Noblesville-Westfield soccer club merger talks end

After several months of discussions, talks between Noblesville United Soccer Club and Westfield Youth Soccer Association have broken off – meaning Noblesville will not join the ranks of Carmel United Soccer and play under the MLS Chicago Fire affiliation of Indiana Fire Jr.’s at the soon-to-be opened Grand Park Sports Complex in Westfield.

NUSC Board of Directors President Jim Goodwin said Noblesville and Westfield were in talks for nearly nine months about merging.

“The attraction of two community travel clubs joining to occupy a brand new facility located 10 minutes from downtown Noblesville was a very intriguing venture,” he said. “We didn’t know they were talking to Carmel at the same time.”

Goodwin said the meetings began with the premise of NUSC and WYSA merging the travel programs and maintaining separate community recreation programs with the idea that each in-house program would receive generous amounts of training time from the travel organization and in return become the exclusive feeder program of the new entity. Two weeks ago, Goodwin said NUSC was told, “merge the entire club or nothing.”

“We’d keep the name, but Westfield Youth Soccer would have owned Noblesville Youth Soccer,” he said. “Westfield controlling a Noblesville-based community program was not the right path to take.”

Goodwin said the board of directors did what was best for Noblesville, but it could have consequences.

“It won’t hurt the program as it sits today,” he said. “Come tryouts in June, will they still remain in Noblesville or try the shiny new toy down the street.”

While the affiliation with the Chicago Fire along with playing at the new Grand Park would have been a great opportunity to help make NUSC an even more elite club, Goodwin said the board is working on plans for an indoor facility and possibly some additional land.

“If something else comes up that’s attractive, we’ll look into it,” Goodwin said.