Palmer: Jacksonville Armada Without a League

Jacksonville Armada

Jacksonville Armada owner Robert Palmer has indicated that the club is without a league for 2018, a statement that comes as questions persist over the NASL‘s future.

The U.S. Soccer Federation announced in September that the NASL would not retain Division II status for the 2018 season. As part of the legal fallout from that decision, the NASL sought to obtain a preliminary injunction that would allow it to remain a Division II circuit in 2018. U.S. District Court Judge Margo Brodie denied the request last week, though NASL has since indicated that it will appeal that ruling.

Jacksonville began playing in the NASL in 2015. Palmer, who finalized his purchase of the Armada over the summer, took to Twitter on Sunday to state that “In 7 days we’ll be a team w/o a league,” before citing some of the benefits Jacksonville offers.

There have been some questions about what will happen to current NASL clubs. As was noted here over the weekendNorth Carolina FC and upcoming 1904 FC could go the USL route. Jacksonville could be looking to move on as well, though there has been no official word to this point as to what circuit the club could join for 2018. More from The Florida Times-Union:

Palmer appears to be the first NASL owner to publicly indicate his intention to find a new league since the ruling, although North Carolina FC had previously made arrangements to join the United Soccer League and the San Francisco Deltas are in danger of folding.

His statement further indicates that whatever the NASL’s own future, the Armada intends to play on.

Palmer cited the Armada’s “awesome fans,” “20-market TV deal” and “big ROI in Jax” in his tweet.

In addition to the USL, the fledgling National Independent Soccer Association (NISA), headed by former Indy Eleven and Chicago Fire executive Peter Wilt, has been proposed as one potential destination for teams should the NASL cease play.

According to the Times-Union, the Armada has already “arranged to play at the University of North Florida’s Hodges Stadium for 2018.” The club moved to Hodges Stadium for the 2017 season after spending 2015 and 2016 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

Image courtesy Jacksonville Armada. 

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