The NASL is surrounded by uncertainty as the 2016 season winds to a close, but the league issued a statement Thursday night to respond to recent reports of a potential exodus.
Recent reports link several NASL clubs with moves away from the league. Minnesota United is certain to depart as the club heads to MLS, but the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Ottawa Fury FC, Rayo OKC and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers have all been linked with an NASL exit.
Troubling times could lie ahead for the NASL, as reports of multiple teams possibly preparing for exits could leave the league contracting severely or ceasing to exist entirely.
The departure of Minnesota United to MLS has been locked in for some time. The NASL was set to replace the teamthis season by adding the San Francisco Deltas as the league's first west coast competitors, but it appears that might not be enough with several other departures rumored to be gaining traction.
With just over a month of the Fall Season left in the NASL, each match is key in the push for the playoffs.
With the top two teams facing head to head on Saturday night, it was expected it would be the match not to miss this weekend. Instead it was the two bottom dwellers, Puerto Rico FC and the Jacksonville Armada, that left hearts racing down on the island.
The NASL announced that it will take no disciplinary action as a result of aninvestigation into allegations of a racial slur being used against Puerto Rico FC's Chris Nurse in an Aug. 28 match with FC Edmonton. In a statement Wednesday, the league said that "While the NASL in no way questions the validity of the claim, upon finishing its in-depth investigation, the league was not able to find conclusive evidence to corroborate the claim.
After a week of rumors concerning the future of clubs and the league itself, the NASL returns for a full weekend slate of heated matches.
While none of the top four in the Fall Season Standings are in danger of losing their spots this weekend, Minnesota United can reduce the gap fourthplace in the Fall Standingsbetween them and Indy Eleven to one point.
"Just Google 'Loon Call,'" Manny Lagos says, his voice risingtowards a new level of excitement. "It's one of the coolest sounds you'll ever hear. I always joke that if anybody ever shot a loon in Minnesota, they'd probably go to jail. We love 'em."
Lagos' words are said with the passion of a man who isMinnesota through and through.
The basic breakdown on the upcoming MLS Expansion Draft
As reported by Brotherly Gamelast week, the MLS Expansion Draft will go on as planned. Today, MLS released the official rules of the 2016 Expansion Draft for Minnesota United FC and Atlanta United. The full rules can be read here, but here's the gist of it:
For years, Minnesota United star Christian Ramirez was motivated by his past. Unheralded and, in many ways, unwanted during his early years,Ramirezstaked his claim as the NASL's best goalscorer time and time again, all while nursing a chip the size of Minnesota that sat firmly upon his shoulders.
The Olympics in Rio 2016 kick off their games on Wednesdaywith women's soccer, even before the opening ceremony and the lighting of the torch. However, the day is set to be chock full of plenty of club team action as well.
Olympic hosts Brazil face off against China in the first round of games.
Minnesota United have produced a cracking little video to explain just why their goalkeeper, Sammy Ndjock, chucked the ball directly into his own net in a pre-season friendly against Bournemouth in midweek.
It transpires that, as per the video, the Cameroonian 'keeper was innocently preparing himself a jam sandwich in the minutes leading up to kick-off.
After managing to wrench himself away from the glitz and glamour of Coventry, Joe Cole joined Tampa Bay Rowdies down in the second tier of the North American football pile back in May.
Now aged 34, Cole defied his iffy knees and creaking hips to prove he can still mix it with the younglings by popping up to stick away a neat little overhead bicycle kick during Saturday's 3-0 win over Puerto Rico FC in the NASL.
After Spain took home the crown four years ago, a new champion will be named on Sunday at the Euro 2016 final.
Host nation France and Portugal will meet for the title match at the European Championship, asLes Bleus seek their third Euro championship. Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal look for their first major tournament trophy.
The champion of Europe will be decided this Sunday when Euro 2016 hosts France meet Portugal.
A Seleçãoearned the spot after a 2-0 win over Wales on Wednesday, while France earned the same result over Germany on Thursday thanks to a brace from the tournament's top goalscorer Antoine Griezmann.
A flurry of action in the United States takes center stage on Saturday, while Euro 2016 will name a third semifinalist.
Germany and Italy will look to book a ticket to the Euro 2016 semifinals on Saturday, with either France or Iceland looming. The two sides have only conceded one combined goal entering their quarterfinals clash.
Cinderella is wearing red and gold to the ball this year.
The Ft. Lauderdale Strikers kept their improbable run in the U.S. Open Cup going on Wednesday night thanks to a dramatic winner seconds before the end of extra time. Brazilian defender Victor Giro, also known as PC, came up with the decisive goal in the 120th minute to push the Strikers to a 2-1 road win over Orlando City in a Round of 16bout at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
A number of mid-table clubs are poised to make big jumps toward the top four with wins this weekend, while the race at the top also heats up. With New York Cosmos undefeated at home, the reigning championshave a good chance to challenge FC Edmonton for the top spot in the Fall Season.
Leicester City's Christian Fuchs remembers the first time he saw New York City. Merely a tourist, hewas awe-struck, a bit overwhelmed, as he gazed upon the bright lights and monstrous skyscrapers. But after adopting the city as a second home, Fuchs is now looking to continue his post-Premier League career in the Big Apple.
There's always a lot of soccer news to digest, and today is no different. Let's jump right in.
Buzzard Point Stadium Construction Photo Update - Black And Red United: For all the worryworts and naysayers out there, here is proof that there is actual, measurable work being doing towards a stadium at Buzzard Point.
It's a fate you wouldn't wish on even your mortalest of enemies, but Ramon del Campo of Puerto Rico FC suffered a gruesome, full-tilt Phil Babbing in his side's 3-0 loss against Miami FC in the US second tier at the weekend.
In a desperate attempt to prevent Miami striker Dario Cvitanich from rolling one into an open net, Del Campo went hurtling back to cover the vacant goal only to be immediately leftwishing he hadn't bothered when he gave himself an impromptu DIY vasectomy.
Olympic soccer takes centerstage for a pair of semifinals, while the Spanish Super Cup and UEFA Champions League qualifiers return on Wednesday afternoon.
Neymar and Brazil look to continue their pursuit of a gold medal on Wednesday in a semifinal clash with Honduras with a bit of added pressure following the Brazil's loss to Sweden in Tuesday's women's semifinal.
The Jacksonville Armada have struggled throughout the NASL season, and those struggles have cost Tony Meola his jobless than a year into his tenure with the club.
Currently 11th in both the Fall and Combined standings, the Armada announced on Sunday that the club has parted ways with Meola, who joined the team in November 2015 as head coach and technical director.