A rising tide, the saying goes, lifts all boats. And in this case, it helps keep a few afloat.
That's the good news out of NASL and, specifically, Minnesota on Friday afternoon. The club and league announced that a local ownership group has been found, meaning the Stars — who have made it to the past two NASL title games, and won it in 2011 — will be back for 2013.
“We cannot overstate how delighted we are at this outcome,” said NASL Commissioner David Downs in a press release. “The team has represented Minnesota in NASL play in extraordinary fashion over the past two years despite the lack of local owners, and now we believe this will give the Stars the foundation needed to flourish for years to come. As of today, we now have local owners for the team who are clearly committed and dedicated to promoting soccer as an integral part of the community.”
Minnesota had been a league-run team for the past two years, and the ownership search had reportedly become an existential one in recent months.
The fact that it's been resolved in this fashion is good news for fans of the Stars, first and foremost. But from a broader perspective, it's good news for anyone in North America who's a fan of the game. A stable and healthy second division means more opportunities for meaningful soccer all over the map, and more opportunities for youth development in a metropolitan area that's produced a fair number of pros.
Win-win. Today's a good day for soccer.