By Michael Lewis
The National Premier Soccer League is trying to form a professional league, although there appears to be a roadblock at the moment.
The 98-team amateur league wants to create a league called NPSL PRO, according to national soccer sources. The U.S. Soccer Federation, however, says that only professionally sanctioned leagues can use the word pro, the sources. That would be any league that is considered Division I, II or III.
Amateur teams have used professional players for years. Any team can register professional players, according to the USSF by-laws.
“Because they haven’t registered as a professional league, they can’t use the word professional,” a source said.
While the NPSL is sanctioned through the U.S. Soccer Adult Association, it is trying to establish a pro division. This past season, several teams housed players with professional experience, including FC Motown, Cosmos B and Miami FC 2.
Several clubs that competed in the NPSL this season has expressed their desire to have a professional league, including, but not limited to Miami FC, Jacksonville Armada, Cosmos B, Detroit City and New Orleans Jesters. Chattanooga FC also has expressed interest in a pro league.
Miami FC, Jacksonville and the New York Cosmos had performed in the North American Soccer League, but that league is on hiatus for 2018 after the USSF rescinded its Division II sanctioning last year. The NASL has filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the federation.
The NPSL national semifinals are being held this weekend, with the championship game slated for Saturday, Aug. 4.
FC Motown and Miami FC 2 are hosting semifinal matches Saturday.