By Michael Lewis
In its first statement about last week’s talks, the National Premier Soccer League Tuesday called the meeting establishing a professional league “positive” and said it will move forward and explore several options in the coming weeks.
On Monday, FrontRowSoccer.com reported that 10 owners had agreed to have teams prepared to compete at the pro level in 2019, according to national soccer sources.
The full statement:
“The NPSL board of directors met this weekend in New York for their annual strategy retreat. A meeting that explored the launch of a new league with an expanded season was held on the third day. Conversations were positive, and we identified the next steps involved and continue to explore several options. We appreciate the support and enthusiasm we have seen so far from our supporters, partners, and teams. We will continue to share information over the coming weeks.”
Sources said the league plans to have an official announcement in October.
On Monday, a source said of the meetings: “Everything is very positive,” adding that the league “will kick off in 2019.”
The league plans to have 10 teams. Eight clubs have given their written consent to move ahead. They include three teams from the North American Soccer League — Miami FC, Jacksonville Armada and the New York Cosmos — and Chattanooga FC, Detroit City, New Orleans Jesters, Virginia Beach and Miami United, sources said.
The 98-team NPSL wants to create a new league called NPSL PRO under the U.S. Soccer Adult Soccer Association. The U.S. Soccer Federation, however, has said 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 USSF by-laws. Miami FC 2, which secured the NPSL championship earlier this month, runner-up FC Motown and Cosmos B, among others, utilized professional players this season.
The NPSL is exploring other options to call this new league.