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Flash Look To The Future And Second Tier Pro Soccer With The NASL
SDSP Soccer Marketing, Inc, owners of current National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) side, the San Diego Flash Soccer Club, have formally expressed an interest in joining the NASL competition should the league consider expansion in the future.
The North American Soccer League (NASL) is a professional men's soccer league in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico which began league play in 2011. It has been sanctioned as a Division II Professional League by the United States Soccer Federation (U.S. Soccer), placing it under Major League Soccer (MLS) in the soccer pyramid.
The Flash who successfully defended its 2011 Conference title with an 8-0 home win against the Phoenix Monsoon over the weekend, requested information about the NASL in a letter from CEO; Clent Alexander to NASL Commissioner David Downs.
The San Diego Flash organization sees this as the first step in opening a constructive, ongoing dialogue with U.S. Soccer’s second tier division about the possibilities of becoming the league’s first West Coast representative.
Flash CEO, Clent Alexander said that this was potentially a natural progression for the Flash, given their ongoing on-field successes.
“The club is growing at an exponential pace. To keep up with the demand and expectations of our investors and players, a new challenge and a broader national appeal might be the key to unlocking our potential and taking the San Diego Flash Soccer Club to that next level.
“We are the first club in the United States to adopt a public ownership model. This expression of interest is a reflection of the successes we are having both on and off the field.
“While this is only an expression of interest and no guarantee of the club making that transition, we hope that this serves as a notice to the U.S. Soccer community that San Diego is ready for pro soccer. Putting the city of San Diego on the professional soccer map is a high priority for our Partnership Group.” Alexander said.
Flash Head Coach and FOX Soccer Analyst Warren Barton said that any potential move from the NPSL had to be in the clubs best interests.
“There is no doubt our current squad would be extremely competitive in the NASL. However, it needs to be a smart business decision.
"Because we would be the only West Coast team in the competition, travelling to places like Ottawa and Puerto Rico every second week would need to make sense from a financial point of view.
“Having more corporate partners would be key. Given the potential of the San Diego soccer market and playing in an elite competition like the NASL, I’m sure some may want to join us in our early stages and grow with us.” Barton said.
San Diego is a prime location for expansion given;
• The region is the largest youth soccer market in North America;
• San Diego is the 2nd largest city in California; 7th largest in the U.S;
• San Diego sits on the border next to México; where Soccer is already the #1 sport; and,
• Not currently represented by a MLS team
“We look forward to meeting with NASL representatives in the near future and working together to bring the very best North American soccer talent outside of the MLS to San Diego.” Alexander said.