What will happen with the Timbers?

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What will happen with the Timbers?

Post by Geezaldinho on Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:30 pm

I mean now.

Nike, which owns the United Soccer Leagues, is getting out of the business. They want to sell of the whole shebang, which includes USL-1, (the league the Timbers play in) USL-2, the PDL, the W league, the Super-20 league, and the Super Y-League. They bought the leagues in the Umbro deal and decided they don't want them.

At one time, there was discussion of using the USL-1 as a relegation league for the MLS, (FIFA would love this) But the MLS is an Addidas league, so that will never happen. The possibility looms that the Timbers won't have a league to play in before they become the next MLS franchise. Further, I'll bet part of Merrit Paulson's buyin to the MLS was to be paid for with the sale proceeds for the USL_1 franchise.


Though FIFA wants a relegation league like every other association in the World has, the MLS hates the idea, which would devalue the franchises they are trying so hard to sell.

read more at NYTimes Soccer

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Re: What will happen with the Timbers?

Post by onetouchfutbol on Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:08 pm

Wow. I've wondered how the USL generates a profit for a long time. I'd tend to agree with those who feel like Nike did not do a good job of promoting the league. Only the hardcore fans knew that Romario was playing for Miami.

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Re: What will happen with the Timbers?

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:29 pm

I have a feeling, just a hunch, that there will be a USL in 2010. After that, who knows? Two of its strongest clubs (in a business sense) will be moving to MLS in 2011, leaving Montreal as the biggest club in the USL (and there are rumors MLS may let them in in 2012), two or three others like Rochester, Charleston, and Carolina that have decent support, and 5 or so that are just scraping by.

When John Strong says on the radio that the only real home field advantage in the USL is in Portland, it goes both ways--the Timbers have incredible supporters, of course, but it also reflects on the struggles of some other clubs.

The thing is, the USL has been a place for players to gain the experience and exposure they need to move up to MLS and other leagues. Soccer in the US needs a league like USL.

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Re: What will happen with the Timbers?

Post by DaTruRochin on Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:34 pm

Agreed that the USL is a necessary component for a successful soccer hierarchy in the states, but not exactly a great time period to be up for sale...

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Re: What will happen with the Timbers?

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:51 pm

Done deal w/ a company called NuRock:
http://www.uslsoccer.com/home/359940.html

Google away...

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Re: What will happen with the Timbers?

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:33 pm

The plot thickens. This was linked on Talk Timbers today:

http://railhawksreport.blogspot.com/2009/08/toa-reaction-to-usl-sale.html

A group of USL team owners are not happy about the sale of the league to a real-estate developer (yes, really, a developer). They are making noise about waiting before committing to play in the USL next year. Interestingly, this group includes Vancouver, who will be moving to MLS in 2011. The Timbers have not said anything about this one way or another.

Watch this space...

And this thread, but also watch for the occasional language:
http://www.soccercityusa.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?num=1250524846/49#49

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Re: What will happen with the Timbers?

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:19 pm

I'm bumping this because I read something interesting from the admin at the Timbers board today. She said if you go to the USL official website, the links for Carolina, Minnesota, and Miami have been removed. These are three of the clubs who are not happy with the USL ownership situation and want to form their own league.

She also found a post on a Minnesota Thunder fan blog stating that the players from those three clubs were informed by the USL that they had been released from their contracts (I was not aware the USL could terminate a contract between a club and a player...).

http://www.insidemnsoccer.com/2009/10/03/usl-releases-players-from-contracts-for-minnesota-carolina-and-miami-fc/

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Re: What will happen with the Timbers?

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:23 pm

I just hope this doesn't all blow up on the Timber's MLS plans.

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Re: What will happen with the Timbers?

Post by VillaGorilla on Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:24 pm

I don't think this will affect the MLS 2011 plan, but it could leave us without anything to watch in 2010.


Last edited by VillaGorilla on Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:24 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

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Re: What will happen with the Timbers?

Post by DaTruRochin on Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:57 pm

Oh dear... Haha I can only imagine what some of those TA types will resort to if they don't have their regular footie fix. Haha... Perhaps invade Delta Park youth matches?? That could get ugly quickly.

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Re: What will happen with the Timbers?

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:33 pm

VillaGorilla wrote:I don't think this will affect the MLS 2011 plan, but it could leave us without anything to watch in 2010.
If the five clubs really do leave (and good luck with forming your breakaway league), there would be 6 left from this year. Tampa and New York are joining USL next year, so there would be 8 teams in USL-1. Not ideal, but the Timbers would only have to live with it for a year. What would be strange is having your defending champion not even be in your league the next season. It could happen since Vancouver is facing Montreal in the final. There's a lot more that will happen in the offseason, though, I'm sure.

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Re: What will happen with the Timbers?

Post by DaTruRochin on Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:50 pm

It is going to be a very interesting off season indeed. I wonder if any of the USL-2 or PDL teams will move up to bring the league #s up...

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Re: What will happen with the Timbers?

Post by onetouchfutbol on Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:12 pm

Geezaldinho wrote:I just hope this doesn't all blow up on the Timber's MLS plans.

Being an outsider looking in, I just don't see how that would happen. The Timbers will likely have a designated player, a top draft choice in the Superdraft, and rights to a number of USL players (even those who aren't on their team) in the MLS just like Seattle did. Plus, their attendance will be very good from the beginning.

Although the USL is important for the growth of US soccer, I don't see how the league can continue to be financially sustainable with the future loss of the west coast rivalries (Seattle, Portland, Vancouver). Those three franchises along with Toronto will likely lead the MLS in attendance for years to come. In my opinion, the future of the MLS involves expanding the league and keeping it financially stable and hopefully gradually increasing the payrolls little by little until the teams can better compete with Europe and lure better players.

The success of the Seattle franchise showed that having lots of little leagues and players per capita (greater Seattle has about 11,000 teams, I believe) means more fan support, and Portland definitely fits the bill as well.

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Re: What will happen with the Timbers?

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:18 pm

Well, after another month of threatening, negotiating, and namecalling there will be two leagues next year:

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=697287&sec=us&cc=5901&campaign=rss&source=soccernet

I'll be glad to leave this nonsense behind after 2010.

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Re: What will happen with the Timbers?

Post by DaTruRochin on Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:04 pm

Yeah... No fan should have to worry if their team is even going to have someone to play against, let alone play at all... yeesh...

It's weird to think the MLS is a model league for financial stability for the rest of the world.

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Re: What will happen with the Timbers?

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:20 pm

Done deal. After USSF told the two sides to make nice, at last we have peace in our time. Let's welcome USSF Division 2:

USL Conference
Portland Timbers
Austin Aztex
Minnesota Thunder
Puerto Rico Islanders
Rochester Raging Rhinos
Tampa Bay Rowdies

NASL Conference
Crystal Palace Baltimore
Carolina RailHawks
Miami FC
Montreal Impact
AC St. Louis
Vancouver Whitecaps

All the clubs still play each other in this alignment. Now I just have to wait for the season to start.

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