By Michael Lewis
The U.S. Soccer Federation has responded to the North American Soccer League’s lawsuit.
U.S. Soccer Wednesday filed a motion, claiming the NASL has not come up with a plan on how it could follow Division II standards.
Filed by Lawrence E. Buterman of Latham & Watkins LLP, the letter requested a pre-motion conference in order to file a motion to dismiss the NASL suit The motion was filed to Judge Margo K. Brodie of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn, N.Y.
On Sept. 19, the NASL filed with the U.S. District Court for a temporary injunction against U.S. Soccer, which took away the league’s Division 2 status for 2018. A ruling is expected on or before Oct. 31. The league also has filed an antitrust lawsuit against the federation. The honorable Brodie will rule on both parties claims.
Among the points noted by its letter, U.S. Soccer stated that the claim of “supposed conspiracy” by the NASL concerning U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer was “nonsensical.” The NASL claimed there was a conflict of interest between the USSF and MLS.
“Since its inception, [the] NASL has never consistently met the standards for Division II status,” the letter said. “And by its own admission, the NASL has no current plans to compete with MLS, but rather hopes ‘to build so that it can eventually compete against MLS.’ Under these facts, the inference that USSF would conspire to drive NASL out of business is implausible. And of course, if USSF were bent on driving NASL out of business, why has it given NASL yearly waivers to allow it to participate as a Division II league and thereby assist NASL in trying to grow? ”
In the background portion of the letter, it was stated that when the NASL applied for Division II status for 2018, “it acknowledged once again that it did not meet the standards for such status and needed waivers. USSF’s board determined ‘enough is enough’ and denied NASL a Division II sanction for 2018.
The USSF said it gave the NASL 30 days to apply for Division III status after it was denied Division II sanction Sept. 1, but the league ignored the deadline.
The letter said that NASL’s claims suffered from glaring defects. “The Court should allow USSF to move to dismiss the complaint, such that its ‘basic deficiency [can] be exposed at the point of minimum expenditure of time and money by the parties and the court,’ ” the letter stated.
The website www.fiftyfive.one originally posted the story about the U.S. Soccer lawsuit earlier Friday.
For that story, visit: