NASL UPDATE: AC STL SURVIVES, FC EDMONTON TAKES SHAPE, MONTREAL & VANCOUVER RETURN TO ACTION

NASL UPDATE: AC STL SURVIVES, FC EDMONTON TAKES SHAPE, MONTREAL & VANCOUVER RETURN TO ACTION

St. Louis Financial Situation

AC St. Louis has survived financial crisis, for now anyway, possibly at the expense of it’s Women’s Professional Soccer counter part St. Louis Athletica.

Bonds were issued to secure the payroll of the NASL team, but the 2009 WPS runners-up Athletica have folded roughly two weeks after the main London investors of both St. Louis teams stopped the funding, that left the team almost $1 million in debt and unable to cover it’s payroll and operations, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“We looked at a few options as a league together with our Board and U.S. Soccer, but the operational hurdles and finances just didn’t work out,” WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci said in a statement. “In the face of a severe funding gap in St. Louis, the local ownership group is shutting down the team at this point.”

“The termination of Saint Louis Athletica is a painful outcome from the funding shortfalls and ultimate default by the investors who had the obligation to fund and operate the team on a day-to-day basis,” Cooper said in a statement. “The investors who defaulted on a contract to fund Athletica through this season and beyond broke a promise to a league, team, players and a community, and that is what is most troubling about today’s development.”

Those London Investors, Heemal and Sanjeev Vaid joined Athletica founder Jeff Cooper as co-owners in December when they formed a partnership agreement with parent company St. Louis Soccer United and so became directors of AC St. Louis.

The Vaid brothers, according to sources, have been experiencing financial problems with their other businesses.

AC STL will travel to Minnesota tonight in NASL action.

Vancouver and Montreal Return to League Action Empty Handed

The Vancouver Whitecaps could only manage a 1-1 draw on Wednesday against NASL Counterparts Montreal Impact in the 2010 Nutrilite Canadian Championship, when they needed a win to stay alive in the tournament.

Montreal, who won the 2008 edition of the tournament, had already been eliminated.

The consequence is that both teams returned to League action this weekend, knowing that they emerge from the toughest part of their schedule at the top of the NASL table heading into the weekend at the top of the NASL standings.

Vancouver, who leads the NASL Conference with 12 points from 7 matches, will visit Rochester who has just 2 wins in 10 matches, tonight before heading to Toronto for the final match of the NCC on Wednesday. A match they will be contesting for pride alone, but that shouldn’t affect their preparations for the Rochester match, according to head coach Teitur Thordarson.

“Everyone may be a little bit down after the Montreal result, but once we start preparing for Saturday’s game against Rochester, I’m sure everyone will be focused on the task at hand.” Thordarson told the team’s website. “If we can keep our game up to the level that we have been playing recently, we will certainly create goal chances in Rochester.”

Montreal will host Carolina Rail Hawks, a team that trails them by three points in the standings, at Saputo Stadium on Sunday.  The match will be the teams first match in two games that has any meaning. The last two were a 1-0 friendly win against Serie A side Fiorentina and then the Wednesday NCC match in a competition they had already been eliminated from.

“We will face a very organized team, which in terms of ball possession, is perhaps second to best in the league after the Impact,” said Impact head coach Marc Dos Santos. “We will therefore need to be at our best. After playing two games without real stakes, we now have three points to clinch on Sunday.”

Meanwhile, across town, grass was installed at Olympic Stadium ahead of the Impacts summer friendly match against Italian giants AC Milan on June 2nd.

FC Edmonton Begins to Take Shape

The North American Soccer League’s next Canadian team began to take shape this week as they prepare for their 2011 NASL debut.

Not only did FC Edmonton release a brief schedule that includes English team Portsmouth in their of matches for the summer, but announced their roster as well. The 2010 roster includes 15 players from Alberta as well as three Dutch players and two Brazilians. One of the Brazilians, 22-year-old Neto Miguel, will attend the University of Alberta next semester.

“I came here with my parents from Brazil and then I started going to school,” Miguel told the Toronto Sun “It’s different, the culture and the cold. We got used to that. It’s different, but I love this country.”

The 2010 Schedule for FC Edmonton will include the Montreal Impact who they will face in NASL action in 2011 as well as the 2011 Nutrilite Canadian Championship for the Voyageurs Cup. The team will also play Portsmouth FC, recently relegated from the Premier League.

FC Edmonton Schedule

(All matches to be played at Foote Field)

June 16 vs Montreal Impact NASL

July 6 vs Ottawa Fury USL Premier Development League

July 21 vs Portsmouth FC English League Championship

Aug. 11: Victoria Highlanders USL Premier Development League

Aug. 15: Spokane Spiders USL Premier Development League

Aug. 28: Miami FC NASL

FC Edmonton 2010 Roster

Jas Gill, Goalkeeper, Edmonton

Rein Baart, Goalkeeper, Angerlo, Netherlands

Tristan Ilko, Goalkeeper, Edmonton

Andre Duberry, Defender, Calgary

Antonio Rago, Defender, Edmonton

Daylan Meyer, Defender, Calgary

Neto Miguel, Defender, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Niko Saler, Defender, Lethbridge

Paul Hamilton, Defender, Calgary

Sander van Gessel, Defender, Breda, Netherlands

Chris Kooy, Midfielder, Calgary

Chris Lemire, Midfielder, Edmonton

Paul Matthijs, Midfielder, Eelde, Netherlands

Sam Lam, Midfielder, Edmonton

Shaun Saiko, Midfielder, Edmonton

Thiago Silva, Midfielder, Brasilia, Brazil

Kenny Sacramento, Striker, Winnipeg

Kyle Yamada, Striker, Calgary

Marcus Johnstone, Striker, Edmonton

Michael Cox, Striker, Calgary

Milan Timotijevic, Striker, Calgary

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