Bad news for Miami FC fans, players and newly hired coach Paul Dalglish: The North American Soccer League canceled the 2018 season.
The fledgling NASL, which had already postponed its season start from April to August, announced Tuesday that it would not play any games in 2018. The decision came four days after a federal court rejected its appeal to get a preliminary injunction that would have reinstated its status as a U.S. Soccer Division 2 league.
With the court decision and several teams folding or moving to other leagues, the NASL opted to cancel 2018 and try to regroup for 2019. In the meantime, Miami FC, the New York Cosmos and Jacksonville Armada will play in the fourth-division National Premier Soccer League this season while awaiting their league’s fate.
Last September, the U.S. Soccer Federation refused to grant the NASL Division 2 designation because it had not met the federation second-tier standards, which include a minimum number of teams and geographic diversity of the teams. The NASL previously was a Division 2 league behind Major League Soccer.
Miami FC CEO Sean Flynn said: “Obviously, we are disappointed in last week’s outcome of the appeal and the subsequent cancellation of the NASL season. We were looking forward to Miami FC getting back on the field this fall to continue the successes from last season. Looking ahead, we are excited to begin working with new USSF President Carlos Cordeiro, in the hopes of building a brighter future for soccer in America.”
In recent months, North Carolina FC and Indy Eleven shifted to the United Soccer League, which was elevated from third-tier to second-tier status. NASL champions San Francisco Deltas folded, as did FC Edmonton. The future of Puerto Rico FC is also in doubt after Hurricane Maria damage.