MLS Soccer

U.S. federation steps in

The U.S. Soccer Federation will oversee a second division league this year, temporarily ending a dispute between the United Soccer Leagues and the North American Soccer League.

The USSF last week refused to sanction either the USL or NASL, saying both were unable to meet the minimum requirement of eight viable teams.

“We want to have stability,” USSF president Sunil Gulati said during a telephone conference call.

The second division this year will include two six-team conferences, with Austin, Texas; Minnesota; Portland; Puerto Rico; Rochester, N.Y.; and Tampa Bay, Fla., in the USL Conference, and Baltimore, Carolina, Miami, Montreal, St. Louis and Vancouver in the NASL Conference.

The agreement announced Thursday is for the 2010 season only. The USSF said it will develop new standards for second division leagues.

Plans for second-division teams in Atlanta and New York were pushed back to at least 2011. Portland and Vancouver are slated to move up to Major League Soccer in 2011.