|Founded||June 6, 2017|
|Confederation|| CONCACAF |
(North American Football Union)
|Number of teams||11 (10 active, 1 on hiatus)|
|Level on pyramid||3|
|Domestic cup(s)||U.S. Open Cup|
|International cup(s)|| CONCACAF Champions League |
(via U.S. Open Cup)
|TV partners|| Eleven Sports |
|Current: 2021 National Independent Soccer Association season|
The National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) is a professional men's soccer league in the United States. The league is in the third tier of American soccer and began play in 2019.
On June 6, 2017, it was announced that the newly formed National Independent Soccer Association would begin play in 2018 targeting an initial 8 to 10 teams, later revised to 8 to 12 teams.Initially, the league outlined plans to introduce a promotion/relegation system, once they reach their goal of 24 teams, the first in US professional soccer and in doing so act as a feeder league to the North American Soccer League (NASL); however, the NASL ceased operations prior to those plans being implemented.
On February 13, 2018, NISA co-founder Jack Cummins died suddenly.On May 17, 2018, NISA co-founder Peter Wilt left the NISA to help start up Forward Madison FC in Madison, Wisconsin in USL League One. A committee of club owners has been formed to elect new leadership within the organization.
On August 31, 2018, NISA filed an application with the United States Soccer Federation for sanctioning as a men's professional league, playing at the third division.On February 16, 2019, NISA was provisionally sanctioned as a Division III league by the United States Soccer Federation. In May 2019, it was announced that clubs were not happy with the silence from the league and that Bob Watkins was no longer the President of NISA and that John Prutch had taken the helm as commissioner. During this same timeframe, the league's start date was pushed back from August 2019 to a targeted September start date.
On June 10, 2019, it became known that both Miami FC and California United Strikers FC were approved at the recent board of governors meeting to join NISA, while the previously identified club in Central Florida would play in Baton Rouge, Louisiana instead of Daytona Beach, Florida.However, it was unclear whether either of the teams would start before the league's September start date. On June 27, 2019 it was announced that Oakland Roots SC would have their inaugural season with the league in the spring season, rather than the previously announced NPSL Founders Cup. On August 15, 2019, the league officially announced the addition of Oakland Roots for the 2019 season and Chattanooga FC, Detroit City FC, and Michigan Stars FC for early 2020.
The inaugural season began on August 31, 2019, with a 3–3 draw for Oakland Roots SC and California United Strikers FC in Oakland.On April 27, 2020, following previous postponements, the remainder of the 2019–20 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On September 10, 2020, the league announced that one of the original co-founders of the league, Peter Wilt, would be rejoining the league in a club operations capacity by attempting to establish a club in Chicago.On September 15, 2020, one of the founding teams, Oakland Roots, announced that they were leaving the league to join the USL Championship a league in the second division of professional soccer.
On April 27, 2020, NISA revealed a new tournament called the NISA Independent Cup that would have member teams face off against high quality amateur and independent professional sides in a regional format.The tournament and 15 participating teams were announced on July 1.
NISA announced its first affiliation agreement with the Gulf Coast Premier League, a USASA affiliated amateur league based in the gulf coast of the United States, on August 13, 2020.The partnership is set to provide a pathway to professional status for both clubs and players, while also allowing two GCPL teams to qualify for future editions of the Independent Cup based on league play. This was expanded to include the Midwest Premier League and Eastern Premier Soccer League on September 3 and 4, 2020, respectively. On November 23, NISA announced a fourth agreement with the Mountain Premier League.
On September 17, 2020, the league announced that it was establishing a full-year amateur league, the NISA Nation, that would serve as an incubator for amateur and semi-professional clubs that wish to move into NISA's professional league.NISA stated that this full-season amateur league and its previously announced league affiliations would serve as the foundation of a fully open professional to amateur pyramid in the United States.
The league announced an "alliance" with semi-professional women's soccer league United Women's Soccer on January 28, 2021, [ citation needed ]with the target of launching a professional women's league in 2022. This proposed league would occupy the at the time vacant second tier of professional women's soccer in the United States. Many NISA clubs, including Detroit City FC, Michigan Stars FC, and NJ Teamsterz FC field or had announced fielding UWS and UWS2 teams. However, on March 20, 2021 it was reported that the alliance had broken down and the leagues had gone their separate ways.
|Club||City||Stadium||Capacity||Founded||First season||Head coach|
|Fall 2021 clubs|
|California United Strikers FC||Irvine, California||Championship Soccer Stadium||5,000||2017||2019||Don Ebert|
|Chattanooga FC||Chattanooga, Tennessee||Finley Stadium||20,668||2009||2020||Peter Fuller|
|Chicago House AC||Bridgeview, Illinois||SeatGeek Stadium||20,000||2020||Fall 2021||C. J. Brown|
|Detroit City FC||Hamtramck, Michigan||Keyworth Stadium||7,933||2012||2020||Trevor James|
|Los Angeles Force||Los Angeles, California||Jesse Owens Stadium||5,000||2019||2019||Thales Peterson|
|Maryland Bobcats FC||Boyds, Maryland||Maryland SoccerPlex||4,000||2016||2021||Samuel Okpodu|
|Michigan Stars FC||Washington, Michigan||Romeo High School||1982||2020||Alexander Strehmel|
|New Amsterdam FC||Warwick, New York||Hudson Sports Complex||2020||2020||Maximilian Mansfield (interim)|
|San Diego 1904 FC||San Diego, California||Vic Player Stadium||3,700||2017||2019||Alex Gontran|
|Stumptown AC||Matthews, North Carolina||Sportsplex at Matthews||5,000||2019||2019||Rod Underwood|
|Clubs on hiatus|
|New York Cosmos||Uniondale, New York||Mitchel Athletic Complex||5,000||2010||2020||Carlos Mendes|
|Other announced clubs|
|New Jersey Teamsterz FC||Bayonne, New Jersey||Don Ahern Veterans Stadium||7,000||2017||Spring 2022||Javier Romero|
|Flower City Union||Rochester, New York||Marina Auto Stadium||13,768||2020||Spring 2022|
|Atlanta SC||Alpharetta, Georgia||Fall 2019||Fall 2019||Ceased operations|
|Miami FC||Miami, Florida||Fall 2019||Fall 2019||Moved to USL Championship|
|Philadelphia Fury||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Fall 2019||Fall 2019||Ceased operations|
|Oakland Roots SC||Oakland, California||Fall 2019||Fall 2020||Moved to USL Championship|
Teams that no longer participate in the National Independent Soccer Association are in italics.
|Year(s) won||Split season|
|Detroit City FC||1||2020–21||2||Fall 2020, Spring 2021||1.5|
|California United Strikers FC||1||Fall 2019||2|
|Miami FC||1||Fall 2019||0.5|
|2020–21||Detroit City FC||1–0||Los Angeles Force||Keyworth Stadium||7,231|
|2019–20||Fall||No overall association champion decided|
|Spring||Season not complete due to the COVID-19 pandemic|
|2020–21||Fall||Detroit City FC||2–1||Oakland Roots SC||Keyworth Stadium||0||Steven Carroll (DCFC)|
|Spring||Los Angeles Force||3–2||Chattanooga FC||Keyworth Stadium||~150||N/A|
|2020||Central Plains||Gaffa FC (GCPL)||N/A|
|Great Lakes||Detroit City FC (NISA)|
|Mid-Atlantic||Maryland Bobcats FC (NPSL)|
|Southeast||Chattanooga FC (NISA)|
The United States soccer league system is a series of professional and amateur soccer leagues based, in whole or in part, in the United States. Sometimes called the American soccer pyramid, teams and leagues are not linked by the system of promotion and relegation typical in soccer elsewhere. Instead, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) defines professional leagues in three levels, called divisions, with all other leagues sanctioned by the USSF not having an official designated level or division.
Detroit City Football Club (DCFC) is an American professional soccer club based in Detroit, Michigan that competes in the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA). Prior to joining the NISA in 2019, the club played in the Midwest Region of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), a national amateur league in the unofficial fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid. The club played its home matches at Cass Technical High School in Midtown Detroit until 2015, before moving to Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck, an enclave of Detroit. The club is managed by Trevor James, a former Ipswich Town F.C. player who later was an assistant coach and scout under Bobby Robson.
United Women's Soccer is a second-division pro-am women's soccer league in the United States. The league was founded in 2015 as a response to the dual problems of disorganization in the WPSL and of the folding of the USL W-League. The league began play in May 2016 with eleven teams in two conferences. The first league currently has 45 teams in 6 conferences and second league currently has 49 teams in 6 conferences.
San Diego 1904 FC is an American professional soccer team based in San Diego, California, United States.
Oakland Roots Sports Club is an American sports club based in Oakland, California who began play as a men's professional soccer team. The club was formed in 2018 by a group of Oakland natives and began play in the National Independent Soccer Association in the fall of 2019. In 2021, the club joined the second division USL Championship.
The 2019–20 NISA season was the inaugural season of the National Independent Soccer Association's third-division soccer competition. The regular season was split into two halves, fall and spring, with playoffs at the end. The fall season, named "NISA Showcase", featured seven teams, with the East and West champions earning berths into the 2020 playoffs. The spring season featured eight teams, and switches to a single table format, the top 3 teams joining California United Strikers in the playoffs.
The 2019–20 California United Strikers FC season was the club's inaugural season in the National Independent Soccer Association, a newly established third division soccer league in the United States.
The 2019–20 season was Detroit City FC's first professional season since the club was established in 2012 and their first in the National Independent Soccer Association.
The 2019–20 San Diego 1904 FC season was the club's first ever and its first in the newly created National Independent Soccer Association (NISA), a newly established third division soccer league in the United States.
The 2019–20 Oakland Roots SC season was the club's first ever and its first in the newly created National Independent Soccer Association (NISA), a newly established third division soccer league in the United States.
The 2019–20 Chattanooga FC season was the club's first season playing in the National Independent Soccer Association, a newly established third division soccer league in the United States, and first professional season since being established in 2009.
The 2019–20 Stumptown Athletic season was the club's inaugural season in the National Independent Soccer Association, a newly established third division soccer league in the United States.
The 2019–20 Michigan Stars FC season was the club's first season playing in the National Independent Soccer Association, a newly established third division soccer league in the United States, and first professional season.
The 2020–21 NISA season is the second season of the National Independent Soccer Association's third-division soccer competition. The regular season is split into two halves, Fall and Spring, with playoffs at the end of each, and a Championship Match that will see the Fall champion host the Spring champion. Starting this year, the league is also organizing a new cup competition, NISA Independent Cup, that features independent clubs from various professional and semi-professional leagues across the United States.
The 2020–21 season was Detroit City FC's second professional season since the club was established in 2012 and their first full season in the National Independent Soccer Association.
The 2020–21 New York Cosmos season was the new Cosmos' sixth season of professional play and first playing in the National Independent Soccer Association. Including the previous franchise, it was the 20th season of a club entitled New York Cosmos playing professional soccer in the New York metropolitan area.
The 2020–21 Chattanooga FC season was the club's second professional season playing in the National Independent Soccer Association, its first full season in NISA, and 13th overall since being established in 2009.
The 2020–21 California United Strikers FC season was the club's second in the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) and second as a professional team overall.
The 2020–21 New Amsterdam FC season is the club's first professional season and its first in the National Independent Soccer Association.
The Don Ahern Veterans Stadium can fill 7,000 — we want to set our attendance at 2,500, and from there we will be able to expand.