|Founded||June 6, 2017|
(North American Football Union)
|Number of teams||8|
|Level on pyramid||3|
|Domestic cup(s)||U.S. Open Cup|
|International cup(s)||CONCACAF Champions League|
(via U.S. Open Cup)
|2020-21 NISA season|
On June 6, 2017, it was announced that the newly formed National Independent Soccer Association would begin play in 2018 targeting an initial 8 to 10 teams, later revised to 8 to 12 teams. Initially, the league outlined plans to introduce a promotion/relegation system, once they reach their goal of 24 teams, the first in US professional soccer and in doing so act as a feeder league to the North American Soccer League (NASL); however, the NASL ceased operations prior to those plans being implemented.
On February 13, 2018, NISA co-founder Jack Cummins died suddenly. On May 17, 2018, NISA co-founder Peter Wilt left the NISA to help start up Forward Madison FC in Madison, Wisconsin in USL League One. A committee of club owners has been formed to elect new leadership within the organization.
On August 31, 2018, NISA filed an application with the United States Soccer Federation for sanctioning as a men's professional league, playing at the third division. On February 16, 2019, NISA was provisionally sanctioned as a Division III league by the United States Soccer Federation. In May 2019, it was announced that clubs were not happy with the silence from the league and that Bob Watkins was no longer the President of NISA and that John Prutch had taken the helm as commissioner. During this same timeframe, the league's start date was pushed back from August 2019 to a targeted September start date.
On June 10, 2019, it became known that both Miami FC and California United Strikers FC were approved at the recent board of governors meeting to join NISA, while the previously identified club in Central Florida would play in Baton Rouge, Louisiana instead of Daytona Beach, Florida. However, it was unclear whether either of the teams would start before the league's September start date. On June 27, 2019 it was announced that Oakland Roots SC would have their inaugural season with the league in the spring season, rather than the previously announced NPSL Founders Cup. On August 15, 2019, the league officially announced the addition of Oakland Roots for the 2019 season and Chattanooga FC, Detroit City FC, and Michigan Stars FC for early 2020.
The inaugural season began on August 31, 2019, with a 3-3 draw for Oakland Roots SC and California United Strikers FC in Oakland. On April 27, 2020, following previous postponements, the remainder of the 2019-20 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On September 10, 2020, the league announced that one of the original co-founders of the league, Peter Wilt, would be rejoining the league in a club operations capacity by attempting to establish a club in Chicago. On September 15, 2020, one of the founding teams, Oakland Roots, announced that they were leaving the league to join the USL Championship a league in the second division of professional soccer.
On April 27, 2020, NISA revealed a new tournament called the NISA Independent Cup that would have member teams face off against high quality amateur and independent professional sides in a regional format. The tournament and 15 participating teams were announced on July 1.
NISA announced its first affiliation agreement with the Gulf Coast Premier League, a USASA affiliated amateur league based in the gulf coast of the United States, on August 13, 2020. The partnership is set to provide a pathway to professional status for both clubs and players, while also allowing two GCPL teams to qualify for future editions of the Independent Cup based on league play. This was expanded to include the Midwest Premier League and Eastern Premier Soccer League on September 3 and 4, 2020, respectively.
On September 17, 2020, the league announced that it was establishing a full-year amateur league that would serve as an incubator for amateur and semi-professional clubs that wish to move into NISA's professional league. NISA stated that this full-season amateur league and its previously announced league affiliations would serve as the foundation of a fully open professional to amateur pyramid in the United States.
|Club||City||Stadium||Capacity||Founded||First Season||Head coach|
|Spring 2021 clubs|
|California United Strikers FC||Irvine, California||Championship Stadium||5,000||2017||2019||Don Ebert|
|Chattanooga FC||Chattanooga, Tennessee||Finley Stadium||20,668||2009||2020||Peter Fuller|
|Detroit City FC||Hamtramck, Michigan||Keyworth Stadium||7,933||2012||2020||Trevor James|
|Los Angeles Force||Los Angeles, California||Jesse Owens Stadium||5,000||2019||2019||Patryk Tenorio (caretaker)|
|Maryland Bobcats FC||Boyds, Maryland||Maryland SoccerPlex||4,000||2016||2021||Phil Nana|
|Michigan Stars FC||Pontiac, Michigan||Ultimate Soccer Arena||5,000||1982||2020||Alexander Strehmel|
|New Amsterdam FC||Warwick, New York||Hudson Sports Complex||2020||2020||Maximilian Mansfield (interim)|
|New York Cosmos||Uniondale, New York||Mitchel Athletic Complex||5,000||2010||2020||Carlos Mendes|
|Clubs on hiatus|
|San Diego 1904 FC||San Diego, California||Vic Player Stadium||3,700||2017||2019||Alex Gontran|
|Stumptown Athletic||Matthews, North Carolina||CSA OrthoCarolina Sportsplex
Sportsplex at Matthews
|Other announced clubs|
|New Jersey Teamsters FC||Bayonne, New Jersey||Don Ahern Veterans Stadium||7,000||2017||2021||Javier Romero|
|Atlanta SC||Alpharetta, Georgia||Fall 2019||Fall 2019||Inactive|
|Miami FC||Miami, Florida||Fall 2019||Fall 2019||Moved to USL Championship|
|Philadelphia Fury||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Fall 2019||Fall 2019||Inactive|
|Oakland Roots SC||Oakland, California||Fall 2019||Fall 2020||Moved to USL Championship|
Teams that no longer participate in the National Independent Soccer Association are in italics.
|Team||NISA Final||Year(s) won||Split season
|Detroit City FC||1||Fall 2020||1|
|California United Strikers FC||1||Fall 2019||1|
|Miami FC||1||Fall 2019||0.5|
|2019-20||Fall||No overall association champion decided[a]|
|Spring||Season not complete due to the COVID-19 pandemic|
|2020-21||Fall||Detroit City FC||2-1||Oakland Roots SC||Keyworth Stadium||0[b]||Steven Carroll (DCFC)|
|2020||Central Plains||Gaffa FC (GCPL)||N/A[a]|
|Great Lakes||Detroit City FC (NISA)|
|Mid-Atlantic||Maryland Bobcats FC (NPSL)|
|Southeast||Chattanooga FC (NISA)|
The Don Ahern Veterans Stadium can fill 7,000 -- we want to set our attendance at 2,500, and from there we will be able to expand.