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Traffic's bid to buy USL fails

Bad 24 hours for Traffic Sports.

First, a 9-0 loss to Carolina -- worst in Miami FC history -- and now word that the company's effort to buy, in conjunction with other owners, USL has been thwarted.

New owners: NuRock Soccer Holdings LLC, an Atlanta-based business headed by real estate mogul Rob Hoskins.

Much, much more to come, including local reaction.

But for now, real the USL release:

ATLANTA, GA -- NuRock Soccer Holdings LLC (“NuRock Soccer Holdings”) today announced that it has acquired United Soccer Leagues (“USL”) from NIKE.

NuRock Soccer Holdings, based in Atlanta, is led by Rob Hoskins and Alec Papadakis. NuRock Soccer Holdings is currently a USL franchisee with a Premier Development League operation in Atlanta and rights to acquire two USL First Division teams in Atlanta, Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama marketplaces, respectively.

Rob Hoskins, the Chairman of NuRock Soccer Holdings, is one of the country’s most respected and largest real estate developers in residential housing, and brings his valuable management and branding experience to the soccer industry. Alec Papadakis, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of NuRock Soccer Holdings, is a franchise attorney with domestic and international expansion experience. As a player in the North American Soccer League for the Atlanta Chiefs and the Boston Minutemen, Papadakis has had a long, storied soccer career in the United States at the collegiate and professional level, with numerous accolades.

“We are delighted to close this transaction with NIKE and begin a partnership with Nike’s leading football brands which will sponsor and support USL, and all of its leagues, for many years to come. Together with USL Management, we are excited about the opportunity to grow the size and visibility of USL, and to help develop and train the future generations of soccer athletes in the United States”, said Alec Papadakis, CEO of NuRock Soccer Holdings.

Rob Hoskins, Chairman of NuRock Soccer Holdings, commented, “Our vision for USL is to become the most competitive and profitable pyramid of soccer leagues in North America, while providing affordable family entertainment, and serving as the inspirational destination for professional and amateur youth soccer players in the U.S.”

Nike and Umbro will continue to support USL through a long-term sponsorship agreement naming Umbro as the official sponsor and exclusive supplier of match balls for USL’s professional and amateur leagues, including USL First Division, USL Second Division, Premier Development League and W-League. Nike Soccer will also serve as an exclusive sponsor for USL.

“This is really the best of both worlds for USL,” said Francisco Marcos, Founder and President of United Soccer Leagues. “We have new ownership that will focus solely on developing and growing the leagues, and Umbro and Nike Soccer join us as sponsors to support our franchise owners, teams and athletes.”


NuRock Soccer Holdings LLC

NuRock Soccer Holdings LLC is part of the umbrella family of companies known as The NuRock Companies. The Principals of NuRock have a dedicated and deep understanding of the soccer industry. As part of its family of companies, NuRock is an existing USL franchisee, with a USL Premier Development League operation in Atlanta. Robert Hoskins is the Chairman of NuRock Soccer Holdings LLC and is the Founder and Managing Principal of The NuRock Companies. Alec Papadakis is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of NuRock Soccer Holdings.

United Soccer Leagues

United Soccer Leagues (“USL”), with headquarters in Tampa, FL, is the largest organization of elite-level soccer leagues in North America. USL is comprised of six leagues, USL First and Second Divisions (men’s professional soccer), Premier Development League (men’s under-23), W-League (women’s), USL Super-20 League (under-20, men’s and women’s amateur), and Super Y-League (boy’s and girl’s elite youth amateur). Dedicated to growing the sport of soccer at the grassroots level, USL has provided a platform for thousands of players to reach their dreams over the last three decades.

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Well, we can look for Birmingham and Atlanta to join USL but I wonder where that leaves Traffic?

I think things just got much more complicated in this mess of things... who the HECK are these people that bought the league? What makes them sure they can deliver on this statement: "Our vision for USL is to become the most competitive and profitable pyramid of soccer leagues in North America”? How the heck is Traffic responding to this?

Bottomline: We want a team in Miami. And not just a team, but a good team with an ownership willing to throw money out there to bring good players and to let Miami know a team exists. Is Traffic going to step up now with the new group stepping in and hopefully shaking things up, or are they going to cut their losses? If it's the latter, don't shut us down! Just sell the team to someone who IS willing to step up and do what is necessary!!

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