By DAN KARELL
Just as Major League Soccer has caught the expansion bug in recent seasons, the North American Soccer League has confirmed that they’ll grow from seven teams at the start of the 2013 season to 13 teams by the 2015 season.
On Thursday at the NASL Board of Governors meeting in Dallas, Texas, the NASL announced that they approved new teams in Oklahoma City and Jacksonville to join the league in the spring of 2015.
“We are delighted to be expanding to two cities that clearly have a passion for soccer, where we believe local fans will be excited to welcome our newest teams,” NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson said in a statement on NASL.com. “We have considered expansion to cities that meet specific criteria and most importantly have strong ownership groups that will provide a long and stable future for the NASL in those markets, which we clearly have in both Jacksonville and Oklahoma City.”
The Oklahoma City soccer project is lead by Tim McLaughlin, a local businessman, who has already secured a location for the team, Taft Stadium. The Jacksonville soccer project was organized by the Sunshine Soccer Group and their CEO Mark Frisch, as well as former FC Dallas goalkeeper Dario Sala.
NASL welcomes Indy Eleven in Indianapolis, the Virginia Cavalry in Ashburn, Virginia, and the Ottawa Fury in Ottawa as expansion clubs in 2014.
What do you think of this news? Excited to see soccer spreading into non-traditional soccer markets? Do you see those cities supporting the soccer clubs well?
Share your thoughts below.