New Professional Soccer Club to Call Charlotte Home

Oct 23, 2018
National Independent Soccer League (NISA) Club to Begin Play In 2019

CHICAGO, IL – Soccer fans in Charlotte will have a National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) club to call their own when the league kicks off its inaugural 2019/20 season in the fall of next year.

The most populous city in North Carolina, which for ten years after the turn of the century was the nation’s fastest-growing metro area, will be home to a NISA club at a time when professional soccer is a big draw in Charlotte. The Queen City club’s home venue, ownership and team name will be announced in the coming weeks.

“More than 55,000 soccer fanatics enjoyed a preseason match between Liverpool and Dortmund in Charlotte this past summer, and a similar number turned out for a CONCACAF Gold Cup match, so we know there is a true passion for soccer here,” said NISA President Bob Watkins.  “Wherever there is that level of enthusiasm for our great game, there are fans eager for a community-based club to call their own.”

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 in Charlotte to invest in long-term assets such as a stadium, infrastructure, and a youth academy that will make it an integral and long-term partner in the community.

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.

Charlotte will again host international soccer Gold Cup matches in 2019, and beyond the city’s borders, the state of North Carolina has a rich college soccer history, winning multiple national championships.


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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