NASL Team/Current Railhawks Situation

I'm creating this topic, as there has been a bit of discussion (mostly between Kirk and I) in the stadium debate forum regarding the NASL franchise Hamilton may or may not be getting, as well as the current situation with the Carolina Railhawks of which Bob Young is part owner.

Honestly, what I see is Bob seeing if he can just move the team to Hamilton. If the org is getting bad PR in the area and isn't turning a profit, that's the time you typically move a team. The problem is NASL has lost their division 2 sanctioning, and with the CSA preventing other new Canadian Division 2 teams from playing in US leagues, I can only assume the only three routes for NASL to go would be, get the CSA to approve them as Canada's Tier 2 league or go down to a Tier 3 league and risk losing some potential fans. That or keep the team in Carolina at whatever risk, and fight let heck to get their sanctioning back. The big problem though, if that happens, unless the CSA suddenly starts listening to reason, it doesn't sound like we'll get a division 2 team, or if we do, only one that will play friendlies or vs a very small number of clubs (although, I'm sure if you had some TFC friendlies, you might make some cash). I wonder what the Railhawks forum has to say about this?

or....they could just not have a forum.

Remember, technically the Tiger-Cats (HTCFC Inc.) was part owner, and not Bob Young. Not sure how relevant that is.

Also, keep in mind that Triangle Professional Sports, L.L.C., of which the Tiger-Cats were a minority partner, has legally dissolved.

Traffic Sports USA, is now believed to be the majority owner, and the status of any minority ownership is not known, including the involvement of either Bob Young or HTCFC Inc.

The latest article about this is from today's edition the team's local paper. An insightful read to say the least.

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It's damage control time - and the damage is being done to this area's trust in their hometown team.

Almost sounds like this could be a line from the Spec in regards to the Tiger-Cats. Sad. This can't bode well for Hamilton's pro soccer aspirations.

Well Kirk, maybe that is why the Cats are so caught up on securing the management rights. The new owners are looking to move the team, where they might be able to make more money and if the Cats have management rights, they are playing with a much reduced rent. They also know if they can tap into the success of TFC, they stand to make big money. The big issues are will Hamilton support it, will the NASL get their USSF sanctioning, or will they seek out the CSA and try to turn themselves into Canada's Division 2 league. I mean, if Ottawa is coming down the pipe and they are thinking Calgary, Quebec City it could work.

Business aspects aside, here's an informative blurb about the league and its teams for this season. I hope Hamilton gets a team and I'd like to give them a chance. Not a big soccer fan, but the last couple of world cups have attracted some interest from me and i'm willing to support a Hamilton team if they can capture my interest.

[i]Despite word last week that that the USSF had revoked the D2 provisional sanctioning of the North American Soccer League (NASL) granted in November, the league announced today the 2011 schedule for its eight teams.

The season is scheduled to open on Saturday, April 9 with four games that includes a match in Cary, North Carolina featuring last year’s USSF D2 finalists, the Carolina RailHawks and Puerto Rico Islanders. A link to the 2011 NASL schedule can be found here.

The eight NASL clubs will each play a 28-game regular season, obviously not including U.S. Open Cup, the Nutrilite Canadian competition or the Caribbean Football Union club contests or friendlies. Each team will face its league opponents four times, twice at home and twice on the road.

For the 2011 season, the NASL will consist of the Puerto Rico Islanders, the Carolina RailHawks, the Montreal Impact, FC Tampa Bay, the Strikers (formerly known as Miami FC), the NSC Minnesota Stars, the Atlanta Silverbacks and expansion team FC Edmonton.

Besides winning the USSF D2 playoff championship in 2010, the Islanders also won the 2010 Caribbean Football Union club championship and made a strong run in the CONCACAF Champions League, eliminating the LA Galaxy in the preliminary round and narrowly missing advancement from their tough group. Carolina’s revamped defense and energized offense took them to the playoff final. The Impact finished 2010 strong and will head to MLS as the top tier’s 19th franchise in 2012. NSC Minnesota and FC Tampa Bay were NASL expansion clubs in 2010, with FC Tampa Bay starting well before fading and NSC Minnesota rebounding near the end of the season to gain a playoff berth. The Strikers/Miami FC under-performed during much of 2010, but ended the season on a high with a five game unbeaten streak that included four wins and a draw.

FC Edmonton will begin their first competitive season in 2011 but signed over 20 players for a summer 2010 eight-game exhibition schedule that included opponents such as England’s Portsmouth, Colo-Colo of Chile, the Montreal Impact and Puerto Rico Islanders.

The Atlanta Silverbacks, founded in 1995, return from a two season hiatus from on-field action. The Silverbacks were winners of the Southern Derby in 2002, 2004 and 2006, and were co-champions in 2005.

Playoff Format

The regular league season concludes on the weekend of September 24. The top six teams will make the playoffs, with the top two gaining a first round bye. The first round will be single-game elimination, whereas the semifinals and final playoff series will consist of two-leg competitions with aggregate goals being the determining factor to break ties. The NASL playoff championship series will conclude with the first leg being played on the weekend of October 22, and the playoff finale being played the following weekend.[/i]

14 home dates plus playoffs and friendlies
More dates for new stadium
More people downtown
More revenue for City and Ti-Cat Organization


The Railhawks have lost money in all 4 years of there existence.

It is alot to expect expansion teams to be sucessful on start up.
Good ownership is a good start to any franchise

So what about the USL First Division? IThe MOntreal Impact play in that leaugue and have a great following, it's not the NASL.
Looks like they have a huge corporate following too.

I'm confused. I thought the Montreal Impact was a NASL team. Says so on the website in the link you provided and on the NASL website.

Here's some additional info regarding the formation of the new NASL

[i]The North American Soccer League is making a return but not in its old form.

The NASL is the name given to the second division breakaway league which will commence this spring and will field nine teams including Carolina RailHawks, Atlanta Silverbacks, Crystal Palace Baltimore, Miami FC, Minnesota Thunder, Montreal Impact, St. Louis Soccer United, Tampa Bay Rowdies and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

The original NASL kicked off in 1968 before ending in 1984 and fielded clubs such as New York Cosmos, Chicago Sting and Kansas City Spurs as well as star international players like Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Johan Cruyff.[/i]

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It's my understanding that USL PRO is combining former USL division 3 league and USL division 2 teams, and that NASL was division 2, but had it's sanction revoked by the USSF ( US soccer federation).

The United Soccer Leagues Second Division (commonly referred to as USL-2) was a professional men's soccer league in the United States, part of the United Soccer Leagues (USL) league pyramid. It was at the third tier of soccer in the United States, behind Major League Soccer (top division) and the USL First Division (second division), and one step up from the USL Premier Development League and the other leagues at Level 4.
The USL Second Division dissolved following the 2010 season to make way for USL Pro, which will combine the existing USL First and Second divisions and will begin play in 2011.[1]

Lots of upheavel and turmoil.

From my understanding, last year USL First Division and NASL didn't have enough teams to qualify as leagues of there own before the USSF. So the USSF basically told them both, "You're both going to play in an interim league with a NASL conference and a USL conference if you want our sanctioning" so there was a lot of NASL teams playing USL teams.

However, now each league has enough teams (although many aren't on the strongest financial footing) so instead of merging the two leagues, they've split up again.

Just wanted to say that I think Railhawks is about the worst name you could give any team in any sport.

WTH were they thinking?

I can think of a couple worse ones. Like Roughriders, Rough Riders, or Argos. :wink:

It's a Carolina team, I'm sure there is some significance behind the name.

The RailHawks name was chosen from a name-the-team contest. Jarrett Campbell, a soccer blogger and founder of the Triangle Soccer Fanatics, the team's independent supporters club, offered the winning submission. He received two lifetime season tickets as his prize. The RailHawk is a fictitious bird of prey that combines the speed and power of the locomotive with the aggressive and fierce nature of a hawk. Cary originally grew out from a depot on the New Bern, N.C.-Hillsborough, N.C. rail line and the CSX and Amtrak lines run directly across from the team's grounds. Hawks are indigenous to the area.


I think if Bob intended to move the Railhawks, he would have kept a piece of the ownership. But as of now, the only owners are Traffic Sports and local Dr. Paul Singh. Besides, Stadium wouldn't be ready until 2014. Is it really worth it to lose money for three years to hang onto some admittedly good players? Plus, who knows if the team will still be good in three years.

USL - 1 was the only division 2 league for a long time. It kept an arms-length approach from its teams, and the teams had no control over the marketing or behaviour of the league. In the last couple years, this situation finally erupted when a coalition of team owners was not allowed to purchase the league. This led to the split and formation of the new NASL. USL -1 still exists (as USL-Pro) but it's comprised of two former D2 teams, a bunch of D3 teams (formerly of USL-2), and a bunch of new unproven teams from the states and Carribean.

NASL received USSF division 2 sanctioning this year, but under some pretty stiff financial conditions. This caused a few former NASL owners (Rochester, Minnesota, Carolina) to leave because they couldn't commit to the conditions. Rochester left for D3 and the other two were taken over by Traffic Sports. This made a few people nervous about the future of the league, including USSF, which revoked the D2 sanctioning a few days ago. Since then, there's been good news out of the league and the expansion San Antonio franchise and there's rumours that the sanctioning will be restored at the next meeting in february.

I hope Hamilton gets a team, I would support them before TFC (who I think sucks, along with their pansy supporters). I don't like the name "Hamilton United", and instead preferr "Hamilton City", as you can see:

It may be interesting to see a team in Hamilton and Ottawa. Could be a great rivalry with Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton.

How about Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary.
Our colours MUST be Black and Gold.
How about Steel Hawks?

Or Steal Hawks. :wink:


Been trying to find that info.