The Alliance for American Soccer earned some immediate title recognition on Saturday by asserting the legendary Steve Spurrier because the league’s first head coach.
Spurrier, who guided the College of Florida to a nationwide championship and had a profitable run at South Carolina sandwiched round a two-year stint within the NFL, will coach a group based mostly in Orlando, Fla.
The AAF is a brand new league that’s scheduled to debut in February 2019, six days after the Tremendous Bowl LIII is performed in Atlanta.
Spurrier’s return to soccer was introduced throughout an look on “CBS This Morning: Saturday” with league co-founder Charlie Ebersol and former Pittsburg Steelers huge receiver Hines Ward, certainly one of a number of former NFL gamers affiliated with the league.
“We introduced in the perfect gamers and the perfect coaches to be on the prime of the group,” Ebersol stated. “We wished to present followers not simply a possibility to see nice soccer however to see what would occur should you introduced the gamers and the league collectively.”
Spurrier instantly raises the profile of the eight-team league, notably within the Sunshine State.
A Heisman Trophy winner as a quarterback at Florida in 1966, he amassed a 122-27-1 report in 12 seasons at his alma mater, main the Gators to 11 bowl video games and a nationwide title in 1996.
Though Spurrier loved a lot much less success on the NFL stage, going 12-20 in two seasons (2002-03) with the Washington Redskins, he stated he expects the brand new league to function high-caliber soccer.
“It is a advantageous line between who makes a group and who does not within the NFL. We do not have a minor league soccer,” Spurrier stated. “These gamers get an opportunity to proceed taking part in even when they do not play on the highest stage after which perhaps sometime they play properly sufficient to go to the very best stage.”
Spurrier has expertise in such a enterprise, serving as head coach of the Tampa Bay Bandits of america Soccer League from 1983-85 earlier than touchdown his first school head teaching job at Duke.
The 72-year-old Spurrier returned to the collegiate ranks at South Carolina in 2005 and led the Gamecocks to 9 bowl video games in 11 seasons. He abruptly walked away from the game six video games into the 2015 season, asserting his retirement successfully instantly.
In 26 seasons as a university head coach, Spurrier compiled a 228-89-2 report, together with an 11-10 mark in bowl video games.
The Alliance has huge names and funding behind it. Former NFL basic supervisor and Professional Soccer Corridor of Famer Invoice Polian is a founding father of the eight-team league with tv and movie producer Ebersol, whereas former NFL gamers Jared Allen, Troy Polamalu, Justin Tuck and Ward are additionally concerned.
The opening recreation shall be televised in prime time on CBS, as will the championship recreation in the course of the weekend of April 26-28, whereas different video games in the course of the season shall be telecast on CBS Sports activities Community.
The league will personal the groups with funding from the Founders Fund, Sluggish Ventures, The Chernin Group, Adrian Fenty and Charles King’s M Ventures, Keith Rabois and Allen.
Allen, together with Polamalu and Ward, shall be participant relations executives, whereas Tuck will serve on the participant engagement board of advisors.
The plan is for every group to have 50 gamers, and video games can have no kickoffs or further factors. After touchdowns, a two-point conversion strive shall be required. As an alternative of a kickoff, the following possession will begin from the 25-yard line.
Changing attainable onside kicks late in video games, the group behind can have one shot on “fourth-and-10” from their very own 35-yard line to proceed the possession.