Welcome to today’s exclusive interview with Scott “Matchmaker” Michaels, a passionate advocate for the revival of the National Soccer League (NSL) in the United States. In this conversation, we delve into the compelling reasons behind the need for the NSL, exploring the challenges that fans and American players face in accessing the MLS, as well as the unique approach that the NSL is taking to bring back iconic teams and foster the growth of soccer in the country. Join us as we uncover the vision, opportunities, and potential impact of this exciting initiative.
Interviewer: Thank you for joining us today, Scott “Matchmaker” Michaels. We’re excited to discuss your efforts to bring back the National Soccer League (NSL) in the United States. To start, could you tell us what inspired you to spearhead this initiative?
Scott “Matchmaker” Michaels: Thank you for having me. I’ve always been extremely passionate about soccer and believe that there’s tremendous untapped potential in the United States. The reasons for bringing back the NSL are multifaceted. One of the most compelling factors is the need for a winter league outside the regular season of US soccer. With MLS ticket prices averaging $60 and even higher for some marquee games, it’s become increasingly expensive for fans to enjoy professional soccer in the country. Some MLS matches with top-tier talents like Messi are commanding ticket prices of up to $600, which is simply not accessible to many fans.
MLS, while undoubtedly successful for its owners, is a relatively small industry with just 29 teams, and the majority of its players are foreign. This makes it challenging for American talent to break into the league. By my calculations, it’s about a million to one odds for an American player to become an MLS player. I firmly believe there’s a wealth of untapped talent outside the MLS, and lots of these talents have had to move to Europe to play professionally.
Furthermore, during the winter months, many large stadiums across the United States, including college stadiums and baseball stadiums, remain underutilized. With the 2026 World Cup set to be hosted in America, there will be increased mainstream media attention on soccer. It presents a fantastic opportunity to fill these stadiums with passionate soccer fans and generate excitement for the sport.
Interviewer: It’s clear that there’s a need for a league like the NSL, especially considering the challenges in accessing the MLS for both fans and American players. Can you tell us more about your plans for the NSL and how it differs from other leagues in the United States?
Scott “Matchmaker” Michaels: The NSL aims to bring back the original teams that were once iconic in American soccer, such as the LA Aztecs, Chicago Sting, Atlanta Chiefs, Washington Diplomats, Memphis Rogues, Detroit Express, California Surf, Philadelphia Atoms, Boston Minutemen, and San Antonio Thunder. These teams have historical significance, and reviving them is a nod to the rich history of soccer in the United States.
One of the key differentiators for the NSL is its licensing model, which means no franchise fee for investors. In contrast, the MLS charges an exorbitant $500 million for the latest expansion teams, making it challenging for new investors to enter the market. Even minor league USL clubs are charging up to $20 million for a club. With NSL’s licensing approach, we’re providing a more accessible and inclusive opportunity for investors to become part of this exciting venture.
We’re currently finalizing all the league’s legal and financial models, which also include a partnership with Morgan Stanley. This ensures the sustainability and financial stability of the league. We plan to take the teams to market in the new year and are already receiving expressions of interest from investors who are eager to contribute to the growth of soccer in the United States and build value around the beautiful game.
Interviewer: That sounds like a promising and inclusive model for the NSL. Could you share more about the vision you have for the league’s future and how it can benefit American soccer as a whole?
Scott “Matchmaker” Michaels: Our vision for the NSL goes beyond just reviving a soccer league; it’s about creating a dynamic and competitive landscape in the United States where American talent can truly shine. We’re dedicated to making top-level soccer accessible to fans without burdening their wallets. To achieve this, we’re planning to establish an NSL Showcase, complemented by the recruitment of experienced coaches and managers. We also aim to bring international players to elevate the league’s quality.
Our commitment extends to providing opportunities for American players who may have been overlooked by the current system, enabling them to play professionally in their home country. By facilitating this exposure and creating a fertile ground for talent development, we’re ensuring a more inclusive and diverse landscape for the sport.
The NSL isn’t just about teams; it’s about bringing back iconic clubs that once captured the hearts of soccer enthusiasts. We aim to rekindle the passion of fans who remember the glory days of these historic teams. With the 2026 World Cup on the horizon, we have a unique opportunity to capitalize on the heightened enthusiasm surrounding soccer and further ignite interest in the sport.
Through our partnership with Morgan Stanley and the adoption of a sustainable financial model, we are committed to ensuring the long-term success and growth of the league. We’re not merely creating a league; we’re building a robust foundation for the future of soccer in America.
Our long-term vision involves establishing a multi-tiered league structure interconnected with promotion and relegation, ultimately integrating with amateur clubs. This holistic approach creates a genuine ecosystem for clubs, fostering the development of soccer at all levels.
Interviewer: Thank you, Scott, for sharing your comprehensive vision for the National Soccer League. Your dedication to American soccer is evident, and we look forward to seeing how the NSL will reshape the landscape of the sport in the United States. Best of luck with your ambitious and exciting endeavors.
Scott “Matchmaker” Michaels: Thank you for your support, and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss our plans. We’re enthusiastic about the potential of the NSL to drive positive change in American soccer, and we are committed to making it a reality.