May 25, 2021 (Montgomery County, MD) - Maryland Bobcats FC will once again be participating in the NISA Independent Cup, taking place in July. This will be the second year of the Independent Cup as well as the second year of participation for the club. Last year, in 2020, Maryland Bobcats FC won the Mid-Atlantic Region, topping their group after 3 matches. This year, the Mid-Atlantic Region consists of Maryland Bobcats FC, Atlantic City (NJ) FC, Steel Pulse FC (MD), and Allentown United (PA).
The National Independent Soccer Association announces the return of the NISA Independent Cup for July and August with 36 clubs playing in nine regions across the country. Nine current and future NISA clubs will participate, as well as at least one club from eight different amateur leagues. Many of those teams come from amateur leagues that have forged affiliations with NISA in the past year. In a move to assist clubs deprived of a national stage due to the cancellation of the US Open Cup, NISA expanded the Independent Cup field to include a total of 28 amateur sides.
The Independent Cup, introduced last year as a regionalized competition, provides independent professional and amateur clubs a platform to play together on a national stage. The tournament kickoff date is July 9. Each of the nine regional competitions will crown a champion.
"The Independent Cup champions the independent spirit of open competition,” says NISA Executive Vice President Josh Prutch. “Over the last year, we have seen competition after competition get shut down. The Independent Cup gives these clubs more opportunities to compete, develop and succeed – and that is why we expanded the field for 2021.”
"We're looking forward to participating in the Independent Cup again," said club Vice President, Evan Raimist. "It's a great way to get to see other teams, get some games in before the Fall season kicks off, and allows us to bring up some guys and see what they can offer the club. It's a great way to see where the club is at as a whole, not just guys 1 through 20 or 22. Who knows, we may even see some Reserve Team guys called up and put on a bigger stage."
All clubs participating will adhere to NISA's Return to Play Protocol created and established with top medical professionals and in accordance with the CDC guidelines to ensure the health and safety of all clubs' players, staffs and personnel. Regional competition also will adhere to state and local governance in place at the time of regional competition. Full details on the NISA Independent Cup schedule will be announced in the coming weeks. More can be found at https://nisasoccer.com/indcup.
The Regions for the 2021 NISA Independent Cup are: