Saturday, November 14, 2015

Rayo Oklahoma: Right intention, wrong execution.

Have you ever intended for something to be done well and it ends up being a square peg in a round hole? That was this past week in North American Soccer League news as the league (which has widely been known for announcing things and not making any movement) announced a new expansion team as "Rayo Oklahoma" (in connection to Royo Vallecano) brings their La Liga presence into the North American Soccer League.

The announcement of a La Liga team building a team in the United States is a lot like getting a box on Christmas Morning that's the size of her house, but really there are about 15 boxes inside and it was really a pair of socks.

This is the third team that will begin play in 2016 (all three beginning in the Spring) and regardless of your opinion of the parent club (which according to my research is more of a bottom feeder in La Liga) the issues with this club in the immediate seems more to do with where they will be playing.

This is Miller Stadium, which will be the home of Rayo Oklahoma City... in Yukon, Oklahoma. And while you look at this project look of the stadium and think that (outside of the fact this is a stadium for a High School in Oklahoma) compare that with the google map image of the stadium as it stands (which was build in 2007)

What is really wrong with Rayo Oklahoma City as it stands: 

I'm not blind enough to think that it isn't a good thing that Bill Peterson and the North American Soccer League is continuing to grow and grow in a world where MLS' additions are seismic waves through the domestic soccer world. What I do have issue with is the gate keeper casting this image that anyone with the money can join. 

It's a huge issue running through the veins of domestic leagues in this country when the quality is thrown out for the money that they bring in. It's incredibly early to be passing judgement down on teams like Los Angeles Football Club in MLS but expansiosn that are announced and quickly manifest themselves into 140 character jokes ruin the excitement of a new team before they even hit the field. 

Whether or not Rayo Oklahoma comes in and flourishes as another pillar for the North American Soccer League or the door closes before it opens is left to the speculation crowd until next season. For now, the image that Rayo Oklahoma casts on the second division of US Soccer feels more like a third or fourth division.

Time will tell. Until then, 


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