American Professional Soccer (APS) are scheduled to begin play in August 0f 2014. The newly-formed league apparently has a partner: the Canadian Soccer League (CSL). The same CSL who recently separated from Canada Soccer and formed the new Soccer Federation of Canada (SFC).
APS is a vision of Matt Driver, who has over 20 years of history with the American soccer scene. Driver currently serves as President of the Atlantic Soccer Factory. According to the APS website, the vision is for slow, steady growth as either a Tier-III or Tier-IV sanctioned league. The upstart-league hope to begin play in August of 2014 with 8-12 clubs based in the Northeast region of the United States.
CSL AND AMERICAN PRO SOCCER (APS) AGREE TO A WORKING RELATIONSHIP
TORONTO – Monday, December 9 – The Canadian Soccer League embarked upon a new path on November 18 in what was described as the beginning of an era and just two weeks later announce a first major step in its new direction by reaching agreement to forge a working relationship with American Professional Soccer (APS), a newly-formed league with teams in the northeastern United States.
APS, which is at an early stage of development with plans to kickoff in 2014, is driven in part by a longstanding position that the U.S. needs to develop a deeper professional soccer system to accommodate the increasing number of young , talented players. The lack of an adequate professional soccer structure relative to the number of players throughout the U.S. was expressed by FIFA president Sepp Blatter in 2011.
Blatter made a similar comment when visiting Canada in 2001, saying “Canada needs to do more with its professional soccer,” while explaining a country’s strength on the world stage is related to its domestic professional soccer structure.
Agreement was reached at a meeting in Toronto for the CSL and APS to strike a close working relationship in areas of competition and business. “We can derive considerable benefit by working closely with APS, a new league which has aspirations and a vision for soccer on this continent similar to that of our league,” said CSL chairman Vincent Ursini in making the announcement.
Matthew Driver, APS chief executive officer and Michael Wheeler, legal counsel, attended the Toronto meeting which included owners of CSL teams.
Talks were wide-ranging and covered the extent to which both leagues can enter into an arrangement for games to be played both sides of the border. A cross-border women’s semi-professional league and youth academy competition will be explored. Marketing ideas,with emphasis placed on member teams being profitable, a condition that for many years has escaped most professional clubs in North America up to the highest level, was also discussed.
“We look forward to working with the Canadian Soccer League to develop synergies that will help both of our leagues to improve performance on and off the field,” said Driver, a native of Scotland with high level coaching experience including New England Revolution in Major League Soccer, together with a strong marketing background in corporate business and club ownership.
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