CANCELED: NASL won't play in 2018


The Jacksonville Armada will put its contingency plan into action with word that the North American Soccer League has canceled the 2018 season.

The NASL say the reason for the cancellation is due to a failure to receive a preliminary injunction, preventing the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) from revoking the NASL's second division status. On November 4, the District Court denied the NASL's motion for a preliminary injunction and on February 23, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the District Court's decision.

Although the appeals process took longer than some anticipated, there wasn't much surprise when the decision was announced Friday. On September 19, NASL filed an antitrust suit in Federal Court in the Eastern District of NY seeking a preliminary injunction to preserve the NASL's Division II status while the Court considers the underlying claims.

What kind of shape was the league in?

FC Edmonton and the San Francisco Deltas, the 2017 NASL champion, folded.

In addition to that, North Carolina FC and Indy Eleven joined USL, forcing NASL to look elsewhere for expansion teams.

WJCT sports analyst Cole Pepper said the change is tantamount to a demotion for the Armada and the other NASL teams.

The USL now has reserve teams of MLS franchises Atlanta United, New York Red Bulls, Toronto FC, Los Angeles Galaxy and Portland Timbers in their league.

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The Premier Soccer League begins its season April 15th. It went away, for all intents in purposes, in the mid 80s, but the league was revived in 2009 with franchises like the New York Cosmos returning in an attempt to rediscover their glory days - albeit with much lower expectations and not almost the same level of talent.

It's not a good sign for the league's future, but it isn't completely folding.

But with its appeal denied and multiple teams already moving to other leagues, the NASL has now canceled the fall season as well.

The league's future is certainly in serious jeopardy, but still some NASL teams will play, just elsewhere.

By then, the NASL was down to six teams: four holdovers from the 2017 season - New York Cosmos, Jacksonville Armada, Miami FC and Puerto Rico FC - and two California expansion teams - 1904 FC in the San Diego area and Orange County-based California United FC.