I’ll be honest, I can’t seem to get much done today because of this news about the TOA group starting their own league. We knew this news would probably come down eventually in one form or another but I honestly didn’t expect it to consume me as much as it is.
If you aren’t reading a couple sites like The Kartik Report or Inside Minnesota Soccer for news on this matter then you are certainly missing out. Both have been spot on with their reports on this situation from day one.
One thing we know is true the league will need (if they haven’t already) to get a waiver from the USSF to start the league because of the number of clubs they currently have. Apparently eight is the magic number for the USSF and I believe the same goes for FIFA and CONCACAF.
Now one thing seems clear as well from The Kartik Report is that Vancouver was a big time player in this deal for the TOA. According to Kartik, without Vancouver they would not be able to form this league because the USSF requires the league to span three time zones. I know some folks will say that the USL-2 doesn’t span three time zones, but that is because this is apparently for new leagues, not old. So without Vancouver this would be a no-deal.
But even with all of that there are still loads of questions out there. Jason Davis at MatchFit USA has a few good ones. Some have already been asked here but I do think Davis posed some big questions surrounding this league like broadcasting, the role from SUM/MLS, and the overall stability of each club right now.
My big question is how will people take this league serious? If they can’t get a national TV deal of any kind out of the gate, they don’t address where they stand financially, and they don’t find an eighth club then how can we take them serious?
A lot of ifs surround this league still. We know Vancouver is MLS bound and that Montreal will certainly do their best to join them (apparently Joey Saputo has been invited to MLS Cup this year). We also know Minnesota is in trouble financially and that there are no other markets jumping out to go with them at the moment.
But what may be a bigger question to some, what the hell will they call this league? At this point it is anyone’s guess.