86 Forever: Canadian Teams Caught In USSF's Crossfire

Lower division soccer in the United States has never been particularly stable. Sure, there have been teams that could count on a certain number of fans to show up to their games every year, but those fans were doing so often not sure what league their team would be playing in.

Up until this year, the Vancouver Whitecaps were one of those teams. So, it should come as no surprise that 86 Forever's Benjamin Massey has some strong opinions regarding the USSF's decision not to sanction the fledgling NASL as a Division 2 league.

I'm not going to say "this isn't a surprise" because of course it is. At the same time, it always seemed certain that the USSF would find some way to screw up their second division. The past two years have seen the Federation sit with thumbs up their butts as the United Soccer Leagues experienced a still-unhealed schism with their most successful franchises, cobbled together a second-rate "USSF Pro Second Division" which ultimately satisfied nobody for the 2010 season, and after somehow fluking their way into a relatively stable second-division NASL and third-division USL PRO, pulling the plug all together. When they sanctioned the NASL, it was a pleasant relief. The fact that they have returned to their usual shortsightedness, gleefully firing their cannon into the hull of their own boat, isn't all that shocking.

Among the teams caught up in this mess, and of particular interest to Massey, are the Montreal Impact and FC Edmonton. As such, Massey says this is just the latest reason for Canada to sanction its own league.

However this turns out, it's one more indication why Canada needs to control its own destiny on the soccer stage. I'm not going to pretend the Canadian Soccer Association runs a perfect ship and that a Canadian league would never run into any roadblocks. But at least when a Canadian league encounters problems, they'd be our problems and it would be in all our best interests to solve them. We wouldn't sit back and cross our fingers that the Americans could solve them for us.

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