While acknowledging that USSF has, indeed, pulled its provisional Division 2 sanctioning, the NASL has promised to continue to work with the governing body to improve its standing in time to start their season on time. The league will have an opportunity to address concerns prior to the USSF Annual General Meeting Feb. 11-12.
"We have invested a lot of time, energy and resources over the past four years to establish a proper team-owned and governed professional second division soccer league and separate ourselves from the instability and annual team turnover of USL, the former second division," NASL CEO Aaron Davidson said in a release. "The USSF and the soccer community have realized that it’s time once and for all to launch a new second division with higher standards which finally ensure the stability, growth and prosperity of second division soccer in North America. We are prepared to respond to the USSF’s concerns and look forward to delivering on our commitments to our teams and fans to re-launch second division as the NASL in 2011."
It's still unclear what options exist for NASL teams if the league is not sanctioned. One possibility would seem to be playing as a Division 3 league, but there's no guarantee USSF would sanction two such leagues, as they've already approved USL-PRO. Failing to get sanctioning would leave the eight teams planned for 2011 in a tough situation, to say the least. If the league were to move ahead without sanctioning, players as well as management could conceivably face punishment from FIFA, including being barred from playing on national teams and having their contracts voided. It's also not clear how many ownership groups would even be willing to go forward as anything less than Division 2.