The latest North American Soccer League expansion announcement is expected next week, according to the league's commissioner, Bill Peterson. Peterson said the following at the Web Summit in Dublin, confirming that we'll have news shortly, but without confirming where that club will be located:
"We've announced Miami and Puerto Rico and we'll actually announce one next week. We'll do that and probably maybe one more. So probably 15 or 16 by the end of this year and then we're closing in on 20, probably, by next year. So it's pretty good for five years."
The NASL needs a west coast presence, but the latest rumors would suggest that we're likely to see expansion to a city such as Boston or Detroit. Chicago has also been strongly linked to NASL expansion, but all of the rumors thus far have suggested that it will be an American ownership group in place when that club does launch.
Peterson also got into how much easier it is to expand, with interest from both American and European ownership groups:
"Now we've got high net worth Americans who understand the power of soccer and want to be involved in soccer. And then we've got a little bit of a push now from clubs from around the world who realize that we're structured like they are and we could be part of a global system of clubs that they have. It fits in with some of their player desires and also some of their branding stuff."
"Then there's other high net worth people from around the world that love soccer and realize 'Oh, with NASL I own the team, I own my rosters... I want to get involved in that.'"
Next weeks announcement is rumored to involve a club in Europe, with overseas ownership groups expected to be involved in several other upcoming projects as well. I'm looking forward to seeing where the league is heading next.