The Plot Thickens! Rowdies Join the TOA

November 21, 2009 at 2:17 am | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2009 | 1 Comment

The Team Owners Association (TOA) have won round one of the hardball game against  USL-1.  Today it was announced that the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Crystal Palace Baltimore will join the TOA in its new league.

Both teams have great name recognition.   The Tampa Bay Rowdies were one of the most successful franchises in the old NASL days.  We beat them  in the 1979 Soccer Bowl.  Baltimore is aligned with London’s Crystal Palace, a great name in English footy whose team now labours away in the English Championship.

For some reason the Rowdies have decide to jump ship from USL-1 to the TOA group.   This does not bode well for USL-1. The Rowdies have obviously decided, as a new franchise, that the TOA’s conception of how to run a league makes more sense than USL-1’s plan.   Similarly, Baltimore, who played in the USL’s lower leagues, now consider the TOA concept as the better plan for them.   This is a major blow for the USL.  The TOA now has 9 teams rather than seven, although the future of the Minnesota franchise seems to hang in the balance.   I believe the TOA now meet the minimum number of teams for the American soccer authorities to approve the new league.

It is a good day for Whitecaps fans.  To be able to play against Tampa Bay will be a great stroll down memory lane. Further, to be able to play against a team associated with Crystal Palace will also be fun.   The question is, will other teams jump ship from USL-1 to TOA?

I still think that a negotiated settlement between the TOA and USL-1 is the best scenario.  If it just can’t work, however, I believe that other teams will choose to do as the Rowdies have done and abandon the USL-1 ship.   Come on over Portland, Puerto Rico and Charleston!


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  1. struggle continues …

    do not give up ..!!!

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