North American Soccer League Introduces ‘The Championship’
Four clubs, three matches, two finalists, one Champion…
The North American Soccer League will feature a new-look postseason format as four clubs qualify to play in ‘The Championship’ that will decide which of the league’s clubs lifts the NASL Soccer Bowl trophy.
As a component of long term competition planning, the NASL Spring Season and Fall Season champions will be joined in the semi finals of The Championship by the two clubs with the next best overall records from both seasons combined. The semi final winners will compete in The Championship final.
"This playoff structure recognizes and rewards the Spring and Fall season champions while also rewarding the overall achievements of teams across both seasons,” said Fury FC President, John Pugh. "Best of all it will keep more teams in the playoff hunt for a longer period and create yet more excitement for fans all around the League."
“The NASL is continuing to grow and mature and part of that process is to listen to our fans,” said San Antonio Scorpions owner Gordon Hartman. “The owners have done that and made the season more competitive by embracing The Championship.”
The new format, which was approved by the NASL Board of Governors meeting this week in Jacksonville, will be introduced for the upcoming 2014 NASL season. The Championship semi finals will be played the weekend of November 8/9 and The Championship final on the following weekend of November 15/16.
“We have a vision for how we want to be structured when we reach 18 clubs,” said NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson. “The Championship is an integral part of that vision and the fan feedback we received overwhelmingly supported the decision. The already fierce competition in NASL just got tougher.”
“This format will bring a lot of motivation to every team involved,” said Ottawa Fury FC Head Coach Marc Dos Santos on ‘The Championship’. “Everyone will fight throughout the entire season to be in those 4 spots and have a chance for the Championship game.”
The Championship Semi Finals (home team listed first)
Seed #1 vs. Seed #4
Seed #2 vs. Seed #3
The Championship Final (home team listed first)
Highest remaining seed vs. other Semi Final winner
The Championship seeding
• The NASL Spring Season and Fall Season champions will each host a semi final.
• The number one seed will be awarded to whichever of the Spring or Fall champions posts the better combined regular season record.
• The number three and number four seeds will be awarded to the next two clubs with the best overall records from both seasons combined.
• Clubs will retain their seeding throughout the postseason.
• The top-seeded semi final winner will host The Championship final.
• If the same club wins both seasons, the clubs with the second, third and fourth best overall records from both seasons combined will qualify for The Championship.