Game Over for USL-1: Rochester Chooses NASL

November 30, 2009 at 9:58 pm | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2009 | 2 Comments

The newly formed NASL (North American Soccer League) struck another blow to the USL-1 today as the Rochester Rhinos opted to leave USL-1 and join the NASL.    If the result of the war between USL-1 and NASL was ever in any doubt, I can’t see the USL-1 recovering from this blow.   Rochester was the marquee franchise of the USL-1.  Though it has suffered some financial blows and ownership troubles more recently, Rochester built its own soccer specific stadium at a time when many Major League Soccer teams could not get it together to do so.   The NASL now has 10 teams in its league, and USL-1 only has four: Portland, Puerto Rico, Austin, and Cleveland.  To further add to USL-1’s troubles, it also lost the Charleston Battery to its own second division.

Now that Rochester has come over to the NASL, look for Puerto Rico and Portland to come over as well.  My guess is the stronger USL-1 teams will join the NASL and the weaker ones will follow Charleston down to the USL second division. The NASL will now essentially be division 2 in Canadian and American football to the MLS.

It looks like game, set and match for the NASL.  Next year is looking much brighter indeed for Whitecaps fans.  I won’t be entirely happy until I see Puerto Rico and Portland involved, however.  These are keen rivals of ours and it would be a shame to miss out on watching them in our last year before MLS.



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  1. How does USL come to grips with Whitecap involvment in this break away league when it comes to PDL, W- League and Super Y? They apparently have cut the Minnesota Thunder out completely due to financial irregularities from PDL and W League. Whitecaps were leading the charge on this TOA issue. It has basically sunk USL’s marquee environment. Wonder where all this is headed?

  2. It has been suggested in some quarters that the USL actually makes most of its money from the lower league stuff in any event. Both the Whitecaps and the USL agreed that their difference over USL-1 would not effect their relationship in the other lower levels of USL which I believe the Whitecaps think are working just fine.

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