Rocco B. Commisso: “I strongly believe that the NASL clubs being excluded from the 2018 USOC is against the spirit of an open tournament and is an unjust decision.” (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
By Michael Lewis
Cosmos chairman Rocco B. Commisso Thursday filed a grievance with U.S. Soccer concerning the exclusion of Miami FC, Jacksonville Armada and his club from this year’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Commisso, who also is chairman of the North American Soccer League, wrote U.S. Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro and CEO Dan Flynn, claimed that those three clubs belonged in the competition because they had teams in the National Premier Soccer League.
“I strongly believe that the NASL clubs being excluded from the 2018 USOC is against the spirit of an open tournament and is an unjust decision,” he wrote in a letter dated March 15 to the USSF office in Chicago.
Commisso then listed several reasons why:
* That the Cosmos completed its cup entry paperwork prior to the Dec. 29 deadline
* That the USSF accepted the club’s application and entry fee
* That Indy Eleven and North Carolina FC, which moved from the NASL to the United Soccer League
* That a few clubs — the LA Football Club, Nashville FC, Las Vegas Lights FC and Fresno FC — will participate in the competition though they had never fielded teams prior to this year
* That Miami FC won the NASL spring and fall titles in 2017
* That three Major League Soccer and USL franchises — the Portland Timbers, Oklahoma City Energy and Red Bulls — were allowed to field two teams in the tournament
The NASL had canceled its 2018 season after the USSF rescinded its Division Two status for 2018.
Commisso then asked the board to “take immediate action to remedy the exclusion” of the Cosmos, Armada and Miami through one of three options:
* Removing the aforementioned first-year clubs from the competition
* Removing the “subsidiary teams” of Portland, Oklahoma and Red Bulls from the cup
* Or any other resolution that would allow the three NASL clubs to compete in the USOC
“I urge the board to make such a decision by no later than March 21, 2018, as the Cosmos, Armada and Miami need time to finalize plans to compete in the 2018 USOC or pursue other possible courses of action,” Commisso wrote.
The Open Cup kicks off May 9.
To read the entire email, visit: