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.
Miami FC has won its first official title as a franchise thanks to the team’s convincing victory on Saturday night.
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The NASL side won 7-0 against the San Francisco Deltas in the final match of the NASL Spring Season to bring home the silverware at the league’s halfway point.
Stefano Pinho notched four goals on the day at FIU’s Riccardo Silva Stadium — bringing his goal total up to eight in 2017.
Meanwhile, Dylan Mares added two more tallies for the hosts, while Ariel Martinez scored as well in the shutout.
Here’s the full table at the conclusion of the NASL Spring Season.
1. Miami FC — 33 pts.
2. San Francisco Deltas — 26 pts.
3. Jacksonville Armada — 23 pts.
4. New York Cosmos — 21 pts.
5. Carolina RailHawks — 18 pts.
6. Indy Eleven — 17 pts.
7. FC Edmonton — 13 pts.
8. Puerto Rico FC — 8 pts.
It’s fair to expect the San Francisco Deltas to be trendsetters in tech given their location and pedigree, and the first-year NASL club is doing just that.
The Deltas announced Wednesday that all of their home matches will be broadcast live on Twitter — in English, Spanish, and Portuguese — making them the first North American pro club to broadcast all of their matches on social media.
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Twitter senior executive Josh McFarland had previously named as one of the investors in the Deltas, which makes the announcement even more natural. Other investors include tech execs from around the Silicon Valley.
The North American Soccer League’s expansion continued Thursday with the announcement of the league’s first West Coast club since its 2009 inception.
Set to begin play in 2017, San Francisco Deltas will be run by CEO Brian Andres Helmick and give the NASL its 13th team. The league’s press release said investors hail from both Silicon Valley and Brazil.
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Commissioner Bill Peterson has stated the league’s goal is to expand to 20 teams, and the NASL added Rayo OKC, Puerto Rico FC and Miami FC in recent months.
Given the collective background of the investment group, as well as the club’s tech-savvy fan base, the Deltas plan to use technology as a tool to better reach and interact with their supporters.
Kezar Stadium, where the Deltas will play beginning in 2017, was the home of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers from 1946-1970. Soccer has been played at Kezar Stadium before, with the legendary Pele once taking the field at the venue. The stadium capacity will be approximately 10,000 when the Deltas take the field for the 2017 NASL Spring Season.
The league’s other teams are Jacksonville Armada, Carolina Railhawks, FC Edmonton, Indy Eleven, Minnesota United FC, Ottawa Fury, New York Cosmos, Tampa Bay Rowdies and Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
The geographic implications are significant as the league attempts to bridge from the Midwest to the East Coast while not crushing a budget with travel. Surely more teams are coming West of the Mississippi.
The NASL kicks off the Spring portion of its 2016 schedule on Saturday. We’ll have an exclusive interview with Peterson later this evening.