There was a time when the North American Soccer League was a valued member of the U.S. soccer community. Nowadays, the league is turning into a joke. As the narrative continues to worsen by the month, the NASL is essentially the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Freddy Adu is back, baby! On Saturday night, the future of U.S. soccer and the next Rivaldo returned to the pitch for the first time since before the Season 1 of Stranger Things came out. The Freddy Adu Las Vegas Lights debut is a sure sign that U.S. soccer is back on the right track, or something. Now 28 and on a baker’s dozen of different clubs, Adu’s preseason performance wasn’t actually that bad, despite an eventual 4-2 defeat to D.C. United.
We previously wondered how the Las Vegas Lights FC pledge to be the boldest club in North American soccer would play out on the pitch. Having a fantastic, neon-tubed crest and a gaudy home shirt is one thing, but it’s the product on the field that’ll ultimately sustain any interest.
Five months into Las Vegas Lights FC and there’s almost too much to process here — which is entirely fitting for a club calling Vegas home. It began with the naming of the United Soccer League expansion team via an online poll back in August, with the Lights moniker beating out competition from other potentials like Viva Vegas and Club Vegas.
The NASL, which once boasted such stars as Pelé and, well, Pelé should be enough for you to keep reading this sentence, cannot seem to sort itself out. The league is a mess right now and not even its move to the international calendar should convince you otherwise — in fact, the move is merely propaganda to make you think everything is just fine.
The NASL announced Monday it would move to an August-to-June calendar, one employed by most of Europe and many of the top leagues around the world.
Here’s a pro tip for all you executives out there who want to run a professional soccer league: make sure your best team doesn’t disband the same week it wins the league championship.
Speaking of, it’s been one helluva week for the San Francisco Deltas — henceforth to be referred to as NASL’s bottle rockets. The Deltas came, they saw, they conquered then they got the hell out of Dodge, all within a span of two years.
There’s a proverb or two that probably apply here, something about counting eggs before they hatch or putting the cart before the horse. But this is Major League Soccer, where allocation money and salary caps make fools of us all and expansion is the single greatest boon to owners’ pocketbooks since skyboxes. So really, this is business as usual.
Mexican midfielder Gerardo Torrado played his final match on Sunday, ending a legendary career that spanned 20 years. He played for more than a decade with Cruz Azul, amassing 325 appearances. He played 146 times for the Mexican national team, trailing only Claudio Suarez for most all-time El Tri appearances.
Back in May of 2015, the United Soccer League (the second division of the American soccer pyramid) announced its ambitious plan to have all its clubs playing in soccer-specific stadiums by 2020.