New Club Joins the Long and Illustrious History of Professional Soccer in the City of Philadelphia

Oct 18, 2018
National Independent Soccer League (NISA) Team to Begin Play In 2019

CHICAGO, IL – The long and illustrious annals of soccer history in the city of Philadelphia will open a new and unique chapter this fall when the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) comes to the City of Brotherly Love.

When NISA kicks off its inaugural season in August of 2019, the city of Philadelphia will be represented by a club of her own, more than 135 years after the world’s most popular sport first came to the region. The club’s home venue, ownership and team name will be announced in the coming weeks.

“They have been playing soccer since 1881 in Philadelphia, and we are excited to be adding to that proud tradition,” said NISA President Bob Watkins.  “It is a city where they founded the first professional soccer leagues in America back in 1894 and three years later brought home their first national championship.  NISA will be honored to add to that legacy when our inaugural season begins in 2019.”

NISA has formally applied to the sport’s governing body, the United States Soccer Federation, for professional sanctioning and expects to begin play in August of 2019. Unlike other American soccer leagues, NISA will play a fall-to-spring season with a winter break, allowing time off during the difficult weather of December & January. This is standard throughout international soccer, but unusual in America. It is hoped that NISA’s adoption will be a first step towards bringing American soccer in-line with the business practices of the worldwide game.

In a move away from the closed franchise model that is prevalent in American soccer, NISA operates an open system with no entry fees. This allows its member clubs to run comparatively higher payrolls rather than paying entry fees that frequently run in the millions. More importantly, it will allow the NISA club playing within the city if Philadelphia to invest in long-term assets such as stadiums, infrastructure, and youth academies that will make it an integral and long-term partner in the community.

“Philadelphia is a city that has been in love with our sport for generations, and NISA is proud to call it home,” added Watkins.


NISA is an American professional soccer league.  Owned by its member clubs, NISA seeks to establish an affordable and sustainable lower division league.

Unlike other domestic soccer leagues, NISA has no entry fees.  This allows NISA clubs to invest more heavily in players, youth development academies and infrastructure while remaining fiscally sound.  

NISA will play on the international fall-to-spring calendar.  This integrates NISA clubs into the worldwide game by facilitating seamless scheduling with clubs throughout the world and allowing full participation in the international transfer market.

NISA is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.  

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