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The Daily Dirt, November 17: Underneath

Catch your breath after a crazy last few days...

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Sporting KC at Minnesota United Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

If you need a podcast fix this morning, check out the new edition of the Peachtree Post. There has been so much stuff going on, it just couldn’t wait until Friday.

One thing that Jarrett and I was not able to get into on the show was new issues in the NASL. Take a look:

This is in addition to similar reports out of Rayo OKC. The league has some tough decisions to make with these two teams. This is not a surprise that these two are struggling, but reports of staff and players not getting paid is a huge black eye for the league.

The newly redesigned NASL.com shows eleven clubs’ logos at the top of the page. Minnesota and Tampa have already been removed. Ottawa remains, not sure if that means anything other than their departure has not been approved by the Canadian Soccer Association yet. A worst case scenario with Fort Lauderdale and OKC going under would leave the league with eight teams in 2017.

If I had to make an early prediction, I think the league will come together to support one of these teams, but likely not both. There has been talk of Rayo OKC taking an official leave of absence. Let them do that and have Fort Lauderdale be funded by the other league owners. It is a heritage brand for the league and would at least stop the bleeding of teams. They would be the new Silverbacks.

As someone who has watched teams fold far too often over the last two decades, I hope that a resolution can be found. There is much to do in the lower divisions of U.S. Soccer to get some needed stability. The launch of the NASL and setting high standards for its teams was a giant step in the right direction six years ago. Hopefully, the league and its teams can find a path to survival.


Domestic

Zac MacMath relishing the opportunity to lead the Rapids to MLS Cup (MLS)

Montreal vs. Toronto series a landmark moment for Canadian soccer (Sportsnet)

Columbus Crew interested in Omar Gonzalez (Massive Report)

International

Hoffenheim confirm that they sign players based of Football Manager scouting (Daily Mail)

Klopp tries to fight off Barcelona interest in Coutinho (FourFourTwo)

Local

The University of Georgia’s men’s club team is thriving under student leadership (Red & Black)