The worst-kept secret in American soccer was finally confirmed as the NASL officially announced today that the league would be expanding to the West coast with the addition of the San Francisco Deltas. The club is expected to begin play in the 2017 season. The Deltas will become the 13th team in the league after Rayo OKC, Miami FC, and Puerto Rico FC join this season.
With the addition of the Deltas, the league will finally satisfy the time-zone requirements laid out by U.S. Soccer for a 2nd Division league. This will undoubtedly bring a sense of relief to fans of the league as they now seemingly meet all the requirements to retain their Division 2 status. However, to make things interesting, the 3rd division league, the USL, has openly stated its desire to "re-establish its Division 2 status." If the USL can meet the established requirements, it will be interesting to see how the USSF handles their application. There are no laws, in USSF nor FIFA that we are aware of, that prevent a federation from having multiple leagues at one level. Assuming USL meets the standards, it's not out of the realm of possibility that there could be two Division 2 leagues in North America.
The NASL is expected to make a few more West coast expansion announcements in the coming year. Adding more teams in the West and Central U.S. should be high on their priority list so as to fill in the gaps and provide "closer" teams for more efficient travel. We'll update as we learn more about the introduction of the SF Deltas to the NASL.
All things NASL
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