Saturday, March 21, 2015

NASL Gets Buzz on Twitter from Potential Suitors

Recently, I've noticed several cities/metro areas with their own Twitter handles attempting to engage with the NASL. These places want NASL to take notice of what they have to offer.

It's an interesting phenomenon to see because the Twitter handles are developed purposely to attract NASL and not USL.  Those behind the Twitter handles have obviously thought out their reasoning and want NASL to give their respective city/metro area a look for expansion.

Some of the handles have 'NASL' directly linked into them, like these two from California's Bay Area, @NASL2SF or @OaklandNASL.  Maybe another go for Oakland with NASL would do better this time.  They had two incarnations that lasted one season each as the Clippers and Stompers.

San Francisco or Oakland would be an excellent landing spot for NASL and would solve its problem of finding that third time zone needed to fit the USSF requirements.  If you ask those people living there, they'll tell you that San Jose and Sacramento are not part of The Bay Area.  Thus, there's no pro soccer there.

@NASLinStLouis is carrying the flag for one of soccer's great American cities.  The NASL was part of St. Louis lore from 1968 to 1977 as the 'Stars'.

The Twittersphere won't decide NASL's future necessarily, but there's no denying that social media, including Twitter and Facebook are having a serious impact.  Soccer, unlike other American mainstream sports, relies on supporter groups as pillars of strength-just about any significant supporter group has a Facebook page.

The statistics for Twitter followers and Facebook likes for the USL and NASL were posted recently and I retweeted them.  Look at my Tweets on the right to see those stats.  For both Twitter and Facebook, NASL carries more weight.

Twitter gives these groups a chance to react with immediacy and grass roots support.  Birmingham is another city/metro area using its social media to reach out to the NASL.  One handle is the support group @bhambrigadearmy, while the other is seeking a franchise @BhamHammers.

There's also Hartford, @NASLinHartford, which offers a big metro area and a soccer-loving community. There are efforts now to convert a stadium for pro soccer.  Fans may remember the NASL connection from 1975 and '76 as the Bicentennials.

On Twitter, you will see many of the established supporter groups giving shout-outs to these cities/metro areas without pro teams, like @ProSoccerBoise.  Boise joins Birmingham and Hartford as excellent prospects for NASL, medium sized cities that won't be chased by MLS. 

@NASL4LV is letting everybody know that Las Vegas is still in the mix for pro soccer.  I like that they have a picture of two of the greatest soccer players ever in their Twitter photo, Pele and Eusebio. The NASL was in Vegas as the Quicksilvers in 1977 with Eusebio in the starting lineup.

Boise, Birmingham, Hartford, Oakland, St. Louis, Las Vegas or San Francisco would surely be a first-class addition to NASL.  

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