Welcome to the RSL Cup blog
I've been a fan of Real Salt Lake since it joined MLS and took to the field in 2005, and I've been a fan of MLS since it began in 1996. Lately however I've started to worry about the path MLS is taking and the poor decisions they are making that in my mind threaten the growth of soccer as a whole in the US. (see "Columbus conspiracy" section) Soccer in America will grow only when we have a vibrant and diverse minor league system, something that MLS seems to be smothering at the moment. (see "American soccer wars" section) Let's keep our eyes on the situation and hope for the best, a future where grass-roots soccer and the minor leagues can not only exist but flourish, as well as where the contributions and history of the league's early clubs are appreciated and preserved.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
NASL to expand to Ottawa
The North American Soccer League (NASL) today announced that Ottawa, Ontario has been awarded an expansion franchise. The new team will be owned by the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) and play home games at Lansdowne Park. The franchise will commence League play upon the completion of a major stadium reconstruction project which is expected to commence later this year. The North American Soccer League is a Division II men's outdoor professional soccer league with teams based in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
"We welcome Ottawa to the NASL," said League Commissioner David Downs. "As we continue to expand and collectively grow professional soccer in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, Ottawa is a natural market with a vibrant business community, large soccer fan base and an exceptional ownership group."
OSEG partner John Pugh, who is also the CEO and Owner of the Ottawa Fury Soccer Club, has been named President of the new NASL franchise. Pugh says he's committed to building a successful team on and off the field: "This will be, by far, the highest calibre of soccer we'll have seen in Ottawa since the 2007 FIFA Men's U-20 World Cup," said Pugh. "We are committed to fielding a competitive team from the get-go, providing a lively, entertaining game day experience for families and establishing strong ties with all soccer players and fans across the region. It's a privilege to have this opportunity."
Ottawa's new 24,000 seat soccer-friendly downtown stadium will be built to exact FIFA specifications. The City of Ottawa and OSEG are partners in the project and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says it's an exciting time for the entire city: "Residents are excited about NASL soccer, our bid for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, CFL football and other events that will take place in Ottawa thanks to a newly redeveloped Lansdowne Park," said Mayor Watson. "With 65,000 registered players in our region playing the world's game, it's high time Ottawa had a professional soccer team and a world-class stadium."
OSEG is offering Ottawa soccer fans an opportunity to reserve the right to purchase season tickets for their NASL team before they become available to the public at large. A limited number of priority reservation numbers (PRNs) are now available for a fully-refundable $25 deposit or free for current season ticket holders for the Ottawa Fury and Ottawa 67's and PRN holders for Ottawa's new CFL football franchise