Celtic USA rumors are running out of steam

Celtic USA: A New Colony Club Heading to NASL?

Chivas USA, New York City FC, and Rayo OKC were not the first colony clubs in American soccer. Crystal Palace Baltimore wasn’t even the first. The tradition of foreign satellite teams here goes back to a league called the United Soccer Association in 1967.  A precursor to the original North American Soccer League, the USA planned to launch in 1968 but found itself in a race to market against a rival league, the National Professional Soccer League.  In order to debut in 1967, the USA fielded overseas squads under local brands in US cities so that it would not fall behind its rival.  The 1967 USA was an entire league of imported clubs, from the Cleveland Stokers (Stoke City) to the Boston Rovers (Shamrock Rovers) to the Los Angeles Wolves (Wolverhampton) and more. Ultimately, the USA and the NPSL merged for the 1968 season to form the original North American Soccer League.

Chivas USA and Crystal Palace Baltimore are two failed colony club attempts in the post-1996 era. Chivas joined MLS during a hard period for the league and never really caught on in the Los Angeles market.  Crystal Palace Baltimore lasted in USL2 from 2007-2009 before playing its final season in the USSF D2 league.  It intended to join the reborn North American Soccer League in 2011, but financial difficulties at Crystal Palace caused the Baltimore club to lose its backing.

New York City FC is off to a much better start in MLS.  Formed by City Football Group, owners of the English Premier League’s Manchester City FC, in partnership with the New York Yankees, New York City FC does a slightly better job of masking its satellite team status.  The City name blends in perfectly in the Big Apple. The franchise has drawn strong attendances in Yankee Stadium since its inception last year, averaging 29,016 fans per home match in 2015.  NYCFC is on course for an average around 25,000 per match this season.  Rayo OKC also got off to a nice start for a Division 2 team, drawing 6,416 to its home opener this year, though it is still early days.

The latest colony club rumor suggests Scottish club Celtic FC is looking to establish a franchise in the North American Soccer League.  The Celtic to NASL rumors emerged last fall, when the British tabloid The Sun reported that the Scottish club kicked off talks with the league.  While nothing but message board rumblings followed in the near term, Celtic Underground recently reported that team executive Peter Lawwell will be traveling back to the USA this summer to re-engage NASL.


Colony Clubs: Good or Bad?


Chivas USA comparisons dogged NYCFC from the start

Colony clubs are a controversial topic among American soccer fans.  As Chivas USA struggled leading up to their demise, they became a symbol of how not to run a soccer franchise in the USA.  The problems with Chivas USA started with the Chivas identity itself. Launching a Los Angeles based pro team appealing to a Mexican-American audience is not inherently a bad idea, but it would be one better served with an identity independent from any Liga MX clubs. Mexican-American soccer fans already had a strong opinion of Chivas and it would be difficult for fans of rival Liga MX clubs to support Chivas USA.  The other main issue Chivas faced was their ground share with the LA Galaxy at the StubHub Center, which prevented them from getting any traction that they may have gotten as the primary team in a geographically distinct part of the LA metro area from Carson.  LAFC chose to avoid repeating that mistake by delaying their MLS debut until 2018 so they can open in their downtown Los Angeles stadium.

In our recent interview with Peter Wilt (part 1 and part 2), we discussed the topic of colony clubs.  He said, “I think international investment in the US professional soccer scene is positive. Brand development associated with the international investment can be tricky. Obviously Chivas USA narrowed its identity in southern California so much they created a micro-niche that had an incredibly small potential audience. New York City FC and Rayo OKC are extending their local brands beyond their mother teams, which provides a greater chance for long term success. Celtic and any other foreign club looking to establish a successful US club needs to utilize the broader-base brand development that NYC FC and Rayo OKC are using.”

One positive aspect of Chivas USA was that it developed a strong academy in the US, and most of its talent moved to the LA Galaxy system upon Chivas USA’s demise.  Whether a colony club is a net positive for US soccer probably depends on how well they do creating an identity that is local to the US market they are in, and how committed they are to applying their talent development expertise in that market through youth academies.

Rayo OKC demonstrated an ability to quickly field a very competitive NASL side (no doubt thanks to their football management experience).  After choosing Alen Marcina as manager, they attracted a marquee player in Georgios Samaras and a core of solid veterans from MLS and NASL, including Robbie Findley, who played for the USMNT in the 2010 World Cup.  


The Nexxfield turf used by Rayo at Miller Stadium could open up more venue options for NASL clubs in the future

Their experience brings best practices into the league, one example of which comes in the form of the portable Nexxfield turf they introduced at Miller Stadium.  Cosmos COO Erik Stover told Empire of Soccer that Nexxfield has transformed the Cosmos’ temporary stadium options as they look to move away from Shuart Stadium in 2017.  The turf not only plays well, but is easy to apply and remove and can cover up a track, football lines, and other markings that make watching soccer less pleasant.  Stover commented to the Cosmos Country podcast that players have told him Nexxfield is far superior to the current playing surface at Shuart.  Improvements like these make the league better.

An inherent risk of colony clubs is that their financial backing depends on the parent organization.  The demise of Crystal Palace Baltimore came about due to financial challenges at Crystal Palace FC.  There is a very real chance that Rayo Vallecano will be relegated from La Liga this season.  Whether this negatively impacts investments into Rayo OKC remains to be seen.


Where would a Celtic NASL franchise be positioned for success?


The US Census shows Irish-American populations are largest in the Northeast

Celtic is an international brand with broad support outside of Scotland.  That support is often associated with the presence of an Irish or Scottish diaspora.  There are a number of Celtic supporters groups across the United States and Canada.  

We asked Tom Donnelly, President of the North American Federation of Celtic Supporters Clubs, where he thought a Celtic NASL team would fit best based on current Celtic support. “I think the best spot would be Boston, my first choice, then New Jersey. If in New Jersey there would be a good rivalry with New York NASL team. Between New York, New Jersey and Philly, I am 100% sure that any Celtic team setting up there would be a great move for Celtic.”

The North American Federation of Celtic Supporters Clubs lists four groups in the New York area, three in the Philadelphia area, two in Houston and two in San Francisco.  Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Phoenix, Orlando, Tampa Bay, South Florida and Hawaii also have groups listed on the site.  In Canada, there are three supporters groups in Toronto and a plethora throughout Ontario.

Despite being a Scottish club, Celtic has broad support in the Republic of Ireland and in the Irish diaspora. Glasgow’s Old Firm derby between Catholic Celtic and Protestant Rangers served as a proxy contest among Irish Nationalists and Unionists.  Thus far, the rumor mill has thrown Boston, Hartford, Detroit, Philadelphia and the West Coast as possible landing spots for Celtic USA. It would make sense that Celtic FC would put their NASL club in a metropolitan area that has a strong Irish and/or Scottish diaspora.

IrishCentral.com published a guide on reaching the Irish diaspora that includes some statistics on Irish-American populations by metro area.

  • New York Metro Area – 2.04 million
  • Boston Metro Area – 1.5 million
  • Philadelphia Metro Area – 1.2 million
  • Chicago Metro Area – 1.1 million
  • San Francisco & LA Metro Area – 350,000 and 633,000 total about 1 million

Scottish diaspora by state, via Wikipedia’s page on Scottish Americans:

  • California– 519,955 (1.4% of State population)
  • Texas– 369,161 (1.5%)
  • Florida– 296,667 (1.6%)
  • North Carolina– 245,021 (2.6%)
  • Michigan– 227,372 (2.3%)
  • New York– 215,898 (1.1%)
  • Ohio– 214,649 (1.9%)
  • Washington– 200,085 (3.0%)

The Delaware Valley area around Philadelphia, New England, Appalachia and the Southern States are mentioned as regions with significant Scottish-American populations.

Let’s take a look at some of the rumored city options based on where Celtic supporters are located and where strong Irish and Scottish diasporas reside.




Celtic FC may be barred from Boston because of trademark conflicts with the NBA team

Boston would be the ideal fit for Celtic FC’s NASL franchise, if it were not for the potential trademark conflicts with the NBA’s Boston Celtics.    STV News reports that Celtic FC are restricted from entering Boston as part of a marketing agreement with the NBA team.  Boston Celtic FC would create brand confusion, so unless Celtic were to create some type of partnership with the NBA team in which each owned a piece of Boston Celtic FC in the manner that Manchester City’s owners and the New York Yankees own NYCFC, it seems unlikely to happen.  The Boston Bhoys would be an alternative name option as would be resurrecting the Boston Rovers identity with the classic green and white hoops that both Celtic FC and Shamrock Rovers use.

With the New England Revolution playing well outside the city in Foxborough, Boston is an interesting market for NASL with Harvard Stadium, Nickerson Field and a potentially expanded Jordan Field, home to the NWSL Boston Breakers, as venue possibilities.  Regardless of whether Celtic lands in Boston, NASL should look into doing there what Peter Wilt is attempting in Chicago – placing a team within city limits as an alternative to the suburban based MLS club.

Potential Boston venues:

Jordan Field


  • Location:  Allston, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Capacity: 4000 (one stand, theoretically expandable)
  • Owner: Harvard University
  • Notable Tenants: Boston Breakers (NWSL), Harvard’s soccer and lacrosse teams
  • Accessibility: 0.4 miles from Alewife Station.  Parking available in Harvard Stadium complex.
  • Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordan_Field
  • StadiumJourney.com rating for Boston Breakers: 3.3 of 5 stars
  • Commentary:  Jordan Field is small for a NASL club, failing to meet the 5,000 capacity threshold.  Settling on Jordan Field would probably require an agreement with Harvard to expand the stadium by adding another stand, which could impact the baseball field behind it.  Celtic would likely have to foot the bill for this improvement, if Harvard is agreeable.  On the positive side, co-marketing with the Boston Breakers could benefit both clubs.


Harvard Stadium


  • Location:  Allston, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Capacity: 30,323
  • Owner: Harvard University
  • Notable Tenants: Harvard Crimson football
  • Accessibility: 0.4 miles from Alewife Station.  Parking available in Harvard Stadium complex.
  • Wikpedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Stadium
  • StadiumJourney.com rating for Boston Breakers: 3.4 of 5 stars
  • Commentary:  Located next to Jordan Field, Harvard Stadium offers a larger capacity.  In truth 30,000-plus is too much for NASL at this time, and this option would likely come with more scheduling conflicts than Jordan Field.  However if expanding Jordan is not an option, than Harvard Stadium would be more appealing.


Nickerson Field


  • Location:  Boston, Massachusetts
  • Capacity: 10,412
  • Owner: Boston University
  • Notable Tenants: Boston University’s soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and track programs.
  • Accessibility: 0.1 from Pleasanton Station on B line.  On-site parking.
  • Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickerson_Field
  • Commentary:  Nickerson hosted NASL 1.0 teams the Boston Minutemen (1975) and the New England Tea Men (1979).  Its capacity is more appropriate for NASL than Harvard Stadium and Jordan Field, and it is closer to public transit.


New York/Northern New Jersey


NASL is unlikely to approve a second New York metro team until the Cosmos have their stadium in place

The New York City area has the largest Irish diaspora in the country and the largest number of Celtic supporters groups with the Bronx, Queens, Kearny NJ and Manhattan represented.  While New York might be an ideal fit for Celtic in many aspects, it seems likely that NASL will not want to place a second team in the market until the Cosmos’ stadium issues are resolved and the league’s flagship franchise has a permanent home.  Any venue Celtic would choose in New York would be another choice for the Cosmos’ temporary home until their stadium project comes to life at Belmont or elsewhere.

Possible New York metro venues:

Coffey Field


  • Location:  Bronx, New York City, New York
  • Capacity: 7,000
  • Owner: Fordham University
  • Notable Tenants: Fordham University’s football and soccer teams
  • Accessibility: 1.2 miles from Kingsbridge/Fordham Rd subway stops. Limited parking on site.
  • Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffey_Field
  • StadiumJourney.com rating for Fordham Rams: 2.6 of 5 stars
  • Commentary:  While Coffey Field is located close to the Irish neighborhoods in the Bronx, it’s limited accessibility would make traveling there unpleasant for non-locals.  Placing a team in the Bronx, so close to NYCFC, may also limit the club’s success.

MCU Park


  • Location:  Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City, New York
  • Capacity: 7,500
  • Owner: City of New York (operated by the New York Mets)
  • Notable Tenants: Brooklyn Cyclones
  • Accessibility: 0.3 miles from Coney Island-Stillwell Ave subway stop.  On-site parking.
  • Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MCU_Park
  • StadiumJourney.com rating for Brooklyn Cyclones: 4.3 of 5 stars
  • Commentary:  MCU Park has hosted several New York Cosmos games, one of which I attended.  The only major issue with MCU from a fan perspective is the baseball field turf and the general configuration of the ballpark for baseball, which is an issue with any baseball stadium.  If a pro soccer team could drop Nexxfield on top of the turf, that would go a long way.  MCU Park gets quite frigid due to ocean breezes, but this is something fans can plan around.  The Coney Island neighborhood is an entertainment destination that makes the fan experience more pleasant.  Operationally, coordinating playing dates with the Cyclones could be challenging, although the New York Penn League only plays during the second half of June, July and August, minimizing overlap.

Lawrence A. Wien Stadium


Richmond County Bank Ballpark


  • Location:  Staten Island, New York City, New York
  • Capacity: 7,171
  • Owner: City of New York (operated by the Staten Island Yankees)
  • Notable Tenants: Staten Island Yankees
  • Accessibility: 0.3 walk from the Staten Island Ferry St. George terminal.  On-site parking.
  • Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richmond_County_Bank_Ballpark
  • StadiumJourney.com rating for Staten Island Yankees: 3.4 of 5 stars
  • Commentary:  Richmond County Bank Ballpark is home to the Staten Island Yankees, who play in the New York Penn League alongside the Brooklyn Cyclones.  The Ballpark sits next to the Staten Island Ferry terminal and offers a beautiful view of the lower Manhattan skyline.   It would share the same potential scheduling logistics as MCU, but does not offer the charm of the Coney Island neighborhood.

Icahn Stadium


  • Location:  Randalls Island, Manhattan, New York City, New York
  • Capacity: 5,000
  • Owner: City of New York
  • Notable Tenants: Adidas Grand Prix and various track and field events
  • Accessibility: No subway stops.  Limited on-site parking.  Transportation by M35 bus recommended.
  • Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icahn_Stadium
  • Commentary:  If you look at a map, Randalls Island appears to be perfectly central to Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens.  While that may be the case as the crow flies, getting in and out of the island as a modern human is not easy.  With no subway stop and limited parking, the Icahn Stadium web site recommends taking the M35 bus.  Further, a pro soccer team would likely make investments in the form of adding a second stand to raise the capacity and Nexxfield turf to cover the track.

Other potential homes from Celtic in the New York metro area would include Rockland County’s Provident Bank Park, Rutgers University’s Yurcak Field (home of Sky Blue FC) and Somerset County’s TD Bank Ballpark.  Queens’ Belson Stadium at St. John’s University is too small to meet D2 standards, although the Cosmos have used it for low profile Open Cup matches.


Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey


The Plough Bhoys are one of Philly’s Celtic Supporters Clubs

After New York and Boston, Philadelphia is home to the largest Irish diaspora in the United States.  Northeast Philadelphia is traditionally one of the largest Irish-American communities in the country.  The Delaware Valley region surrounding Philadelphia is also home to a strong Scottish diaspora.  The area has three supporters groups listed with the North American Federation of Celtic Supporters Clubs, two in Philadelphia and one in nearby Trenton NJ.  Rumored as one of the cities that Celtic is considering, Philly provides strong support for their MLS team, the Union.  However the Union play in Chester, south of the city, leaving open the possibility of a team in city limits or in the Northern suburbs.

Potential Philadelphia metro venues:

McCarthy Stadium


  • Location:  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Capacity: 7,500
  • Owner: La Salle University
  • Notable Tenants: La Salle’s lacrosse and soccer teams
  • Accessibility: 0.4 miles from Wister stop on the Chestnut Hill East SEPTA line. Limited parking on site.
  • Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthy_Stadium
  • Commentary:  McCarthy Stadium would offer a location in a different part of the Philadelphia market from the MLS Union, and within city limits.  It is an appropriate size for a NASL team, and it is located closer to the traditional Irish sections of the city, in North and Northeast Philadelphia.  The field has a track around it would be best covered in Nexxfield turf.  The stadium is older, having been built in 1936.

Campbell’s Field


  • Location:  Camden, New Jersey
  • Capacity: 6,425
  • Owner: Camden County (operated by Rutgers-Camden)
  • Notable Tenants: Rutgers-Camden
  • Accessibility: Plenty of on-site parking in a lot shared with the Camden Aquarium.  The ballpark is easily accessed from I-676, I-295 and the New Jersey Turnpike.
  • Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell%27s_Field
  • StadiumJourney.com rating for Camden Riversharks: 3.0 of 5 stars
  • Commentary:  Campbell’s Field would be a candidate for an Al Lang Stadium style retrofit for soccer.  While it is located outside of the city, it is easily accessible from major highways.  Although Camden carries a reputation as a dangerous city, the stadium is located near major attractions like the Aquarium.  As the only non-University option on the Philadelphia market list, earning concessions dollars from alcohol sales would be a stronger possibility.

Villanova Stadium


  • Location:  Villanova, Pennsylvania
  • Capacity: 12,500
  • Owner: Villanova University
  • Notable Tenants: Villanova University football, lacrosse, field hockey and track events
  • Accessibility: 0.6 walk from the Villanova stop on the Paoli/Thorndale line.  On-site parking.  
  • Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villanova_Stadium
  • StadiumJourney.com rating for Villanova Wildcats: 3.0 of 5 stars
  • Commentary:  Villanova is outside of the city, but in a distinct part of the market from Talen Energy Park. Villanova is located among the affluent Main Line suburbs but is easily accessible from the city via public transportation.

Franklin Field


  • Location:  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Capacity: 52,958
  • Owner: University of Pennsylvania
  • Notable Tenants: UPenn football, the Penn Relays
  • Accessibility: Franklin Field is located near the 30th Street Station and is a brief walk from public transportation.  There is limited parking on-site, though there are private parking garages in the area.
  • Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Field
  • StadiumJourney.com rating for Penn Quakers: 3.6 of 5 stars
  • Commentary:  The Philadelphia Atoms of the original NASL played in Franklin Field in 1976, and it was an old stadium even then since it was built in 1895.  Its 50,000 plus capacity is too large for NASL.  Its best attribute relative to a NASL team is that it is located near center city Philadelphia.

The combination of Celtic supporters groups, strong Irish/Scottish diaspora and the lack of a trademark issue (Boston) or existing NASL team (New York) make Philly a very interesting landing spot for Celtic.



Hartford City FC never materialized

A year ago, NASL to Hartford looked a like a very real possibility.  The city was ready to support the redevelopment of Dillon Stadium in an effort to bring a pro soccer team to town.  Hartford City FC put out a web site and there was noise that they wanted to join the league. It all went south when the group in charge of the stadium development was accused of misusing funds.  Between this experience and cost overruns on the MiLB stadium Hartford is building for the AA baseball Yard Goats, it might take a truly reputable investor such as Celtic FC to rekindle interest in soccer among the city brass who previously served up a stadium project on a platter and got burned.  New England is a region with a strong Scottish diaspora, and it sits between the two largest Irish diaspora metro areas in Boston and New York.  

Potential Hartford venues:

Dillon Stadium


  • Location:  Hartford Connecticut
  • Capacity: 9,600
  • Owner: City of Hartford
  • Notable Tenants: None
  • Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dillon_Stadium
  • Commentary: Dillon Stadium was home to the Hartford Bicentennials of the original NASL in 1975 and 1976.  The city opened its arms to welcome NASL back, but unfortunately chose the wrong partner for its stadium redevelopment efforts.  If the city can be persuaded to reopen the process for a credible investor like Celtic, a new Dillon Stadium could be an option.


Rentschler Field Stadium


  • Location:  East Hartford, Connecticut
  • Capacity: 40,682
  • Owner: State of Connecticut
  • Notable Tenants: University of Connecticut football
  • Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratt_%26_Whitney_Stadium_at_Rentschler_Field
  • StadiumJourney.com rating for Connecticut Huskies: 3.0 of 5 stars
  • Commentary:  The US Men’s National Team has drawn strong attendances at Rentschler Field, which was recently the site of Landon Donovan’s final cap.  However the stadium is very large relative to the attendances expected for the league.  The venue has a reputation for being expensive to rent.

Dunkin Donuts Park


  • Location:  Hartford Connecticut
  • Capacity: 6,056
  • Owner: City of Hartford
  • Notable Tenants: Hartford Yard Goats
  • Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunkin%27_Donuts_Park
  • Commentary:  Dunkin Donuts Park is not yet completed, however a ground share with the Yard Goats could be an option if the city will not get back on board for the reconstruction of Dillon Stadium.



A year ago, Detroit looked like a major open market for an MLS, NASL or USL team to call its own.  That may be changing soon.  With the announcement that Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert are teaming to place an MLS team in Detroit, the Motor City no longer makes sense for Celtic NASL.  A Detroit club may not make sense for NASL at all unless it comes in the form of a Detroit City FC spurned by the MLS process.  Detroit City supporters groups bristle at the idea of their club in MLS or USL, and see NASL as the lesser of three evils.   If NASL were to counter program against a possible MLS team in Detroit, it would do best to place a bet on Detroit City FC.  Adding a third team into the mix would make little sense at this point.


West Coast

The West Coast has broadly been thrown out as a potential landing spot for a Celtic team.  San Francisco probably would have made the most sense before the Deltas claimed it.  With PDL’s San Francisco City FC intent on going pro in the coming years, a second San Francisco team would make little sense.  A Celtic team could potentially take residence up in Oakland and form a Bay Area derby.  The Los Angeles area has a significant Irish diaspora, but the ghost of Chivas past still looms there.   San Diego is a major city without a pro soccer team, though a colony club from Club Tijuana, which already has a local fan base, would make a lot more sense there than Celtic.



Celtic could take a left turn on NASL by placing a team in the newly forming Canadian Premier League instead.  The CFL Hamilton Tiger-Cats ownership seemed close to launching a NASL team last year, but then pulled out around the time of the Traffic scandal.  Hamilton is joining this CPL, and the Ottawa Fury are rumored to be defecting from NASL to do so as well.  FC Edmonton reportedly plans to stay in NASL.  The last report from Duane Rollins suggested that the CPL did not have investors lined up for a Toronto club. There are several Celtic supporters groups in Toronto, and a number in other populated Ontario cities like Windsor (which borders Detroit) and London.


Other Cities


The St. Louis Lions already have ties to Celtic

Baltimore, Nashville, Memphis, Buffalo, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Cleveland, Birmingham, and Austin are cities that NASL should be targeting, though whether they make sense for a Celtic team is another question.  One would think cities with existing supporters groups or Irish/Scottish ties that the Celtic brand could tap into would be better fits.  That being said, if we did this exercise on where a Rayo Vallecano colony team should be placed, it is unlikely that Oklahoma City would have turned up as a primary option.  So don’t be totally shocked if Celtic drops its team in a random Midwestern market, even one like St. Louis with an already existing USL team.  Celtic has ties with the St. Louis Lions of the PDL, who wear the green and white hoops, have a 6,200 capacity stadium and a Scottish owner in Tony Glavin.


Could Celtic USA succeed in NASL?

We are seeing New York City FC have a great deal of box-office success in MLS, their on-field struggles notwithstanding.  Despite wearing essentially the same home jersey as Manchester City FC, leveraging the New York City name apparently makes NYCFC feel authentic enough for many New York soccer fans.  It may seem like a silly thing, but embracing the name of the locality in the brand makes a difference.  The worst name Celtic could choose would be the one on this article, Celtic USA.

If Celtic chooses to enter an American market, they would do well to embrace the local community and bind their NASL identity to the city name in front of Celtic (i.e. Philadelphia Celtic).  Establishing themselves either in a market without an existing MLS-NASL-USL team (such as Hartford) or in a larger market with a team where they have sufficient geographic separation from the existing MLS-NASL-USL team (such as North Philadelphia) would be another key to success.  Several years ago, after the demise of Chivas USA, few people would have thought a satellite team could succeed.  New York City FC has proven that if the execution is right, even the biggest city in the country can embrace a colony club.

2 Responses

  1. Jim A

    Harvard’s Jordan Field already has endline stands. The Breakers put them up to get that 4k capacity:


    If Celtic were to have a team in Boston, the regular Harvard Stadium would be a better option in my opinion. They could go in with the MLL team (And maybe the Breakers) and get that turf Rayo OKC uses. The field would be on the narrow side, but it hosted Olympic soccer in 1984.

  2. Jonathan

    Excellent article! Despite the growth of MLS there are still lots of niche markets especially in the urban core of most American cities for NASL to explore. It is very feasible for most large urban areas to have 2-3 high level pro soccer teams.

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