San Antonio FC (USL) and New York City FC (MLS) announced this afternoon that the two clubs will enter into an affiliation for the 2017 season.
This post will not be long.
Soccer fans in San Antonio want, dare I say deserve, professional soccer. While our history with soccer is relatively short we have proven our support and enthusiasm for the Beautiful Game with the former San Antonio Scorpions and now San Antonio FC.
We all know MLS will be expanding to 24 teams by 2020 with the known inclusions of Atlanta United FC, Minnesota FC, Los Angeles FC, & David Beckham's proposed Miami team. While Miami is still yet to be solidified, commissioner Garber has said "we hope to still get something done in Miami". He also mentioned that "we'll have four more teams [after that]." He's referring to the expansion of MLS to 28 teams, however those four cities have yet to be decided. In his latest listing of cities, San Antonio was included on the list.
San Antonio fans frequently obsess over where our city lands on expansion lists and when other cities make their MLS intentions known. What frustrates fans in the Alamo City is the silence that surrounds Spurs Sports & Entertainment, owners of our current USL club. Straight from the onset, SS&E has made it public knowledge that they intend to reach MLS - there's even a financial penalty through the purchase agreement of Toyota Field if SS&E fail to get a MLS franchise within a given time span.
The Spurs are not a flashy organization but it's safe to say that they are continuing their effort to get a MLS franchise. Recently on the Pitch Black News podcast, Managing Director Tim Holt said they are on a "4-5 year timeline" for MLS expansion. While there isn't as much public pomp & circumstance surrounding San Antonio's MLS efforts, don't be discouraged. Our public support, stadium, and ownership will be enough to get us there.
However, in the unfortunate event that we are passed up for expansion, we are still in a very good situation. We have a top class team to support with a great stadium experience that will continue to grow the sport in our wonderful city.
There will be people who are "MLS or bust" and there are a thousand opinions on whether or not San Antonio needs or deserves another pro-franchise, especially MLS.
None of that matters.
Be a season ticket member, invite your friends & family, wear the crest with pride. Go to as many games, tailgates, and watch parties as you can. I can tell you one thing for sure - you'll have fun doing it!
Support your team!
Back in early April, the Monitor News in McAllen, Texas tweeted that the USL had awarded a professional soccer franchise to the RGV Vipers. The Vipers organization is thought to become the affiliate of the Houston Dynamo of MLS. As part of the agreement between MLS and USL, all MLS teams are required to have their own reserve squad in the USL or have an affiliation with a USL team. Here is my story from when this news first broke.
The team will have roughly 8 months to get everything in order to be ready to start the USL season in March. This will be the 2nd USL team in the State of Texas, joining the Austin Aztex. The RGV team will add close rival to the Aztex, in addition to "closer" teams in the OKC Energy & Tulsa Roughnecks.
What does this mean for the Scorpions? This will add another regional team that could possibly play San Antonio during the early stages of the U.S. Open Cup. It also means another regional team that, because they play in different leagues, won't lessen travel costs for the Scorpions. It would be nice if a Texas rival would join the NASL to give the Scorpions a league rival where travel is feasible for San Antonio fans. Hopefully news of more NASL expansion will be forthcoming this fall.
Soccer On -ASC
San Antonio FC & the USL
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