On Thursday, I got up with RailHawks predsident Brian Wellman about the recent news that NASL had re-submitted its bid for Division 2 sanctioning with two extra teams. NASL concluded its recent meeting in Tampa last week.
I've posted the audio in two parts from that interview, since I'm sure there are several questions among the minds of D2 fans across the country. I want those answers to be as clear as possible, and there's nothing more clear than posting the entire interview online.
A few short points before you listen (or for those of you who are too ansty to sit through eight minutes of audio):
- Wellman's definitely a fan of Atlanta returning to Division 2. He gives us some insight as to how Atlanta seemingly joined out of nowhere. As it turns out, the Silverbacks have been waiting the past two years getting ready for this move.
- AC St. Louis wasn't added to the bid because nothing has been finalized yet with the franchise's search for investors. If a deal is finalized before NASL starts putting together its schedule for next year, then St. Louis will likely join. As Wellman said "the more teams, the better." He adds "they can show on the radar anytime if that sell goes through."
- He says that the first bid was submitted with just the six teams that he knew were on firm ground so the USSF could do "due dillegence" to those six first. He said it was communicated to the USSF that NASL would finish off the list at a later date.
- Wellman says the USSF will have its end-of-the-year meeting soon, and hopes that NASL will hear back around that time. The only other USSF meeting is in February — which would be too late for a ruling — and the U.S. will be spending most of December trying to get a World Cup bid for 2022. So with that in mind, Wellman thinks it won't be long to hear if NASL is sanctioned for next season.
- A former minority owner from the Austin Aztex — the franchise was moved to Orlando to become a Division 3 franchise — was at the NASL meeting. Although he shouldn't be looked at as a person who could be a primary owner, he is involved with the Austin community and hopes to have a franchise there in the future. "Austin remains on the radar," Wellman said.
- San Antonio owners were said to have contributed "heavily" at the recent NASL meetings. San Antonio will play in 2012 as an expansion NASL franchise.
- There's a mystery franchise that NASL has agreed in principle to start play in 2013. Wellman said he could not make that official yet.
- Wellman says there are "three or four" other markets that NASL is currently targeting.
- Crystal Palace Baltimore was at the USSF D2 meetings. They will not play in 2011 but hope to be ready to go in 2012.