NASL delays start of season with plans to move to fall-to-spring format

Its future in limbo, the North American Soccer League will not play in the spring and instead switch to a fall-to-spring calendar, giving it more time to regroup and start after the World Cup.

NASL interim commissioner Rishi Sehgal said the decision was due to the decision of U.S. Soccer's board of directors to not sanction the NASL as a Division II league. It lost its lawsuit, seeking an injunction against U.S. Soccer to enforce Division II sanctioning for 2018, and it awaits a decision of its appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

"We find ourselves in a difficult position due to the federation's decision and the impact that decision has had on our players, fans, and front office members is unfortunate," said Sehgal. "That said, we believe the change to a fall-to-spring format will be very exciting for American soccer as it will better align the NASL with the best soccer in the world."

The NASL did not say whether it will keep its split-season format it has used in recent years.

The NASL lost three of its eight teams -- down from 12 in 2016 -- following the 2017 season. The champion San Francisco Deltas and FC Edmonton folded, and North Carolina FC moved to the USL.

Citing multiple sources, Soc Takes reported that Indy Eleven will also move to the USL. The Jacksonville Armada announced on Monday that it will explore options to play in other leagues in 2018 but play in the NASL if it wins its appeal.

The other three 2017 NASL teams are the New York Cosmos, Miami FC and Puerto Rico FC.

The NASL had plans to add two teams for the 2018 season: 1904 FC in the San Diego area and Orange County-based California United FC. The San Diego Union Tribune reported that 1904 FC, facing stadium issues, might not play at all in 2018.

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