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The Daily Dirt, November 30: NASL meetings continue today

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Can the league find a route to survival?

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Soccer: Carolina Railhawks at New York Cosmos Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The saga of the North American Soccer League could come to a resolution today as they conclude their Board of Governors’ meetings in Atlanta. Will the league continue to press on, will they seek some form a merger with USL, will U.S. Soccer get involved, or will they crumble over financial struggles of a number of its clubs?

Rumors spread like wildfire yesterday about the viability of the New York Cosmos moving forward. When the discussion around the current league champions revolves around staff furloughs and late payments to players, it is a definite black eye for the league. Cosmos leadership denied that they are leaving the NASL, but the rumors persist for now.

Michael Lewis of Big Apple Soccer reported that USL executives Alec Papadakis and Jake Edwards were on hand for the NASL meeting, along with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati. Connecting the dots, this likely means that the leagues and federation are trying to find a way for the viable clubs to survive. If the Cosmos were to leave the NASL, there does not seem to be a way forward.

My biggest question around this is the role of Miami FC’s Riccardo Silva. He has invested heavily in his club and bigger ideas around the sport. Would he want to continue that in USL? Would he be willing to play the old role of Traffic Sports and prop up other NASL clubs to keep the league afloat?

Peter Wilt, who was the GM of Indy Eleven and is now heading up an expansion effort in Chicago, tweeted this yesterday afternoon:

It is the famous Mark Twain quote, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Four new investment groups were reportedly presenting pitches to the league yesterday as well. Maybe there is a lifeline out there for the NASL, but it will have to reveal itself very quickly.

A new chapter of the saga is likely to emerge today, stay tuned...


Domestic

Previewing tonight’s Eastern Conference final between Toronto and Montreal (Waking the Red)

A roundup of the rumors and speculation on the state of the New York Cosmos (This Is Cosmos Country)

U.S. Soccer’s Sunil Gulati and executives from the USL part of the NASL Board of Governors meeting in Atlanta yesterday (Big Apple Soccer)

Adrian Heath introduced as the new manager of Minnesota United (E Pluribus Loonum)

Manny Lagos and new manager Adrian Heath are scouting in South America for Minnesota United (MLS)

Steve Birnbaum has reportedly signed a new contract with D.C. United (Black and Red United)

Orlando City submits plans for signage in their new stadium (Orlando Sentinel)

Don Garber praises the progress of FC Cincinnati in their chase to join MLS (Cincinnati Enquirer)

MLS’ Mark Abbott says that SC STL is the only contender for an expansion club (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Bruce Arena open to a return to the national team for Benny Feilhaber (Stars and Stripes FC)

International

More on Celtic targeting Orlando’s Cyle Larin (Daily Record)

Bolton Wanderers’ players are paid late this month (Telegraph)