Lukas Fernandes will be an assistant coach at his alma mater. (Photo courtesy of the Rochester Lancers)

Flower Union City midfielder Lukas Fernandes won’t be playing for the National Independent Soccer Association for the rest of the season.

The 24-year-old Churchville-Chili High School graduate has left the team to return to his alma mater, Temple University, to become an assistant coach.

Fernandes scored five goals and added an assist in 17 appearances for the first-year club. He is a former member of the Rochester Lancers and has played for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

He captained Temple University in his senior season while leading the side in goals and assists since his junior year. Fernandes finished his Owls career with 10 goals and nine assists.

“While we are sad to see him go, we bid him farewell and good luck,” Flower City owner Jimmy Paola said on his Facebook page. “We know you’ll do great things.”

Flower City will host the NJ Alliance FC in the Northeast Region final for the NISA Independent Cup at the Rochester Community Sports Complex on Sunday at 4 p.m.

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