|Founded||November 10, 2009|
|Other club(s) from||Canada, Puerto Rico|
|Number of teams||7-12|
|Level on pyramid||2|
|Domestic cup(s)||U.S. Open Cup|
Copa Luis Villarejo
|Last champions||San Francisco Deltas |
|Most championships||New York Cosmos (3 titles)|
The North American Soccer League (NASL) was a professional men's soccer based in the United States. The league was named for, but had no connection to, the original North American Soccer League. The later NASL was founded in 2009, and began play in 2011 with eight teams, following a 2010 season that saw NASL and USL teams play in a combined temporary Division II league.
From 2013 through 2017, the NASL used a split-season schedule running from April to early November, with a four-week break in July. The spring and fall champions, along with the two teams with best combined spring/fall records met in a four-team single-elimination tournament known as The Championship. The winner of the final claimed the Soccer Bowl trophy. While there was no promotion and relegation with other leagues, former commissioner Bill Peterson repeatedly stated that the league had an interest in introducing promotion and relegation to the pyramid.
During its seven seasons of play from 2011 to 2017, it was sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation (U.S. Soccer) as a Division II league in the United States soccer league system, under Major League Soccer (MLS) and alongside United Soccer League (formerly USL Pro). However, U.S. Soccer denied the league Division II status for 2018, as the NASL did not meet the sanctioning criteria, and the NASL appealed the ruling. After initially postponing the 2018 season, the league was denied a preliminary injunction to prevent the loss of its Division II sanctioning and announced it had canceled its 2018 season and hoped to return for a 2019 season. By July 2018, the league pushed back its potential return to the 2020 season. In November 2018, two of the four remaining NASL clubs announced that they would launch a new professional league in 2019 associated with the National Premier Soccer League and the NASL effectively became defunct.
The NASL was owned and operated by its member teams through the board of governors. The board consisted of a representative from each member team. The board oversaw the league rules and regulations, and governed the expansion and commercial strategy of the league.
NASL had no official tie to the former NASL that operated from 1968 to early 1985. Several of the modern NASL teams, however, operated in cities where the former NASL had teams. In particular, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Tampa Bay Rowdies, and New York Cosmos clubs shared the same names and similar jersey designs as their original-NASL predecessors. The league had expressed its affinity to the earlier league, in fact inviting participation from their AGM Phil Woosnam, who wrote them a kind letter wishing their success in the new league. The New York Cosmos had been particularly mindful of respecting the Cosmos' legacy, involving former players at all levels of the organization.
NASL did not have a salary cap. NASL limited active rosters to 30 players and limited teams to seven foreign players. NASL teams occupied stadiums that were generally smaller than those of Major League Soccer.
NASL teams augmented their revenues by signing sponsorship deals. For example, the NY Cosmos landed Emirates Airlines as a jersey sponsor, FC Edmonton signed Sears Financial as a jersey sponsor, and the North Carolina FC had Blue Cross as their jersey sponsor.
The NASL began playing a split-season format in 2013. Similar to Liga MX, Central, and South American leagues, the schedule consisted of two competitions, Spring and Fall, with the winner of the Spring season earning the right to host the Fall champion in a one-game playoff, the Soccer Bowl. In 2014 the postseason was altered again with the introduction of The Championship: The NASL Spring Season and Fall Season champions were joined in the semi-finals of The Championship by the two clubs with the next best overall records from both seasons combined. The semi-final winners competed in The Championship Final, with "Soccer Bowl" being the name of the trophy itself. The NASL Spring Season and Fall Season champions would each host a semi-final. The number one seed was awarded to whichever of the Spring or Fall champions posts the better combined regular season record. The number three and number four seeds were awarded to the next two clubs with the best overall records from both seasons combined. Clubs will retain their seeding throughout the postseason. The top-seeded semi-final winner hosted The Championship final. If the same club won both seasons, the clubs with the second, third and fourth best overall records from both seasons combined qualified for The Championship.
The Spring Season ran from early April until July 4, and following a one-month break, the Fall season ran from early August until early November.
The split-season model had several intended benefits for NASL. A break in July that coincides with the international transfer window allowed teams to acquire (or sell) players during the summer, providing ample time for new players to become acquainted with their new club and league. Secondly, NASL teams could use this break to generate additional revenue by hosting international friendlies or going on tour. In prior NASL seasons, the competition featured 8 teams playing a 28-game regular season schedule, with 14 home and 14 away matches, meeting each opponent four times. The playoffs consisted of the top six clubs, with the first and second-ranked teams receiving a bye until the semi-final round. The bottom four competed in a knockout round before advancing to the semi-finals. Both the semi-final and the final rounds were played over two-legs, the winner advancing on aggregate goals.
Similar to other American sports leagues (and unlike many European soccer leagues), NASL did not have automatic promotion or relegation for its member clubs. The champion of Division II NASL was not promoted to Division I Major League Soccer, and the team finishing last in NASL was not relegated. There were occasional opportunities, however, for successful teams in Divisions II and III that meet specific criteria (most critically, financial) to join MLS as an expansion team, as the Montreal Impact did following the 2011 season and Orlando City SC in the 2015 season from the USL Pro.
The Woosnam Cup was created before the 2013 season by a group of twenty-one NASL supporters groups, and was intended to be awarded to the team with the highest season points total in order to recognize excellent play on the field throughout the entire year. It replaced the regular season champion trophy that was awarded by the league itself in 2011 and 2012. Previous winners were retroactively recognized on the group's website, which recognized its last winner after the 2014 season.
NASL teams also occasionally play in international competitions, most notably in the CONCACAF Champions League. The best Division II team performances to date were in the 2008-09 Champions League, when the Puerto Rico Islanders reached the semi-finals and the then-Division II Montreal Impact reached the quarterfinal round. NASL teams also play in the aforementioned international friendlies during the league's summer break.
Teams playing in the NASL have represented three separate CONCACAF members, the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. NASL's U.S. based teams played in the U.S. Open Cup, the winner of which provides one of the four US representatives in the CONCACAF Champions League. Division II teams have had some success in Cup play since MLS began, most notably in 1999 when the Rochester Rhinos won the title. Charleston Battery also reached the final in 2008, conceding the championship to D.C. United. NASL did not participate in the 2011 U.S. Open Cup during the league's first season, but joined the tournament in 2012 to some success as the Carolina RailHawks reached the quarterfinals that year. In 2014, both the Carolina RailHawks and the Atlanta Silverbacks reached the Open Cup quarterfinals. The league's Canadian teams, FC Edmonton and Ottawa Fury FC, participated in the Canadian Championship. This tournament consists of the Canadian Soccer Association's professional clubs, the winner representing Canada in the CONCACAF Champions League. The Puerto Rico Islanders were invited to participate in the CFU Club Championship by the Caribbean Football Union representing Puerto Rico, participation in which allowed them to also enter the Champions League.
On August 27, 2009, multi-national sports company Nike agreed to sell its stake in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) to Rob Hoskins and Alec Papadakis of Atlanta-based NuRock Soccer Holdings, instead of to the USL Team Owner's Association (TOA), a group comprising the owners of several USL First Division clubs and St. Louis Soccer United. After the purchase, several prominent TOA members began to voice their concerns about the state of the league in general, its management structure and ownership model, the leadership of USL president Francisco Marcos, and about the sale of the league to NuRock, which the TOA felt was counter-productive and detrimental to the development of the league.
Within several weeks, a number of TOA member clubs threatened to break away from USL and start their own league. On November 10, 2009, six USL-1 clubs along with St. Louis applied for approval to create a new North American Division 2 league. On November 20, 2009, one team from both USL-1 and USL-2 announced their intentions to join the new league, taking the membership of the new league to nine teams.
The official name of the league was announced on November 23, 2009. According to the official press release, the NASL name is intended to "pay respect to the players, coaches and leaders who were pioneers for men's professional soccer in North America, many of whom remain involved and committed to the growth of the game in various capacities throughout the U.S. and Canada".
The USL issued several press releases questioning the legality of the teams choosing to break away, suggesting that it considered litigation to protect its interests and those of the USL-1 teams from any breach of contract. The USL claimed that the NASL and the TOA ownership group was "interfering with USL-1 team owners that are contractually obligated to participate in the 2010 season" and "made several misleading statements in a variety of press releases to taint the reputation of USL and its long history of developing the sport of soccer."
NASL's inaugural season was expected to begin play in April 2010. However, after announcing that it would not sanction either the NASL or the USL First Division for 2010, U.S. Soccer announced in January 2010 that it would run a temporary USSF Division 2 Professional League for the 2010 season that included 12 teams from both the NASL and USL-1, putting the NASL on hold for at least a year.
Following the 2010 season, NASL admitted its member clubs to meet the new Division 2 standards set out by U.S. Soccer. The NASL was provisionally approved by U.S. Soccer on November 21, 2010. The provisional sanctioning was briefly revoked by U.S. Soccer in January 2011 due to the collapse of two of the ownership groups involved with NASL and serious questions about several others but was reinstated before the 2011 season.
David Downs was named league commissioner effective April 4, 2011. Downs had previously worked for ABC Sports where he had secured the US television rights to every World Cup from 1994 to 2014, worked for Univision, and had been Executive Director of the unsuccessful US Bid Committee to bring the 2022 FIFA World Cup to the United States. NASL began regular league play in April 2011 with eight members comprising former clubs from the USL First Division, the USL Second Division, plus expansion sides.
Downs resigned after the end of the 2012 season, citing a desire to return to his home in New York.Bill Peterson, formerly the Senior VP of AEG Sports and managing director of the Home Depot Center from 2000-2006, replaced Downs as commissioner. Peterson left the NASL in January 2017 and was replaced by Rishi Sehgal as Interim Commissioner.
In July 2013, NASL teams took advantage of the break afforded by the new split-season schedule to host several international friendlies, including several matches against Mexican, Brazilian, and Guatemalan teams, while the NY Cosmos traveled to London to play lower division English teams.
From the beginning of the league, Brazilian-based sports company Traffic Sports Marketing was heavily involved in its operations. Traffic was an early investor in four of the league's clubs, and the president of its American subsidiary, Aaron Davidson, also served as the chairman of the NASL's board of governors. Both Traffic and Davidson himself were implicated in the 2015 FIFA corruption case, and both would eventually plead guilty to racketeering, conspiracy, and wire-fraud conspiracy. Traffic Sports continued to hold a large amount of stock in the NASL until the league finally arranged for a sale to an unnamed buyer in November 2016.
This section needs to be updated.October 2016)(
In September 2015, NASL sent a letter to US Soccer president, Sunil Gulati, accusing US Soccer of antitrust violations should they adopt the proposed criteria for a sanctioned Division I soccer league. NASL took issue with three proposed changes: increasing the minimum stadium size to 15,000, increasing the minimum number of teams to 16, and changing the minimum population required in 75% of the teams from a population of 1 million to 2 million. NASL accused US Soccer of colluding with MLS to protect MLS's monopoly as the only Division I league in the United States.
In September 2017, it was reported that after having granted provisional Division II status to both the NASL and the MLS-backed United Soccer League in 2016, that US Soccer had voted to no longer pursue granting permanent Division II status to the NASL. NASL stated that it "does not believe that the federation acted in the best interest of the sport. U.S. Soccer's decision negatively affects many stakeholders in soccer: fans, players, coaches, referees, business partners, and the NASL club owners who have invested tens of millions of dollars promoting the sport. The decision also jeopardizes the thousands of jobs created by the NASL and its member clubs."
In response to U.S. Soccer's action, the NASL filed suit against U.S. Soccer on September 19, 2017. The decision to pursue the lawsuit was not unanimous among NASL clubs. FC Edmonton was not involved in the lawsuit, having "found out about the lawsuit over the telephone"; and North Carolina FC did not support the lawsuit. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ruled against the NASL's motion for a preliminary injunction on November 4, 2017, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied an appeal February 23, 2018.
Following its 2017 season, the NASL announced it would move to the "international calendar", playing from August through June. The announcement was met with skepticism, with commentators pointing out the difficulty in playing a winter schedule in northern markets such as New York or Indiana. Others characterized it as a desperation move, suggesting the change had more to do with the NASL not being able to field enough teams to play its regular spring schedule and that the league had not worked through the "logistical nightmare" of such a schedule change.
On February 27, 2018, the league announced that the 2018 season had been canceled in the wake of the court ruling. They were looking for ways to return in 2020. At that time, the New York Cosmos, Miami FC and Jacksonville Armada, chose to participate in the National Premier Soccer League for the 2018 season while the NASL's future was being determined.FC Edmonton briefly stopped operations before joining the newly-formed Canadian Premier League in advance of the 2019 inaugural season, while San Diego 1904 FC left the league and tried unsuccessfully to join the USL.
|Club||City||Stadium||Capacity||First season||Final season||Fate|
|Atlanta Silverbacks||Atlanta, Georgia||Atlanta Silverbacks Park||5,000||2011||2015||Folded|
|California United FC||Fullerton, California||Titan Stadium[i]||10,000||never played||Withdrew from NPSL Founders Cup before playing (2019)|
|FC Edmonton||Edmonton, Alberta||Clarke Stadium[ii]||5,000||2011||2017||Joined the CPL (2019)|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||Fort Lauderdale, Florida||Central Broward Stadium[ii]||20,450||2011||2016||Folded|
|Indy Eleven||Indianapolis, Indiana||Carroll Stadium[ii]||12,100||2014||2017||Joined the USL Championship|
|Jacksonville Armada FC||Jacksonville, Florida||Hodges Stadium[ii]||9,400||2015||2017||Joined the NPSL|
|Miami FC||Miami, Florida||Riccardo Silva Stadium[ii]||20,000||2016||2017||Joined the NPSL (2019); Joined the USL Championship (2020)|
|Minnesota United FC||Blaine, Minnesota (Minneapolis)||National Sports Center||8,500||2011||2016||Joined MLS|
|Montreal Impact||Montreal, Quebec||Saputo Stadium||13,034||2011||Joined MLS|
|New York Cosmos||Hempstead / Brooklyn, New York||James M. Shuart Stadium[ii] / MCU Park[iii]||11,929 / 7,000||Fall 2013||2017||Joined the NPSL Founders Cup (2019)|
|North Carolina FC||Cary, North Carolina (Raleigh)||Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park[i]||10,000||2011||2017||Joined the USL Championship|
|Oklahoma City FC||Yukon, Oklahoma (Oklahoma City)||Miller Stadium||6,000||never played||Abandoned|
|Ottawa Fury FC||Ottawa, Ontario||TD Place Stadium[ii]||24,000||2014||2016||Joined the USL Championship (2017); Desanctioned in 2019.|
Franchise rights transferred to Miami FC.
|Puerto Rico FC||Bayamón, Puerto Rico||Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium[i]||22,000||Fall 2016||2017||Folded|
|Puerto Rico Islanders||Bayamón, Puerto Rico||Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium||22,000||2011||2012||Folded|
|Rayo OKC||Yukon, Oklahoma (Oklahoma City)||Miller Stadium||6,000||2016||Folded|
|San Antonio Scorpions||San Antonio, Texas||Toyota Field||8,296||2012||2015||Folded|
|San Diego 1904 FC||San Diego, California||Torero Stadium[ii]||6,000||never played||Tried but failed to join the USL. Joined the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) in 2019.|
|San Francisco Deltas||San Francisco, California||Kezar Stadium[ii]||10,000||2017||Folded|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||St. Petersburg, Florida||Al Lang Stadium[iv]||7,227||2011||2016||Joined the USL Championship|
|Virginia Cavalry FC||Ashburn, Virginia||Edelman Financial Field[ii]||4,000||never played||Abandoned|
Club folded Club moved to MLS Club moved to USL Club moved to other league
With provisional approval from U.S. Soccer to begin play as a Division 2 league in 2011, eight clubs were officially confirmed to launch the inaugural season: Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, FC Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale Strikers (formerly Miami FC), Montreal Impact, NSC Minnesota Stars, Puerto Rico Islanders and FC Tampa Bay.
Four of these eight teams - the Carolina RailHawks, Miami FC, Minnesota United FC (formerly Minnesota Thunder/Stars) and Montreal Impact - played in the USL First Division in 2009, and were among the set of TOA teams that initiated the original breakaway from the USL. FC Tampa Bay had been scheduled to be a 2010 USL-1 expansion franchise, but switched to the NASL shortly after NASL was officially formed. The Atlanta Silverbacks played competitively in USL-1 in 2008, and spent 2009 on hiatus from the league prior to joining the NASL. FC Edmonton was an expansion team that was founded in 2010 and joined the Canadian Premier League in 2019 after suspending operations in late 2017. The Puerto Rico Islanders played in the USL in the 2010 season.
Several teams expected to join NASL did not play in NASL during the 2011 inaugural season. Crystal Palace Baltimore of the USL Second Division had planned to join the NASL, but announced in late 2010 that it would not play in NASL in 2011 due to a necessary restructuring. The Rochester Rhinos of the USL First Division joined NASL on November 30, 2009, but the Rhinos joined the new USL Pro and have played there since 2011.AC St. Louis, part of the initial TOA group that formed NASL, closed in late 2010 after only one season due to financial difficulties. The Vancouver Whitecaps did not play in NASL in 2011 because the Vancouver Whitecaps FC joined MLS in 2011. The Minnesota Thunder ceased operations due to financial problems, and were replaced by the NSC Minnesota Stars under different ownership.
On March 25, 2015, it was announced that founding team Minnesota would become a Major League Soccer expansion side in 2017.
The league continued with eight teams in 2012, losing one team and adding one team, with the Montreal Impact joining Major League Soccer and the San Antonio Scorpions joining NASL as an expansion side. The league played its 2013 spring season with seven teams, as the Puerto Rico Islanders suspended operations with uncertainty regarding a government subsidy. The New York Cosmos restored the league to eight teams when it joined for the fall 2013 season, playing its home games at Hofstra University's James M. Shuart Stadium.
NASL's expansion into New York marked the first time the league expanded into a city where an MLS team was already present, marking the beginning of a shift in NASL expansion strategy, with NASL later considering expanding into other large markets with MLS teams, such as the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC, and Los Angeles.
The NASL added two teams for the 2014 season: the Ottawa Fury FC and Indy Eleven of Indianapolis. The Ottawa Fury moved from the USL Premier Development League following the refurbishment of TD Place Stadium. The Indy Eleven played at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis but planned to complete their own stadium.Virginia Cavalry FC was originally announced as a 2014 expansion team to be based in the planned Edelman Financial Field in Ashburn, Virginia, but could not find either a suitable venue or a stable ownership group.
In July 2013, the NASL awarded two new expansion franchises to begin play in 2015: Jacksonville Armada FC and Oklahoma City FC. Jacksonville plays at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville and hopes to build its own stadium.Oklahoma City FC did not join the league. An NASL team in Oklahoma City was eventually announced for a 2016 launch when Spanish club Rayo Vallecano launched Rayo OKC in November 2015.
In 2014, the NASL indicated its vision to grow to 18 to 20 teams by 2018. Former NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson expressed interest in Hartford, which had been home to the Connecticut Bicentennials in the previous version of the NASL. However, the priority remained to add more teams in the West, Midwest and Prairies, with an eye on placing teams in the 25 largest metropolitan areas without professional soccer teams in order to tap into greater media exposure and sponsor interest. NASL expansion conversations took place with interested parties from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and Las Vegas. Also, the owners of Detroit City FC expressed a desire to join the NASL or USL if additional investors could be found. In addition, Peterson criticized the MLS expansion plans in cities with existing NASL teams (Miami, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and San Antonio), suggesting a turf war and increased competition between the two leagues.
In May 2015, the NASL announced that the twelfth team in the league would be Miami FC. Located in Miami, Florida, the team is owned by international entrepreneur Riccardo Silva and former Italian international Paolo Maldini. The team began play in 2016. In June 2015, professional basketball player Carmelo Anthony, announced that his new club Puerto Rico FC would join the league. The team began play in the 2016 NASL fall season.
On December 22, 2015, it was announced that the City of San Antonio and Bexar County had purchased Toyota Field and S.T.A.R. Soccer Complex. Along with this came an agreement for Spurs Sports and Entertainment, owners of the San Antonio Spurs, to operate the facilities and field a team in the United Soccer League, effectively folding the San Antonio Scorpions.
In February 2016, former Indy Eleven president Peter Wilt announced his ambition to create yet another team in Chicago. Wilt had been the first president and general manager of Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire. The ownership group announced that the NASL Chicago club would not be called the Chicago Sting, but works were in progress to secure short-term and long-term stadium options. The efforts were combined with exploring investors and supporter ownership structures.
In October 2016, the Ottawa Fury FC announced that they would be moving to the USL for the 2017 season. At the time of their announcement, it had been reported that the Fury were losing approximately $2 million per year during their time in the NASL.
On May 10, 2017, it was announced that California United FC would join the league in Spring 2018 and play its home games at Titan Stadium on the campus of Cal State Fullerton. Following the cancellation of the 2018 season, the team announced on February 28, 2018, that it would explore professional league options for 2019. On March 17, 2018, the NASL acknowledged that California United had withdrawn from the NASL.
On June 25, 2017, it was announced that a San Diego 1904 FC franchise would be joining the league in Spring 2018. The club's founders include professional soccer players Demba Ba, Eden Hazard, Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sow. The club intends to build a soccer complex somewhere in San Diego's North County and will play its games at the University of San Diego in the meantime. However, after the league announced it had cancelled the 2018 NASL season, the expansion team announced that they had quietly resigned from the NASL the month before and were finalizing an agreement to join the United Soccer League in 2019.
Indy Eleven announced on January 10, 2018 that they had left the NASL and would begin play in the USL starting with the 2018 season.
Some NASL teams participated in rivalry matches. Supporters of Minnesota United FC and FC Edmonton created the Flyover Cup, a nod to the clubs' geographic location with respect to the rest of the league.
Starting in 2010 when the Tampa Bay Rowdies returned, the Florida Derby was revived with the creation of the Coastal Cup with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. The Rowdies claimed the first four Coastal Cups, with the Strikers winning the Cup for the first time in 2014. In 2015 Jacksonville Armada FC made the competition three-way, and the expansion Miami FC made it a four-club competition in 2016.
|Derby Name||Most Wins||Titles||Other Club(s)||Titles|
|Coastal Cup||Tampa Bay Rowdies||5||Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Jacksonville Armada FC, Miami FC||2|
|Flyover Cup||Minnesota United FC||3||FC Edmonton||1|
The North American Soccer League operated as a group of independent club owners as opposed to the single-entity structure of Major League Soccer. Each club was a shareholder in the league, with one vote each on issues such as rule changes and contracts. The league required that each club have a lead shareholder that holds at least 35% ownership in the club and is worth at least $20M.
|Jacksonville Armada FC||Nike||RP Funding|
|New York Cosmos||Inaria||Fly Emirates|
|Puerto Rico FC||Nike||Claro|
The league reached a deal with Seiko to serve as the official timekeeper of the NASL starting with the 2014 season. Seiko branding was prominent on the fourth official's substitution and timing boards, on goal line advertising boards, on the broadcast game clock and within the league's official website NASL.com.
The NASL decided early on to seek a league-wide uniform contract, similar to that employed by all high-level American sports leagues, including Major League Soccer, the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB. The league lined up a manufacturer before the deal was unilaterally killed by Cosmos owner Seamus O'Brien, who believed he would be able to secure a more lucrative uniform contract for his club on its own. O'Brien reportedly regretted his action when he realized how much money such a league-wide deal would have brought to the NASL as a whole.
Some NASL teams were able to attract shirt sponsors over the past several seasons. The largest deal to date was the Cosmos signing Emirates through the 2015 season for "about $1M" annually. Toyota's sponsorship of the Scorpions was tied into several other sponsorship programs involving the team and team ownership. Indy Eleven announced on October 1, 2013 that they had reached a three-year deal with Honda Manufacturing of Indiana LLC and central Indiana Honda dealers worth $1M annually to be the shirt sponsor for the team, the deal is on par with the one announced by the Cosmos earlier in the year. The Rowdies announced they had reach a sponsorship agreement with Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa for the 2014 season. This became the first gambling related sponsorship within the league something common with clubs in other countries.
Beyond shirt sponsorship and kit production, teams have had varying success in establishing sponsorship packages with local and national brands. The San Antonio Scorpions were able to land numerous sponsorship arrangements with the opening of Toyota Field including an innovative sponsorship by CST brands Valero Corner Stores. The sponsorship arrangement with Valero involved stadium branding and sponsorship of all corner kicks at home games.
|Miami FC||WSFL, Eleven Sports|
|New York Cosmos||MSG, WPIX|
|Puerto Rico FC||WAPA|
For the 2016 season, One World Sports aired all Cosmos matches and an additional game of the week, on Saturdays in the spring season and on Wednesdays in the fall season. Additionally for 2016, beIN Sports and CBS Sports Network each began airing a game of the week.Miami FC made a further deal with Gol TV to televise all games not carried by other providers.
For the 2017 spring season One World Sports, CBS Sports Network, and Gol TV did not return, but beIN Sports did return, airing a national game of the week featuring at least one appearance by all eight teams. The San Francisco Deltas broadcast all their home games worldwide via Twitter. ESPN3 continued to stream all games not broadcast by beIN Sports or Twitter. In addition to the national deals, many clubs had local broadcast deals.
(Soccer Bowl Trophy)
|2011||NSC Minnesota Stars||Carolina RailHawks||-||-|
|2012||Tampa Bay Rowdies||San Antonio Scorpions||-||-|
|2013||New York Cosmos||Carolina RailHawks||Atlanta Silverbacks||New York Cosmos|
|2014||San Antonio Scorpions||Minnesota United FC||Minnesota United FC||San Antonio Scorpions|
|2015||New York Cosmos||New York Cosmos||New York Cosmos||Ottawa Fury|
|2016||New York Cosmos||New York Cosmos||Indy Eleven||New York Cosmos|
|2017||San Francisco Deltas||Miami FC||Miami FC||Miami FC|
|2011||NSC Minnesota Stars||3-1||Fort Lauderdale Strikers||National Sports Center
|2012||Tampa Bay Rowdies||3-3 (p)||Minnesota Stars||National Sports Center
Al Lang Stadium
|2013||New York Cosmos||1-0||Atlanta Silverbacks||Atlanta Silverbacks Park||7,211|
|2014||San Antonio Scorpions||2-1||Fort Lauderdale Strikers||Toyota Field||7,847|
|2015||New York Cosmos||3-2||Ottawa Fury FC||Shuart Stadium||10,166|
|2016||New York Cosmos||0-0 (p)||Indy Eleven||Belson Stadium||2,150|
|2017||San Francisco Deltas||2-0||New York Cosmos||Kezar Stadium||9,691|
Note: The champion was determined by a two-leg series in 2011 and 2012, before switching playoff formats in 2013.
NASL club records only include performance while team competed in the NASL. Order based on major honors (championships).
|Team||Seasons||NASL Playoffs||NASL Regular Season||Domestic
(USOC, CC, CFUCC)
|Total Honors||Major Honors / Championships|
|Championship Winner||Championship Runner-up||Regular Season Winner||Split Season Winner (2013-17)||Regular Season Runner-up||Winner||USOC - Top NASL club|
|New York Cosmos||4.5||3||1||2||3||-||-||1||10||5|
|San Antonio Scorpions||4||1||-||1||1||1||-||1||5||2|
|Minnesota United FC||6||1||1||1||1||-||-||1||5||2|
|North Carolina FC||7||-||-||2||-||-||-||2||4||2|
|Puerto Rico Islanders||2||-||-||-||-||1||2||n/a||3||2|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||6||1||-||-||-||2||-||-||3||1|
|San Francisco Deltas||1||1||-||-||-||1||-||-||2||1|
|Ottawa Fury FC||3||-||1||-||1||1||-||n/a||3||0|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||6||-||2||-||-||-||-||1||3||0|
Stadium attendances were a significant source of regular income for the NASL and its clubs. The average and total attendances are listed below.
|Bold denotes league's highest attendance that season.|