Div III and beyond: 5 questions with NISA co-founder Peter Wilt

NISA, a proposed 3rd division league, is awaiting its official launch. MLSMultiplex asked league co-founder, Peter Wilt, 5 questions about the idea.

Prospective Div III league, the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) is due to begin play late this summer or early 2019. The league’s future is currently in a bit of a holding pattern due mainly to circumstances beyond their control. Recently, MLSMultiplex had the chance to ask co-founder, Peter Wilt, about NISA’s near-term uncertainty and long-term goals.

Question 1:

MLSM: Your announced plans for starting league play have been revised now to perhaps late summer of this year or early next (2019); which of those do you think would serve the league better and why?

PW: The earlier date appeals to existing teams that would like to continue providing high-level soccer to their fan base. The latter date appeals to new teams that could use the additional ramp-up time for their operations.

Question 2:

MLSM: Your league has placed a great emphasis on instituting a system of promotion/relegation in US (at least men’s) soccer; given that there are presently other Div III league options, how does bringing NISA online now help to establish promotion and relegation?

PW: Other Division III options are not committed to establishing [that kind of system]. NISA is committing to establishing pro/rel as soon as one season is completed with multiple levels. In addition to NISA III, we are also working to establish NISA II and NISA IV divisions and alliances with amateur leagues all of which would participate in pro/rel.

Question 3:

MLSM: NASL’s appeal for an injunction is still pending and the USSF presidential election takes place very soon; in your opinion what would be the ideal outcome in each of those for US soccer fans and also for NISA’s future plans?

PW: The most important outcome of the NASL injunction appeal is a quick decision. The longer it takes, the longer uncertainty delays the progress of the sport. I believe several candidates would bring a new vision and a proactive approach to moving the sport forward in the United States. I believe Eric Wynalda has the best vision and approach for progress that mirrors the vision NISA has for the professional game. (ed. note: NISA and Wilt publicly endorsed Wynalda’s candidacy last month.)

Question 4:

MLSM: The structure of the US Open Cup seems geared towards giving MLS clubs a better chance to score at least a “domestic double” within the same year; is that fair to Div II and III clubs and what could a new USSF president do, if anything, to bring about change in that competition?

PW: I believe it would be fairer to use the previous year’s US Open Cup results to seed clubs in the following year’s Open Cup regardless of their league.

Question 5:

MLSM: Your league has also sought to encourage fan ownership of clubs seeking to become part of NISA. Can you give interested fan groups a basic list of what they would need to bring to their application for that?

PW: NISA teams, whether partially fan owned or not, [will have to] meet the minimum USSF standards for their division, which is the same for MLS and USL. New or existing teams may create fan ownership in their team. The necessary steps [would, among other requirements] include establishing or transitioning their organization to a C corporation, as well as agreeing to follow SEC guidelines for “Regulation Crowdfunding”. [As a first step, Mr. Wilt invited interested parties to contact himself and Cutting Edge Capital at peter@nisaofficial.com.]