How each NASL team voted regarding USSF lawsuit

A supermajority was met with three teams abstaining.
USSF lawsuit

Image credit: NASL

Soon after news broke that the NASL had filed a lawsuit against the USSF, it became quickly apparent that not all NASL clubs supported the litigation. Neil Morris, host of the Inverted Triangle Soccer Podcast, revealed that North Carolina FC was not behind this litigation, while our reporting suggested that FC Edmonton did not vote at all. It was widely accepted that the New York Cosmos and Miami FC fell in the “yes” category. Yet, it remained unclear how the other teams voted, or in some cases — for example, the two new California teams — whether they voted at all.

There have also rightly been questions raised about whether this NASL lawsuit was a majority vote at all, or whether it was merely despotically driven by Rocco Commisso and Riccardo Silva.

Over the last few days, Soc Takes has spoken to people within the league to ascertain the direction of each team’s vote.


Soc Takes has learned that the lawsuit could not have been passed on behalf of the NASL without a supermajority vote. An NASL spokesperson declined to confirm the exact percentage required to meet a supermajority, but it’s greater than 50 percent and could be as high as 75 percent based on information given to Soc Takes. In other words, the Cosmos and Miami could not have brought this lawsuit without the support of other NASL teams.


In the yes camp: Miami FC, New York Cosmos, Jacksonville Armada FC, California United FC, San Diego NASL, Puerto Rico FC

Could not confirm: Indy Eleven — more on this later

Did not vote: North Carolina FC, San Francisco Deltas, FC Edmonton

So the vote either passed 6-1 or 7-0.

Indy Eleven

Eleven president Jeff Belskus declined to comment on this story, and Soc Takes was unable to confirm Indy’s vote with certainty.

You can’t haz votez

There are disparate reasons why NCFC, SFD and FCE did not vote. NCFC owner Stephen Malik recused himself from the vote due to his conflict of interest as a representative of the pro council of the USSF.

FC Edmonton was not asked to vote as they’re possibly in talks to join the Canadian Premier League that’s poised to start play in 2018.

The SF Deltas were asked not to vote, as the team has informed the league of its financial difficulties and it remains unclear if the team will continue.


It is important to note that even if a team supported filing the lawsuit, it may not be due to the ideological machinations provided by Commisso and, by extension, Silva. It could be merely due to self-preservation. Given that the NASL likely dies in absence of an injunctive relief, this lawsuit seems to be the only chance NASL teams have of surviving.

Although, it must be said, if teams had voted against the lawsuit and the NASL had collapsed, they could have exited the league with little to no penalty. Based on that, perhaps there is more ideological integrity to the collapsing walls of the NASL.

There has also been gesturing within the NASL about Malik’s role in the league. While the zealots online can be ignored, sources within the league have suggested that Malik’s role at the USSF worked against the NASL’s interests, as opposed to help propagate them. Even if true, ultimately each owner in the league can be accused of self-preservation, and Malik’s desire to put North Carolina FC over the NASL — if true — may be appropriate given the status of the NASL. Either way, if the league truly was unhappy with Malik’s appointment to the pro council, it is strange this was never suggested until after the NASL’s DII sanctioning was denied. North Carolina FC declined Soc Takes’ request for an interview with Malik.


Yes, the NASL voted in favor of the federal antitrust lawsuit via a majority vote.

Follow Nipun on Twitter: @NipunChopra7.

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Nipun divides his time between his two great loves - neuroscience and soccer. You can find him discussing both of those, as well as regular updates (pupdates) on his wonderful doggo, Octavia on Twitter. Get in touch with feedback/story suggestions at @NipunChopra7 or
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