Fourteen teams of the NPSL are discussing to form a professional soccer league starting 2019, as stated by frontrowsoccer.com.
Everyone knows the way US soccer leagues are organized (if even) is chaotic. There is the Major League Soccer (MSL – first devision) and the United Soccer League (USL – second devision). Then there is no real 3rd devision, but a lot of forth tier leagues. And there also is the NPSL, a 98-team league that plays under the umbrella of the U.S. Soccer Adult Association. These teams are playing as amateurs. There is no moving up and down in-between these leagues, so no possibility for a forth tier team to eventually move up to MSL and play professionally.
To stop this mayham at least 14 teams of the NPSL have decided to try and form another league tier which would move up to the professional ranks, called NPSL PRO.
Before the meeting took place, Barone, chairman of the NPSL (National Premier Soccer League) said: „We have a good number of teams prepared to make it happen in 2019 […]. There is a group of owners who feel the [USSF] professional standards don’t make sense.”
The problem is, U.S. Soccer Federation has said that only professionally sanctioned leagues can use the word pro. That would be any league that is considered Division I, II or III.
But 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 year, runner-up FC Motown and Cosmos B, among others, utilized professional players this season. One more reason for part of the NPSL teams to make the move and form a professional league themselves.
After a meeting in August, the vibe was already positive and matters were taking into hand. It was planned to have 10 teams in the NPSL PRO. Eight clubs have given their written consent to move ahead in August already.
Two months later, in October, a decision was already made: The National Premier Soccer League plans to have a minimum of 11 teams for its pro division (see photo), which is scheduled to start in 2019. Included are Detroit City FC, which St. Pauli met and played in May, as well as New York Cosmos, the club the East River Pirates support as well.
It will be the NPSL Founders Cup, which will kick off its pro league in a competition that will run from August to November in 2019, according to national soccer sources. That competition will lead to a full league schedule in the spring to fall of 2020.
As of now, the 11 founding members include many teams with NPSL backgrounds or affiliations:
New York Cosmos, Detroit City FC, Milwaukee, Chattanooga FC, Miami United FC, Miami FC, San Diego Albion, Cal United, Cal FC, FC Arizona and Oakland Roots.
We can’t wait for the first games of NPSL PRO and its progress in the future!