NEW YORK – While it doesn’t know if it will play at the Division II or III level, the North American Soccer League Monday announced that it will adopt the European calendar beginning with the 2018-19 season.
The league has a planned kickoff on Aug. 11 and conclusion on June 1, 2019.
The change is pending the outcome on the NASL’s appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals. Due to the decision of the United States Soccer Federation to revoke the NASL’s Division II sanctioning, the NASL will be unable to operate the 2018 spring season.
In a press release, the NASL said the league and its clubs believe that a shift to the international calendar will bring new level of excitement to fans and offer development opportunities for players and clubs.
The league will become the first professional league in the U.S. to adopt the format used by many soccer leagues throughout the world.
“We find ourselves in a difficult position due to the federation’s decision and the impact that decision has had on our players, fans, and front office members is unfortunate,” NASL interim commissioner Rishi Sehgal said in a statement. “That said, we believe the change to a fall-to-spring format will be very exciting for American soccer as it will better align the NASL with the best soccer in the world.”
The NASL plans to have additional announcements in the coming weeks.