CHICAGO – Peter Wilt wants to return to professional soccer.

The National Independent Soccer Association announced Thursday that an investor group led by Wilt has applied for a club to play in the Chicago market.

Wilt was a co-founder of NISA in 2017 alongside his business partner and friend, the late Jack Cummins.

If accepted, the club would begin play in the 2021 fall season.

“Every member of our investment team believes in what NISA is building in U.S. soccer,” Wilt said in a statement. “We plan to work with the people of Chicagoland to inclusively build a diverse, community-based organization that will represent Chicago well and make it a better place for all.”

Wilt is one of the better-known executives in American soccer.

Emphasizing community building and fan engagement models, he has launched more professional soccer clubs than anyone else.

Among his seven start-ups are Chicago’s two first division clubs, the Chicago Fire (Major League Soccer) and Chicago Red Stars (National Women’s Soccer League). He has also launched and operated several lower division clubs including USL Championship’s Indy Eleven and USL League One’s Forward Madison.

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