The United Soccer Leagues (USL), recently purchased by NuRock Soccer from Nike, has recently removed the team logos and links of three teams. All three teams (Minnesota Thunder, Carolina Railhawks, Miami FC Blues) have made their intentions clear to the new ownership: the team owners want more of a say on how the league operates.
Current USL teams Montreal and Vancouver are also supporters of this alliance, named the Team Owners Association, but are currently competing in the USL-1 playoffs. All five of the clubs have not payed their dues to play in the USL for 2010.
2010 expansion clubs Atlanta Silverbacks, St. Louis United, and Tampa Bay Rowdies are also part of the Team Owners Association. This group could immediately form an 8-team league of their own.
According to team sources, USL President Tim Holt emailed a letter to all of the players of Carolina, Minnesota, and Miami saying that they are now all free agents.
With the Minnesota Thunder being one of the leaders of this potential new league, their affiliate teams are also in limbo. The Rochester Thunder were an expansion club this past season in the USL Premier Development League (PDL). The womens team, the Minnesota Lightning, have been members of the USL W-League. Both of the amateur teams could potentially move on the the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) and Womens Premier Soccer League (WPSL).