With questions lingering over the future of the NASL, Jacksonville Armada owner Robert Palmer says that his club could end up changing leagues.
There have been questions about the NASL’s future since September, when the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) announced that the circuit would not retain its Division II status for the 2018 season. A previous request for a preliminary injunction to retain Divison II status was denied in November, but the league has since appealed and is awaiting a ruling. In the interim, it has been announced that the NASL is planning to use the international soccer calendar for its 2018-19 season, with an August-to-June slate.
While no decision has been announced, Palmer is indicating that he is committed to the Armada buts adds that the club could ultimately change leagues. The possibility of remaining in the NASL is not being ruled out, though he noted that other options could be available to the club. More from News4Jax.com:
“There are a lot of great opportunities for the Armada,” Palmer said. “There are a lot of lesser known leagues in this country.”
One aspect of a potential move to another league could include moving to a promotion/relegation system that exists in most leagues in the world, but not in the United States….
Palmer also restated his commitment to building a soccer specific stadium, although for the time being, the Armada will continue to play at UNF’s Hodges Stadium.
“I want to reassure our fans, our staff, the team of my commitment to this team,” Palmer said. “Unless the NASL wins the injunction, the Armada will not be playing in Division II. If the NASL wins the injunction and the other owners are all willing to put teams on the field, we will be a part of that.”
For right now, there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the NASL’s slate of clubs. North Carolina FC has already announced its shift to the USL, and reports indicatd that Indy Eleven could make that move as well, though that has not been confirmed to this point. In addition, the San Francisco Deltas have folded and FC Edmonton has shut down operations for 2018.
The immediate status of an expansion club is also in question, as a 2019 launch looks to be an option for 1904 FC in San Diego, which has been expected to field a team in 2018. The NASL played at eight teams in 2017, featuring a slate that included Edmonton, Indy, Jacksonville, Miami, New York, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and San Francisco.
Image courtesy Jacksonville Armada.
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