (Atlanta United)
Nemanja Nikolić (Chicago Fire)
COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEARClint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC)
Federico Higuaín (Columbus Crew SC)
Erick Torres (Houston Dynamo)

Today's Matches
UEFA Champions League
Besiktas v. AS Monaco- 12pm-FS2, ESPN3
Liverpool v. NK Maribor- 3:45pm- ESPN3
Sevilla v. Spartak Moscow- 3:45pm- ESPN3
Napoli v. Manchester City- 3:45pm- FS2, ESPN3
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Feyenoord Rotterdam- 3:45pm- ESPN3
FC Porto v. RB Leipzig- 3:45pm- ESPN3
Borussia Dortmund v. Apoel Nicosia- 3:45pm- ESPN3
Tottenham v. Real Madrid- 3:45pm- FS1, ESPN3

Liga MX
Atlas v. Tigres UANL- 11pm

No comments:

Post a Comment