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US Soccer grants second division status to USL (and NASL!)

Twitter’s been abuzz for a while now over the impending will they-won’t they decision of US Soccer concerning the divisional sanctioning of USL and NASL. USL filed its application for D2 over a year ago, you’ll recall, and NASL came thisclose to imploding in December. After negotiations between the two leagues ended with neither league failing or expanding any further, USSF essentially made the decision to split the baby and let both leagues operate as Division 2 for 2017, with instructions to “get your house in order.”

Soooo, what does all this mean for you, Louisville City fan?

Nothing. It doesn’t mean anything. Louisville City would still be playing soccer in the USL in 2017, no matter what designation the USSF decided to slap next to it. It might matter a little to the LCFC front office, as there are more stringent requirements for teams in D2, but it won’t have any effect whatsoever on your 2017 Louisville soccer experience, and it wouldn’t matter if USSF decided to keep things as they are, either.

Just as a refresher, here are US Soccer’s standards for teams in the second division: Oh, wait, they aren’t actually published in the Federation’s bylaws or policy manuals. So we’re kind of guessing at what those might be. Sources (from the internet!) advise that a D2 league has to have at least 12 teams, there must be teams in all three US time zones (Hawaii excluded, obvs), the teams must be located in cities of at least 750,000 people, stadia must seat at least 5,000 people, and owners have to meet certain personal wealth thresholds. Now is the time to remind you that literally no where else on earth will you find stuff like that in a divisional sanctioning guideline.

Neither USL or NASL meet all of these guidelines, and both leagues require waivers to get sanctioning in the first place. And, again, this doesn’t mean anything to you, Elsie fan, other than now you know more about USSF sanctioning than you might have before. Congratulations!

Now back to your regularly scheduled sniping about supporters groups and hand-wringing over the roster.