Growth so slow you can’t see it

In this article on the growing popularity of lower-division soccer in the U.S., North American Soccer League commissioner Bill Peterson is quoted as saying, “We are growing quickly… I don’t think it’s too quickly.”

He’s right that the NASL isn’t growing “too quickly,” but I take issue with the idea that it’s growing “quickly” at all. The league launched in 2011 with eight clubs. Four years later, there are only eleven. In 2012, the San Antonio Scorpions joined, but the Montreal Impact moved up to MLS the same year. The next year, the league gained the New York Cosmos for half a season, but lost the Puerto Rico Islanders. Two more teams joined last year, and one more this year. Next year, the long-promised Virginia Cavalry and Oklahoma FC are supposed to start play, but neither actually looks likely. Not only is this NOT “growing quickly,” it’s barely growth at all.