A handful of cities across the US and Canada would be happy with just one professional soccer team, but within 24 hours Oklahoma City was awarded two professional franchises by two different leagues.
Umm, yeah. Something is going on here.
On Monday night a Tweet sent out from the North American Soccer League –the second-tier of soccer in the US and Canada — appeared to all but seal an NASL franchise to OKC from 2015. But on Tuesday USL Pro, the third-tier of US soccer, announced that a franchise would start play in Oklahoma City in 2014.
So, in a remarkable twist for the soccer scene in OKC, they went from zero professional team to two in just over a day.
But this story has been rumbling on in court rooms for quite some time, and it seems as though it will continue to take some sorting out as ownership groups and league officials tangle over the details.
So just like that, Oklahoma City joined Los Angeles, Tampa Bay and New York City as the only cities in the USA to have more than one professional soccer franchise. But somehow it might not last.
The NASL are set to ratify the plans for Oklahoma’s NASL franchise during the Board of Governors meeting on July 25 in Dallas, when the ownership group headed by Tim McLaughlin hope to rubber-stamp an NASL franchise in OKC.
However this thing has got real messy, real quickly. Here is a more detailed report of the several law suits filed by the separate ownership groups, USL Pro and PDL side Oklahoma City FC. Like I said, it has got really messy.
This one will take some real sorting out, but if both franchises do get off the ground, it will create an incredible atmosphere in Oklahoma City for a soccer scene to thrive and grow over the coming years.
Can the City handle both second-tier and third-tier teams? I don’t know. There are some other cities out there that definitely deserve at least one pro soccer franchise before OKC gets two, in my opinion. (See: Detroit, Nashville, Miami, Austin)
Although selfishly, despite all the legal struggles that are set to ensue about having NASL and USL Pro clubs in the same city, I am rather emotional and downright excited that business owners in Oklahoma City are willing to put plenty on the line to bring pro soccer to the Midwest.
Exciting times lie ahead as the U.S. soccer pyramid underneath Major League Soccer continues to strengthen.