Breaking: USSF Awards Provisional Division II Status to both NASL, USL

by on 6 January 2017

In a landmark decision, the United States Soccer Federation has come to a verdict on the future of their lower divisions. The Federation will award conditional Division II status to both the NASL and the USL. The provisions have yet to be announced.

This will be beneficial for both leagues. Likely, the conditions for the NASL will include getting to twelve or more sustainable clubs by 2018. For the USL, meanwhile, they’ll need to improve the infrastructure and stadiums across the league. This gives an end target for both leagues, and something to hold each league accountable. Meanwhile, the Federation holds onto the standards they established in 2014.

Edited At 8:05 p.m.

Minutes after we published this report the USSF released the following statement.


Teams will be Required to Meet Additional Criteria to Create Long-Term Sustainability

CHICAGO (Jan. 6, 2017) – The U.S. Soccer Board of Directors voted today to grant provisional Division II status to the North American Soccer League (NASL) and United Soccer League (USL) for the 2017 season.

The board carefully considered the applications of each league. While neither league meets all the standards set forth by U.S. Soccer, the board granted provisional Division II status and will work with the leagues on a pathway to full compliance. The board also determined that the leagues will be required to meet additional criteria.

“After an exhaustive process working with both leagues, in the best interest of the sport the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors has decided to grant provisional Division II status to the NASL and USL,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “U.S. Soccer will create an internal working group that will work with each league to set a pathway to meet the full requirements for Division II and allow for the larger goal of creating a sustainable future. We look forward to another productive year for professional soccer in this country.”

U.S. Soccer will determine the additional requirements and a timeline for completion in the coming weeks.


USL CEO Alec Papadakis
“We would like to thank U.S. Soccer for taking the time to work through this process and provide us with provisional sanctioning for Division II in 2017. We welcome the opportunity to work closely with U.S. Soccer to meet all the Division II standards in the near future and continue to be part of the impressive growth of the sport in the United States.”

North Carolina FC Owner Steve Malik
“The NASL Board of Governors and I support U.S. Soccer’s decision to grant the league provisional Division II status. We’re excited about beginning play in April, and we look forward to the continued growth of our league and soccer in the U.S.”

  • Tres Gatos

    I have a feeling this will not end well. 🙈

    • Pot


  • Pot

    next step……a fuckoff to peterson and his men

  • alexlgago

    Soccer in America is self destructive. No mention of pro-rel. How many D2 clubs have $150,000,000 + dollars to pay MLS mofie to join? I can only name a couple D2 owner’s with that much money. Small market clubs are now forced to enter into MLS reserve squads D2 agreements to keep them financial viable rather than incorporate pro-rel competition.

    • Brian Quarstad

      Your argument has got a lot of loose ends. First, the reason the NASL has struggled is because of costs and not just the costs to get into the league but operating costs for players salaries, travel across one of the biggest counties in the world and other related items. If teams don’t have the money to pay the USL or NASL entry fee’s or have owners worth the amount USSF requires, than how in the world do expect little clubs with small bankrolls and no stadiums to have the finances to afford things when they are promoted? Have you ever talked to the owners of these smaller teams? Most have far less interest in being promoted than the pro/rel folks have in it. I love pro/rel and hopefully someday we will improve our soccer infrastructure enough to have it in some form or another. But you guys make it look far easier than the reality what it’s really like to operate a soccer team in the US.

      • Caxamarca

        I’m in the minority judging by the blogs and comments I read, and perhaps it is because I grew up in the era of the initial excitement of the NASL and the subsequent irrelevance of soccer in this country, but I am absolutely bullish on the state of soccer here now. The growth is tremendous, a lot of the destructive capitalism taking place in soccer is fine, it is the American way (Football, Basketball, Hockey, Baseball all went through something similar). These leagues are working towards a solid structure, not away from one. Garber is soccer’s Stern (NBA). It is exciting to see how much demand there is for teams in these 3 leagues, can’t wait to see how it continues to develop. Thanks for keeping us informed!