The San Francisco Deltas did work in its first season in the NASL, and will leave the soccer landscape with a 100 percent title to season ratio.
Deltas chief executive officer Brian Andrés Helmick announced that the Deltas will not play a second season on Friday, little more than two years after announcing the team’s existence.
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Canadian manager Marc Dos Santos led San Francisco to second place in both the Spring and Fall seasons, and the Deltas beat the New York Cosmos to claim the 2017 playoff title.
The NASL has been denied Division II status by the United States Soccer Federation, though appeals have been lodged. The league’s future is being monitored by many in the U.S. soccer landscape.
Saying he’s “eternally grateful,” Helmick wrote a post on Medium.com:
This is a very sad moment because it is definitely not the desired outcome. However, there’s a lot to be proud of and I hope it will leave a lasting effect on all of you. Not just as the startup soccer team that went on to win a championship on the field, but as the team who did all they could to benefit the community off the field.
FC Edmonton has also left the NASL, and may not participate in any league next season as their owner questioned the business’ sustainability and blamed the market. Tom Fath said the club will not be in the USL, either.
“As for the Canadian Premier League, I love the idea, I think it’s important for Canada. But what we require is it to be sustainable. We need to be sustainable. Whatever we do, it won’t be USL. And the NASL is not sustainable in Edmonton.”
Read the NASL’s reaction to the departures here, as Rishi Sehgal says the league is changing its business structure during a “time of change” and expresses hope that it will win its court appeal against USSF.
These are reminders of the perilous and tenuous nature of start-up soccer in America. With wild travel fees and so many entertainment options sewn into the fabric of the country, the course has to be well plotted for a team to be successful. Support your local club.