Ever since Sports Illustrated reported Wednesday about a major shakeup in the North American Soccer League, the reverberations have been felt from New York to San Francisco.
The report indicated two clubs, the Ottawa Fury and the Tampa Bay Rowdies seemed destine to move to the United Soccer League, while another two, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Rayo OKC were shown to be in financial trouble. All this on the heels of Minnesota United’s move to MLS, has resulted in speculation that the league might not survive.
All this has led local soccer fans to wonder what this means for the San Francisco Deltas, who are expected to begin NASL play in 2017. Ricardo Stanford-Geromel the Deltas’ Director of Community Outreach, previously worked for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, and helped bring together the club’s current ownership, the same group who recently stopped funding the team and reportedly put them up for sale.
We reached out to the club and Deltas’ CEO, Brian Helmick released this statement:
We have a core group of strong owners and there is a lot of potential.
I believe there are things the league should have done differently in the past and we’re actually really focused on getting aligned around our vision and what are the alternatives in the future. Expect to see differences in how we operate.
In fact, next week we are getting together for our first ever League Summit. We’ve been working on putting this Summit together for over a month with an incredible group of consultants that have worked with companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google.
Our focus will be on the future path and how we can do what is best for fans, players, and the sport in the US in general. We want to do it in a collaborative way with the USSF, MLS, and USL. In my humble opinion, we all love this sport and there are lots of opportunities to collaborate.
We have a solid core group of owners and I’m confident in the exciting things that will be ahead.
Since the news hit, social media has been rife with idle speculation. One representative of another Bay Area team, indecorously suggested that Deltas’ investors should be very worried.
However, should the NASL indeed fold, the club is not without options. A move to the United Soccer League (USL) would set the stage for a great San Francisco-Sacramento rivalry with the Republic.
But at press time, the NASL was still standing, and the Deltas are moving forward. Our meetings with Helmick and Stanford-Geromel, reveal them to be bright and capable individuals, so we wouldn’t count the Deltas or the NASL out just yet.