International Soccer Network

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Cleveland City Stars Fold

We have received information from multiple sources that the Cleveland City Stars have ceased operations and will not return to play professional soccer. This comes as quite a shock as positive news was heard yesterday.  There are lot of unanswered questions at this point, but it is safe to say that this is disappointing news for players, staff, and obviously supporters.

An official announcement from the City Stars organization is expected early next week.  We did not want to publish this information early, but thought it should be handled by a “soccer friendly” media outlet.

Don’t Give Up on the City Stars!

Several stories have surfaced regarding the Cleveland USL franchise. They range from a guaranteed drop to USL-2 or even dropping out of USL altogether. 

All sources point to a new ownership group bringing the club back in USL-1.  We have been told that the new owners have “deep pockets” and are willing to spend money to improve the team.  All indications suggest that the franchise will be run as a business with less emphasis on non-profit ventures. 

The league office is fully committed to the Cleveland market, which has become extremely important considering the USL/TOA situation.  Expect to see USL-1 to have between 8 and 12 teams next year. We find it highly unlikely that the TOA breakaway league will even be sanctioned by USSF. 

According to the USSF policy manual, a professional league must have at least 8 teams.  Currently the TOA sits at 7 teams and Minnesota is in question.  The federation also has to be concerned with St. Louis, who seems to be interested in a MLS expansion bid, and Atlanta, who was on hiatus last season.  Vancouver will be leaving for MLS in a season, so there are some serious questions regarding the vitality of the TOA.