New England Soccer Today

ASL Scraps Fall-Spring Format; Play to Resume in 2016


Days before it was supposed to kick off its second season, the American Soccer League announced that had scrapped its Fall-Spring schedule, and will instead resume play next spring.

“We believe our first year was a resounding success. Switching to a Spring-To-Fall season allows us to do more with players during the Summer break such as league-wide All-Star Games and promotional tours,” ASL CEO Matt Driver said in a league release. “It also allows a break for players right before each of the two international transfer periods. This will facilitate tryouts and short and long-term loans that lead to permanent transfers.”

Among those affected by the development are the Rhode Island Oceaneers and Mass United FC, both of whom participated in the league’s debut season. 2014-15 regular season champion Western Mass Pro Soccer did not renew its contract with the ASL ahead of the league’s second season.

According to a source, at least two more of the league’s original eight teams were contemplating the prospect of sitting out the Fall season.

Mass United was supposed to open the Fall season against the expansion Lancaster Lions.  Mass United owner Jim Antonakis expressed his reaction to the news in league release.

“Of course, it is a disappointment for fans and other stakeholders,” Antonakis said. “However, we support Matt and the League’s decision as being in the best long-term interests of the League. We believe the spring season will shock people with our expansion. We can’t wait for Spring to arrive!”

The seven-team ASL is expected to resume play with “possibly 14 to 16 teams,” according to the league, including a not-yet-named expansion club in Connecticut.

Newly-established Worcester FC was set to debut in ASL this year before ultimately pulling out of the league entirely.


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