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OKC's Soccer War needs one winner

COMMENTARY — Two organizations want to bring professional soccer to Oklahoma City, each playing in a different league. For the fans' sake, it's best if one side wins out.
by Berry Tramel Modified: July 3, 2013 at 11:00 am •  Published: July 2, 2013
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The NASL is attempting to become a rival league to Major League Soccer.

So think of the USL PRO as the Pacific Coast League and the NASL as basketball's old ABA or football's old USFL.

And just so your confusion knows no bounds, Lund also runs the Oklahoma City FC, which is a subsidiary of USL PRO. Oklahoma City FC's contract with USL PRO says its owners and management will not participate in a competing league.

Sold Out Strategies filed a federal lawsuit Monday seeking relief from that no-compete clause.

Told you this was going to be confusing.

Lund can't speak publicly because of the court case, and Funk was unavailable Tuesday due to the birth Monday of his second child.

But I talked to the commissioners or presidents of both leagues Tuesday, the NASL's Bill Peterson via phone and USL PRO's Tim Holt, who was at the Devon Tower.

Both spoke impressively of their league, just as you'd expect, and both paint a bright picture for the franchises in their leagues.

I could go into detail for both, but frankly, is it worth it? One of these franchises is doomed to fail, maybe both if they both go to the mat.

Doesn't sound like anyone is giving in.

I don't know what the answer is. A duel at 20 paces. Penalty shots kicked by the ownership groups. Let the Red Dirt Brigade vote.

Bratt, the super fan, said if Oklahoma City lands an elite soccer team and nobody shows up in support, he can live with that. But if the sport fails because of warring factions, “that would devastate me. I hope they bury the hatchet before it's buried in this town.

“My hope is we have a team that we as fans can get behind.”

In other words, Oklahoma City needs a soccer team. It doesn't need two.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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