No one will be kicking a ball in the NASL this year. (Photo courtesy of the NASL)
NEW YORK – The North American Soccer League is taking the year off.
The league announced Tuesday that it has canceled the 2018 season after failing to receive a preliminary injunction preventing the U.S. Soccer Federation from rescinded its Division II status.
The NASL had considered a fall season starting in August.
“The focus of the antitrust suit to date has been obtaining a preliminary injunction to save the 2018 season,” NASL interim commissioner Rishi Sehgal said in a statement. “Unfortunately, with USSF’s decision and the loss of the preliminary injunction, playing the 2018 Season is no longer a possibility. The focus of the antitrust suit now shifts to securing the long-term advancement of soccer in this country, not only for the NASL, but for all soccer fans, clubs, and communities impacted by the USSF’s restrictions on competition.
“Also, the NASL is prosecuting a breach of fiduciary duty action against certain USSF Board members for conflicts of interest and derelictions of duty which have harmed the NASL and countless other constituents in U.S. Soccer. The NASL and its clubs will look at all avenues to return to the field for the 2019 Season.”
On Sept. 1, 2017, the USSF’s board of directors took a decision to revoke the NASL’s Division II status jeopardizing the future of the league and its member clubs. On Sept. 19, the league filed an antitrust suit in federal court in the Eastern District of New York seeking a preliminary injunction to preserve the its Division II status while the Court considers the underlying claims. On Nov. 4, the District Court denied the NASL’s motion for a preliminary injunction and on Feb. 23, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the District Court’s decision.
During the NASL’s hiatus, three teams, the Jacksonville Armada FC, Miami FC and Cosmos, will be fielding side in the National Premier Soccer League with play scheduled to begin on April 15.