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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.

U.S. SOCCER BOARD OF DIRECTORS GRANTS PROVISIONAL DIVISION II STATUS TO NASL AND USL FOR 2017 SEASON

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.

STATEMENTS FROM USL AND NASL

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.”