USL Could Lose Two Top Teams

The Montreal Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps, both finalists this year, will reportedly not return to the United Soccer Leagues in 2010.
The top division of the United Soccer Leagues, USL-1, could be in for an extreme shake-up as two of the top clubs have not renewed agreements to join.

"The negotiations are finished," Alek Papadakis, one of the owners of USL told Montreal radio station CKAC.  "I wish them good luck in their future plans "

The Whitecaps are already scheduled to leave USL and move to Major League Soccer, but not until 2011.

The situation for the Montreal Impact is trickier, as MLS commissioner Don Garber ruled the Impact out of the latest round of expansion prospects last year after Impact owner Joey Saputo reportedly low-balled MLS on the franchise fee.

However, there has been talk for some time of certain club owners forming their own breakaway league.

The Canadian Press
also reported that the two sides are still in negotiations.

"We are open to the return of the Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps to USL-1 for 2010;" said a statement from the USL. "However, we continue to move forward with our preparations for next season."

A new breakaway league would have to be sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation if teams from the U.S. are included, which is likely. It could perhaps be a second division of MLS.

The federation president, Sunil Gulati, recently indicated in a New York Times interview that the question of promotion/relegation for MLS was a possibility, "down the road."