NISA Returns To Play With A New Cup
Professional soccer returns this month as NISA announces the NISA Independent Cup, a regionalized tournament bringing together professional clubs from NISA and clubs from established amateur leagues to compete for four regional championships starting Saturday, July 11th.
The National Independent Soccer Association announced today the inaugural NISA Independent Cup.
The first of its kind, the Independent Cup, is a regionalized competition featuring independent professional and amateur clubs.
The Independent Cup was created to provide a platform for professional and amateur independent clubs to play together on a national stage. Independent clubs are built in their communities and this competition allows those communities an opportunity to express their pride in their clubs.
“The Independent Cup champions the spirit of the game, allowing talent to take the field and the beautiful game to shine on the pitch. It’s the first of its kind where only independent clubs compete and one that our Fall to Spring schedule allows,” said NISA Commissioner John Prutch on the significance of the Independent Cup.
“THE ‘I’ IN NISA STANDS FOR INDEPENDENT, IN ALL THAT IT STANDS FOR AND WHAT IT MEANS TO THE CLUBS AND THEIR COMMUNITIES.”John Prutch, NISA Commissioner
“It is the most important word in our name. The NISA Independent Cup will be an annual event for only amateur and professional independent clubs, and this will be a real competition of independent soccer,” said Prutch.
The NISA Independent Cup is the first of its kind. It will feature 4 Regions and 15 clubs culminating in 4 regional champions in its inaugural 2020 Cup. “There will be four professional clubs and 11 amateur clubs competing this year and we will end up with 4 regional champions,” said Prutch. “The 2020 NISA Independent Cup will be a regional event this year because of the Coronavirus.”
“Unlike the Lamar Hunt Open Cup, a club has to be independent to participate and has to be tied to its community … and obviously not be a franchise.”John Prutch, NISA Commissioner
We are so used to the franchise system in all sports but the franchises can and do move. NISA celebrates those clubs that are independent and proudly represent their communities.
Great Lakes Region: Cleveland FC, FC Buffalo, Detroit City FC
Mid-Atlantic Region: New York Cosmos, New Amsterdam FC, FC Baltimore Christos, Maryland Bobcats FC
Central Plains Region: Lone Star Republic, Revolution SC, Gaffa FC, Louisiana Krewe FC
Southeast Region: Georgia Revolution FC, Soda City FC, Chattanooga FC, Savannah Clovers FC
Kickoff Date & Live Steam Broadcasting: Tournament kickoff date: July 11, 2020 Match streaming details will be forthcoming.
While all the clubs competing are high quality, it may be a good idea to keep an eye on a few of the amateur clubs — some of these participating teams are close to making the move to the professional level and may surprise everyone.
The players have been practicing in small groups for the last few weeks and began contact practice this week. Having a definitive match-list for which to prepare gives the team an added spring in their step.
“This is a great opportunity for us to get on the field and compete for a trophy,” said Erik Stover, COO New York Cosmos. “NISA is doing a great job — giving the clubs the chance to play, which we have all missed since the pandemic started.”
“This is a huge step for our club, having come from being a Sunday league team with a vision to now rubbing shoulders with clubs like the New York Cosmos.”Junior Banjo, Assistant Technical Director – Maryland Bobcats FC
“It has been refreshing to see a group of people come together to make the NISA Independent Cup happen, even without fans, because they love the game and want to showcase their players,” said Evan Raimist, Maryland Bobcats FC General Manager. “We can’t thank NISA enough for approaching us about the Independent Cup and we can’t wait to see our guys on the field again.”
“We couldn’t be happier to get our guys back on the pitch, but it is imperative that we take every precaution to ensure the health and safety of every player, coach, and staff member,” said Jeremy Alumbaugh, Managing Director, Chattanooga FC. “Discussions are ongoing to determine what potential limited attendance scenarios may look like at Finley, and we are appreciative of the support we continue to receive during this pandemic. We are confident in our ability to host matches in a safe manner with reduced capacity and will continue to finalize those plans with local officials. The Independent Cup will be a tremendous pre-season type of event as our full focus is on beginning the NISA 2020-21 season in August.”
“I would echo Jeremy’s sentiments about getting back on the field,” said Peter Fuller, Head Coach, Chattanooga FC. “We are excited to be back training and looking forward to the Independent Cup. Obviously, we are concerned about everyone’s health: players, coaches, staff members, and our great supporters. We hope everything goes as planned and we are able to get back on the field on the 11th against Georgia Revolution. They beat us here during the NPSL season last year so it will be great to have another crack at them during this cup competition.”
“This is massive. We’ve been looking forward to being able to play and to be in front of our supporters, be it in person or through the broadcast,” said General Manager and Head Coach Trevor James, Detroit City Football Club men’s side. “It is great to see the league recognizing independent clubs and including those teams. We have a history with both clubs in our region, prior to me being here, and it will be great to see them.”
“The NISA Independent Cup will be a great opportunity to see some new talented Clubs compete against some of our Clubs. We are looking forward to it.”Michael Collins, President California United Strikers
“The participating clubs have shown incredible determination and support for one another and the NISA Independent Cup. Their ownership of the process has resulted in a competition that serves the best interest of all clubs and exemplifies the unity of independent community-based clubs. I am so incredibly excited to continue to work with the NISA Board and their independent amateur brethren as the NISA Independent Cup will continue to evolve in future years.”, said NISA EVP of Expansion Joshua Prutch.
The National Independent Soccer Association is also proud to announce the official presenting sponsor for the NISA Independent Cup is CovidMD, a risk assessment, triage, and telemedicine platform.
The clubs have been in ongoing discussions to plan the return to play as safely as possible.