Remember back when there were reports that the North American Soccer League was set to announce an expansion team in Los Angeles?
That was back in November and December 2014 and two media members pretty well connected to the league publicly said an announcement was imminent.
The 2015 season is nearly over, though, and no LA team was announced. And two expansion sites that were previously announced, in Oklahoma City and Virginia, were scrapped with no announcement other than a quick acknowledgment to that effect by NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson earlier this year.
For anyone expecting a Southern California team announcement, however, all of the chatter has died down. The next piece of evidence comes from reports on the NASL's Board of Governor's meeting this week:
#Detroit #OKC & #SanFran are 3 cities "presenting" to #NASL Board of Governors with hopes of joining league by 2017. Decision Mon or Tues— Sulaiman Folarin (@sulaiman4real) September 28, 2015
While it's theoretically possible LA could come back to life behind the scenes, that there's no talk of Southern California in the next round of expansion means it's pretty much dead. And of course, just because Detroit, Oklahoma City and San Francisco are presenting to the league doesn't mean they'll be let in.
All things considered, it probably doesn't make a ton of sense for Los Angeles to get an NASL team anyway. I would submit that it could maybe work in greater SoCal away from LA, whether that's as far north as Santa Barbara, down in San Diego, or well to the east in San Bernardino or Riverside Counties, but with the LA Galaxy in existence, LAFC coming in a few years, a USL team in the area, and attendance concerns, occasional or permanent, with all of those clubs, bringing one more to the mix may not make much sense. And of course, having a team at any level is predicated on an owner with money to keep the operation afloat.
NASL is still looking to expand to the West Coast, so if they did approve San Francisco's bid, they would finally stretch coast-to-coast, and that need to go all the way out west, even under the cloud of a rumored lawsuit against U.S. Soccer over the regulations for the league, does raise the possibility of a California team, somewhere in the state, getting fast-tracked to establish a presence. But for those of you holding out hope it would be in Los Angeles, that seems pretty much dead at this point.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!