On Thursday, NASL announced New York Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony as an owner of a new expansion team in Puerto Rico. The league last had a team in Puerto Rico during the 2012 season. The previous year, in 2011, as the Islanders were coming off a double-championship season (both USSF Division 2 and the CFU Club Championship), which included a 5-3 win over two legs over the LA Galaxy, the club averaged less than 2,500 fans in NASL play.
Since Puerto Rico saw declining attendances for Islanders in their last few seasons, it’s a mystery as to why the NASL would return to the island. But celebrity ownership seems to be the NASL’s new calling card. Three weeks ago, the league announced a new club in Miami, where the former Division 2 club routinely played in front of audiences of a couple hundred people. But that club has in Paolo Maldini a celebrity name attached with it, much like the new Puerto Rico club has Anthony.