Archive for the Editorial Category

Supporters Unite for Division 2 Soccer and the growth of the sport

Posted in 2011, Editorial, NASL, USSF on February 1, 2011 by rafijoepr

The independent supporters of the Puerto Rico Islanders FC and supporter groups from other NASL teams are united in petitioning the United States Soccer Federation for Division 2 soccer in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, and to continue to work for the growth of the sport.

 

President Sunil Gulati
U.S. Soccer Federation
1801 S. Prairie Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616

Dear President Gulati,

As supporters of North American Soccer League (NASL)clubs, we would like to voice our concern regarding the recent decision by your Federation to rescind the provisional Division 2 status of the NASL. We are personally appalled by the decision of the Federation to deny second division sanctioning to the NASL. Many fans were positively encouraged by the interest the USSF paid to second division soccer this season, and were pleased by the new standards put in place to ensure stability and continuity at the second division level. We thank the USSF for the interest and leadership you have provided during 2010 to stabilize and maintain second division.

Should our community be deprived of high level, but affordable entertainment in the form of NASL soccer for 2011, fans will be starved of access to the beautiful game. Without professional soccer in our community, many fans may simply move on to other sports and an opportunity to continue the upward trajectory of interest in soccer here at home will be lost.

For our youth soccer community, it is imperative that the NASL play at the second division level this season. The USSF is striving to improve soccer in the United States and improve our national team. But if we deny young fans in five key American soccer markets local heroes to emulate and a club to support, we potentially lose a generation of kids who can help make the United States the best we can be in World Soccer.  The partner federations and communities in Canada and Puerto Rico would also be severely affected.

The loss of our league will also have an inevitable ripple effect that will hurt not only the US National Team program and supporter’s base, but also development of soccer throughout the CONCACAF region.  The NASL serves as a competitive league where many nations throughout the region have players developing their talent. Having better playersthroughout  our region will no doubt be beneficial to the development of US Soccer, providing stronger competition to challenge and grow the US Nation Team.

When our teams played in USL, we were never able to keep track of our opponents or the composition of the league. The NASL has been forthright and aggressive in its local marketing while pledging a needed stability at the second division level. The NASL’s ability to attract the type of investors the USSF wants involved in the sport based on the new second division standards also has local fans excited about the future of both our teams and the league we compete in. We feel ownership and a connection to our league, the NASL that we never felt for USL.

The teams of the NASL have already invested much time and resources to establish this second division league. This is the foundation for creating a stable second division in this country, as opposed to a league that benefits from the constant expansion and contraction of teams. We believe that it is time for the USSF to work for what is best for the future and stability of U.S. Soccer. The mission should be to further the game’s roots in our communities by supporting soccer at all levels.

We hope you recognize the vital role second division soccer plays across North American and Puerto Rico. We ask that you reverse this shortsighted and damaging decision. Displacing fans and hurting the development of soccer in the United States should not be what the USSF is all about. Your role as a governing body is to promote the sport and grow the game. Working with the NASL to establish a long needed, stable second division is the type of positive development this sport sorely needs.

Sincerely,

Pieter Brown
President, Miami Ultras
Miami FC / Strikers Supporters

Steve Holler
President, Ralph’s Mob
FC Tampa Bay Supporters

Tim Hayes
On behalf of The Dark Clouds
NSC Minnesota Supporters

Kristian Vázquez-Díaz
President, Islanders Foreign Legion
Puerto Rico Islanders Supporters

Daniel Stroud
Member, Jailhawks
Carolina Railhawks Supporters

Chris Martz
Westside 109
Atlanta Silverbacks Supporters

Steven Beauregard
Member, Ultras Montréal
Montréal Impact Supporters

PR Islanders conclude Super Copa DirecTV participation, finish second.

Posted in 2010, CCL, CFU, Editorial, NASL, SuperCopa DirecTV on December 13, 2010 by rafijoepr

The Islanders lose the final series of the Super Copa DirecTV to local rival River PR and fail to win their third championship in 2010. With a mixed squad composed by regulars, bench warmers and trialists, the Islanders dominated the group stages of the tournament but failed to challenge a River squad that was very well prepared to face an eventual final series against the Troops. The Islanders also faced the finals without the talents of Alexis Rivera and Jonathan Faña, two regulars that couldn’t finish the tournament due to injuries. The Troops did manage to qualify for the 2011 edition of Caribbean Football Union Club Champions Cup, in order to have a chance to qualify for the 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League. When a member of the Islanders management was questioned about losing the tournament the response was that the team wasn’t notified about the tournament in advance and keeping an A squad would be over budget. Still, we have to take a serious look at some of the coaching decisions in this tournament and what players are kept after such a lackluster finish. On the bright side, as of yesterday we have a new Puerto Rico Football Federation president; Mr. Eric Labrador (former Islanders GM) and also, we qualified for CFU 2011.

Hoping that in 2011 management make some intelligent signings and renewals, and that the team does great in CFU, CCL and NASL…

Season’s Greetings from the Legion! hope to see you on the road in 2011, as always backing our Orange Troops!

CFU Champions Cup final series; a note from PRI Supporters

Posted in 2010, CFU, Editorial, Noticias on April 21, 2010 by rafijoepr

This past Tuesday, the Caribbean Football Union announced that it had relocated next month’s final series of the Club Champions Cup that was understood would take place in Puerto Rico’s Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium. The series has been reassigned to Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya, Trinidad home to Joe Public Football Club whose owner Mr. Jack Warner currently serves as President of CONCACAF and the Caribbean Football Union.

To justify this decision, the Caribbean Football Union has stated that they’re moving the series to Trinidad in order to avoid any visa problems that might arise for their players and staff with the United States authorities. The president of the Puerto Rico Football Federation, Mr. Joe Serralta has denied such allegations as a valid reason for moving the series.

The simple truth is that Puerto Rico has been visited thousands of times by teams from the Caribbean and the world, most recently in the second round of the CFU by Avenues United from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and by Racing des Gonaïves from Haiti. Most importantly in July of this year, Puerto Rico will again be the host of the Central American and Caribbean Games, bringing thousands of athletes to the city of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico to compete. Why is it that Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympic team can visit Puerto Rico but Joe Public and San Juan Jabloteh cannot?

This decision also comes as a surprise given that just three days ago a brawl broke out at the end of the River Plate Ponce and San Juan Jabloteh second round game. This resulted in police officers storming the field and fans throwing stones at the visiting players sending some to the hospital. By all accounts the Puerto Rican team suffered through biased refereeing which allowed for a very physical game that resulted in them receiving  an excessive amount of red cards. The lack of proper organization and security for visiting players confirm that CFU and the Trinidadian Clubs are not prepared to host such an important event.

Mr. Warner is using this excuse to obtain an unfair home crowd and officiating advantage for their local teams thereby creating an unbalanced and unfair tournament. Also, this is being done with total disregard for last weekend’s events, which seriously put in doubt the safe and worry free participation of the visiting players, staff and fans.

By moving the Final Series, using false pretenses, and ignoring previous accords, Mr. Warner is clearly misusing and abusing his powers as CFU President.

We, the Puerto Rico Islanders Supporters are united in strongly condemning this decision.

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