Open main menu

National Independent Soccer Association

The National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) is a professional men's soccer league in the United States. The league is in the third tier of American soccer and began play in 2019.[1][2][3]

National Independent Soccer Association
NISA 2017 logo (transparent square).png
FoundedJune 6, 2017; 2 years ago (2017-06-06)
CountryUnited States
Number of teams7 (for 2019 season)
Level on pyramid3
Domestic cup(s)U.S. Open Cup
TV partnersMycujoo
2019–20 NISA season


On June 6, 2017, it was announced that the newly formed National Independent Soccer Association would begin play in 2018 targeting an initial 8 to 10 teams, later revised to 8 to 12 teams.[4] Initially, the league outlined plans to introduce a promotion/relegation system, once they reach their goal of 24 teams, the first in US professional soccer and in doing so act as a feeder league to the North American Soccer League (NASL);[5][6] however, the NASL ceased operations prior to those plans being implemented.

On February 13, 2018, NISA co-founder Jack Cummins died suddenly.[7] On May 17, 2018, NISA co-founder Peter Wilt left the NISA to help start up Forward Madison FC in Madison, Wisconsin in USL League One.[8] A committee of club owners has been formed to elect new leadership within the organization.[9]

On August 31, 2018, NISA filed an application with the United States Soccer Federation for sanctioning as a men's professional league, playing at the third division.[10] On February 16, 2019, NISA was provisionally sanctioned as a Division III league by the United States Soccer Federation.[11] In May 2019, it was announced that clubs were not happy with the silence from the league and that Bob Watkins was no longer the President of NISA and that John Prutch had taken the helm as commissioner.[3] During this same timeframe, the league's start date was pushed back from August 2019 to a targeted September start date.[3]

On June 10, 2019, it became known that both Miami FC and California United Strikers FC were approved at the recent board of governors meeting to join NISA, while the previously identified club in Central Florida would play in Baton Rouge, Louisiana instead of Daytona Beach, Florida.[12] However, it was unclear whether either of the teams would start before the league's September start date.[12] On June 27, 2019 it was announced that Oakland Roots SC would have their inaugural season with the league in the spring season, rather than the previously announced NPSL Founders Cup.[13] On August 15, 2019, the league officially announced the addition of Oakland Roots for the 2019 season and Chattanooga FC and Detroit City FC for early 2020.[14]

The inaugural season began on August 31, 2019, with a 3–3 draw for Oakland Roots SC and California United Strikers FC in Oakland.[15]


Club City Stadium Capacity Founded Joined Head coach
Fall 2019 Showcase clubs[16]
Atlanta SC Alpharetta, Georgia St. Francis High School
Lupo Family Stadium at Life University

2007 2019   Roberto Neves
California United Strikers FC Irvine, California Championship Stadium 5,000 2017 2019   Don Ebert
Los Angeles Force Whittier, California Rio Hondo Stadium 1,000 2019 2019   Thales Peterson
Miami FC Miami, Florida Riccardo Silva Stadium
Buccaneer Field
2015 2019   Paul Dalglish
Oakland Roots SC Oakland, California Laney College 2,700 2018 2019   Paul Bravo
San Diego 1904 FC San Diego, California SDCCU Stadium 70,561 2017 2019   Alex Gontran
Stumptown Athletic Matthews, North Carolina CSA OrthoCarolina Sportsplex
Sportsplex at Matthews
2019 2019   Mark Steffens
Other announced clubs
NISA Connecticut[17] Norwich, Connecticut Dodd Memorial Stadium 6,270 2019 2020
NISA Providence Providence, Rhode Island 2019 2020
Chattanooga FC Chattanooga, Tennessee Finley Stadium 20,668 2009 2020   Bill Elliott
Detroit City FC Hamtramck, Michigan Keyworth Stadium 7,933 2012 2020   Trevor James
Michigan Stars FC Pontiac, Michigan Ultimate Soccer Arena 5,000 1982 2020   George Juncaj
Philadelphia Fury Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Franklin Field 52,958 2011 2019[1]   Cris Vaccaro
1.The Philadelphia Fury began the 2019 showcase, but withdrew on September 18, 2019[18] to reorganize following the departure of one of the lead investors.
Locations of announced clubs
  •   Fall 2019 Showcase club
  •   future club


As of June 2, 2019[19]


  • John Prutch – commissioner
  • Brian Melekian – chief operating officer
  • Joshua Prutch – executive vice president of expansion
  • Jim Thompson – chief financial officer
  • Samantha Prutch – director of communications
  • Nick Mahrt – director of internal affairs
  • Lana Masiuk – director of business operations

Previous leadershipEdit

  • Bob Watkins – president (2018–19)
  • Peter Wilt – co-founder (2017–18)
  • Jack Cummins – co-founder (2017–18)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: The National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) – A New Division III Professional Soccer League Expects to Launch in 2018". NISA. June 6, 2017. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  2. ^ "Inaugural Applicant Markets Announced for New US Pro Third Division Soccer League – NISA". Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Kivlehan, Chris (May 28, 2019). "With New Leadership In Place, NISA Breaks Its Silence". Midfield Press. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  4. ^ "About". NISA. June 6, 2017. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  5. ^ "New league seeks to finally bring pro/rel to US soccer". NISA. June 14, 2017. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  6. ^ "City said to be ripe for pro soccer". June 28, 2017. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  7. ^ "Obituary: NISA co-founder Jack Cummins". February 13, 2018. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  8. ^ "Big Top hires Peter Wilt to launch pro soccer team at Breese Stevens Field in 2019". May 17, 2018. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  9. ^ "Committee Formed to Select New NISA Leadership". May 17, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  10. ^ "NISA Submits Application For Division III Pro League Sanctioning". Midfield Press. September 4, 2018. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  11. ^ Kivlehan, Chris (February 17, 2019). "Breaking: NISA Sanctioned By USSF, To Start In August". Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Kivlehan, Chris (June 11, 2019). "Miami FC, Cal United Accepted Into NISA, Pro Soccer For Baton Rouge & Other News From NISA Board of Governors Meeting". Midfield Press. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  13. ^ "Oakland Roots Statement: League and Membership". Oakland Roots SC. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  14. ^ "NISA Announces Chattanooga FC, Detroit City FC & Oakland Roots SC". NISA. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  15. ^ Zimmerman, Douglas (September 1, 2019). "Oakland Roots tie first ever game 3-3". SFGate. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  16. ^ "NISA Official". Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  17. ^ "National Independent Soccer Association Kicks Off Announcements of Markets That Will Host Professional Soccer in 2019". Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  18. ^ Tannenwald, Jonathan. "Philadelphia Fury soccer team withdraws from NISA until spring of 2020 after investor pulls out". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  19. ^ Staff, NISA. "People". Retrieved June 2, 2019.

External linksEdit