Brian Quarstad from Inside Minnesota Soccer has posted a four-part series on the future of minor league soccer in the USA. The story focuses mostly on second division professional soccer which is currently in turmoil with two ownership groups, USL and NASL, competing for legitimacy off the field while competing on the field in a interim league being run by the US Soccer Federation, but it also questions how the overall structure of the lower divisions of soccer in the US (including the NPSL in which Rocket City United plays).
If you are a soccer fan in the USA, this series is well worth the read. The timing is right for a reshaping of the soccer infrastructure in the USA to get control of player development away from the youth club focus and into a professionalized structure, but before that can happen the professional structure itself needs stability.
Part of the solution to provide stability seems to be an effort to keep travel costs down by regionalizing the lower professional leagues. This would to take a page from the NPSL who currently have 4 regions and intends to expand into more regions in the future. The regions are comprised of teams who are geographically proximate enough to allow them to travel without a tremendous cost associated. The author provides a list of cities that may support the hypothetical regions, including Huntsville.
The Onion's Highlights of the World Cup
The humor news organization, the Onion, has released their list of highlights of the World Cup. My favorite:
"Portugal scores 7 goals against North Korea after the goalkeeper makes a break for it, dashes into the crowd, runs up the stairs, and jumps over the side of the stadium."
Atlanta Still Being Considered For MLS Expansion
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes to say that an unnamed EPL team is currently looking to invest in an expansion MLS team and is considering Atlanta as one of the markets for the team. Ho-hum... I wouldn't get too excited about this. This rumor seems to crops up every summer when an EPL club comes to the States to play an exhibition match. And guess what? Manchester City will play Club America in Atlanta in a few weeks at the Georgia Dome.