The U.S. Soccer board of directors has rejected the North American Soccer League’s bid to retain its Division 2 status for 2018.

The story was broken earlier on Tuesday by

A source in the NASL confirmed the situation to

That would mean the league, if not continues operations, would be a Division 3 league next year, which would be below the United Soccer League, a D2 league.

Several NASL teams are looking or considering joining the USL for next season, according to a source.

Later in the day, the NASL issued a statement about the board’s decision:

“Since taking the pitch in 2011, the NASL has been working diligently to advance the growth of soccer by creating an entrepreneurial league where dynamic clubs bring the excitement of professional soccer to fans across North America. Despite the progress made by the NASL, U.S. Soccer has taken a decision to refrain from sanctioning the league as Division 2 for the 2018 season. The NASL is disappointed with the decision and does not believe that the federation acted in the best interest of the sport. U.S. Soccer’s decision negatively affects many stakeholders in soccer: fans, players, coaches, referees, business partners, and the NASL club owners who have invested tens of millions of dollars promoting the sport. The decision also jeopardizes the thousands of jobs created by the NASL and its member clubs.

“While the last several days have seen some unfortunate results for U.S. Soccer, both on and off the pitch, the NASL remains committed to growing the game and is exploring multiple options as it continues planning for the future. The NASL knows that its fans will continue to show undying support for their clubs, and the league looks forward to the home stretch of the 2017 season and beyond. The beautiful game is bigger than any decision, result, person, league, division or federation. The NASL will continue its work to ensure that brighter days are ahead for soccer in the U.S.”

It was not immediately known what the Cosmos would do

The Cosmos had no comment.

The board met in New York last week as all members were in the city for the U.S. national team’s World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.

Here is the original story: