NASL Teams Excluded From USOC

NASL Teams Excluded From USOC

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On February 14, 2011
  • NASL, US Open Cup

The NASL may have won the rights to being called a Division 2 league over the weekend, however a hammer was hit on the small league as the USSF said the five American clubs would not be eligible to play in this year’s edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

During a conference call with reporters today, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati revealed the timing of the NASL’s one-year sanctioning made it impossible for the league’s teams to compete in the country’s longest continuously running championship. He also ruled out the possibility of some kind of play-in mechanism.

What makes the news rather shocking is the fact that there are only five teams to deal with here for the NASL in the USOC. Given the fact that there are 11 USL-Pro teams that are eligible for the USOC, it makes this news a bit of a head-scratcher. You’d think an even 16 clubs from the two divisions would be easier to deal with than an odd number of clubs from the 3rd division league.

No word has been given yet on how the USOC will be structured this year to make up for the five NASL clubs missing from the brackets. I still believe the tournament needs a major restructuring anyways and now could be the perfect time to do it.

What do you make of the NASL not being allowed to play in the USOC this year? Do you think it won’t matter considering how well MLS clubs do in this tournament?

  • nick price

    This marks the first time in the Professional Era (1995-present) that a pro league will not be taking part in the tournament. The last time a professional league was not represented in the Open Cup was when the previous North American Soccer League(1968-1984) refused to enter throughout the league’s 17-year existence.