By Michael Lewis Editor

The North American Soccer League and U.S. Soccer Federation had agreed to an out-of-court settlement that would have given the league Division Two status before the agreement unraveled this past week, according to a source in the U.S. soccer community.

The league has appealed a preliminary injunction that would rescind the federation’s decision to revoke it Division Two status for 2018. It also has filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the USSF.

According to the source, this is what transpired:

On Thursday, Nov. 9, the USSF attorneys approached their NASL counterparts about working out a settlement.

Representatives from both sides sat down Friday, Nov. 10 and negotiated an agreement in New York City.

The settlement granted the league Division Two status for three years and by the fourth year it would have to comply with D-2 professional league standards. That would allow the NASL to add teams from the National Premier Soccer League to bolster the league, which housed eight teams in 2017, to at least 12 clubs.

On Wednesday, Nov. 15 the USSF presented the league with the final written version of the agreement.

NASL representatives felt that agreement did not come close to what had been agreed upon and rejected the USSF’s final notice Thursday morning, Nov. 16.

The NASL has appealed a ruling by Judge Margo K. Brodie for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in which its quest for a preliminary injunction to change the USSF’s decision.

Last Monday, the league filed a 68-page brief that argued why the in the U.S. Court of Appeals should overturn the U.S. District Court’s ruling.

The USSF’s response to the appeal is due Tuesday, Nov. 21. The league will get a reply brief that is due Monday, Nov. 27.

The appeal will be heard in court Dec. 15 at 10 a.m.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at