Chicago (February 3, 2021) - The National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) today announced the 2021 spring season will begin with a tournament April 13-25 in Chattanooga, Tenn. While NISA will continue to follow its successful COVID return-to-play protocol, it is expected reduced capacity will be allowed at Chattanooga's 20,412-set Max Finley Stadium.
"NISA has had an amazing off-season, so far, but we can't wait to see our member clubs back on the pitch," says NISA Commissioner John Prutch. "We are excited to welcome Maryland Bobcats FC as well as welcome back both San Diego 1904 and Stumptown Athletic (Charlotte/Matthews, NC).
"We are also excited at the prospect of welcoming back supporters to the stands," he adds. "They are the ingredient we all sorely missed last fall. To include them in the NISA experience and to protect the full slate of club participants, we will continue to listen to the experts and take every COVID safety measure available."
The spring tournament will be the club's first as a fully professional club and will kick off their first professional season in 2021. Vice President Evan Raimist said that "the coaches, players, and staff are all excited to hit the ground running a little earlier than we were originally planning. However, with the squad we are starting to assemble and the quality of our staff, I have no doubt that we can compete from Day 1. I can't wait to finally get to see the team on the field and am looking forward to some really high quality games".
The format of the tournament is as follows:
Cup/Tournament Play: April 13 - 25 (Chattanooga, TN)
Three groups of three clubs
Culminates with a final
Winner secures first semifinal spot in playoffs
Be on the lookout as the club continues to announce player signings for their first professional roster. Announcements will come all month long.