NASL’s future remains heavily in doubt, and two more clubs are seeking temporary shelter in the meantime.
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On Saturday, reports began to surface stating that both Miami FC and Jacksonville Armada will be moving to the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) ahead of the 2018 season.
The NPSL is currently considered a fourth-tier division in the U.S. soccer pyramid.
Pro Soccer Talk has since been able to the confirm these developments.
Soc Takes has also reported that Miami is likely to use a “variant of their name” so that the club will still be eligible to play in NASL when/if the league resumes play.
At the moment, NASL has four teams ahead of any potential 2018 season, with California United FC, 1904 FC, the New York Cosmos and Puerto Rico FC involved. Cal United and 1904 FC — both expansion sides — have never played a match before.
Miami FC quickly put itself on the U.S. soccer map in two short seasons, and much of the club’s success can be attributed to manager Alessandro Nesta.
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The former Serie A defender has managed the club in its first two years of existence, but Nesta’s time in South Beach is coming to an end.
Nesta revealed on Friday that he won’t be returning to the NASL club in 2018, as he prepares to fnd a “new challenge” in his managerial career.
With NASL’s future as a league very much up in the air, Nesta could be seeking a more stable position entering 2018, especially given that his name has been thrown around with several MLS jobs over the last few months.
Weather meant the NASL-USL showdown in the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup was played well after the other three semifinalists had been decided on the pitch.
The NASL’s Miami FC was at home for Wednesday’s quarterfinal against the USL’s FC Cincinnati, but that didn’t help the outcome as FCC did its job as visitors in the first half before finding a winner in the second.
Senegalese striker Djiby Fall kept up his rampant season with a close-range goal as FCC advances to host MLS side New York Red Bulls on Aug. 15.
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Fall has 14 goals in 18 appearances for FCC.
The other semi features Sporting KC and the San Jose Earthquakes, and will be played on Aug. 9.
We already know three of the four teams that will represent the field for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals, and now we know the scenarios of where the matches will be played.
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The San Jose Earthquakes, Sporting KC and New York Red Bulls all booked their places into the final four this week after advancing past the quarterfinals in their respective matches, while Miami FC and FC Cincinnati will battle it out at a later date after their fixture was postponed due to inclement weather.
Miami and Cincinnati represent Division II leagues NASL and USL, respectively.
The Earthquakes and Sporting KC will meet at Avaya Stadium on August 9, while the Red Bulls will travel to the winner of Miami FC vs. FC Cincy on the same day.
From there, Sporting KC drew the highest priority of hosting the final. Simply put, if Sporting KC wins its match against the Quakes, Peter Vermes’ side will go on to host the title match on September 20.
The Red Bulls drew the second-highest priority, while Miami FC/Cincy were picked third and the Earthquakes were last — meaning they would be on the road regardless of which club they draw in the final.
There’s going to be a few weeks to sit on which team will round out the field of four in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals.
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Miami FC and FC Cincinnati will decide that spot on August 2 after the two clubs had to postpone their match on Thursday night due to inclement weather.
Miami — winners of the NASL Spring Season in 2017 — will host the USL side from Riccardo Silva Stadium, with the victor earning the chance to take on the New York Red Bulls in the semifinals.
The Richmond Kickers were the last non-MLS side to reach the Open Cup semifinals, while the Rochester Rhinos (USL) are the last club to win the competition from outside the ranks of MLS in 1999.