The NASL will be allowed to compete as a Division 2 league after the USSF sanctioned the first-year league at U.S. Soccer Annual General Meeting. The season will now go ahead as scheduled with the first matches being held on April 9. The sanctioning is for only one year, as the league will now be expected to meet certain financial requirements to receive permanent Division 2 status. It is rumored that one of those requirements is for Traffic USA to divest itself of ownership in two of three franchises it currently helps fund.
"Division 2 soccer is an important element in the success and popularity of the sport in the United States and we are pleased the NASL will play professional games in their markets this season," U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said in a statement. "The Federation’s continued interest is in sustainability and stability at the Division 2 level of professional soccer."
The news comes nearly a month after the NASL lost its provisional sanctioning. That was reportedly predicated by the ownership situation in Carolina devolving to a point that the team's assets were put on sale on eBay. Traffic USA eventually won the bidding, at least temporarily clearing the way for the league to gain sanctioning.
"Today is a historic day for soccer in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. We've worked dillgently over the past several years to implement a new vision for second division and would like to thank USSF President Sunil Gulati and the USSF staff for their leadership, cooperation and support in creating this next chapter for the professional game in the region," Aaron Davidson, CEO of the NASL commented. "We are committed to buidling a new second division which will develop markets, players, coaches, referees, executives and adminsitrators and give soccer fans throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico a league and teams to be proud of."