NEW YORK – The North American Soccer League antitrust lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation and Major League Soccer will enter the discovery phase.

The league confirmed Monday that it received answers from both entities in its lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Eastern District of New York.

In answering the complaint, the NASL noted that the USSF and MLS declined the opportunity to file a motion to dismiss.

“This clears the path for the NASL to obtain the discovery to prove our claims,” NASL interim commissioner Rishi Sehgal said in a statement. “Getting discovery from both the USSF and MLS is a critical point in the litigation process. Indeed, the USSF concedes in its answer that if the NASL can prove its allegations, we will have presented a valid claim against the USSF’s use of Professional League Standards to eliminate competition to MLS.”

The NASL, which has gone dormant for this year, is fighting a USSF decision to rescind its Division II sanctioning.

The league last September filed an antitrust suit seeking a preliminary injunction to retain the NASL’s second division status and a permanent injunction to strike down the anticompetitive use of the federation’s Professional League Standards. After losing the preliminary injunction, the NASL canceled this season.

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