Atlantic City FC was announced Friday as the first club that will be part of the new NISA Nation competition beginning this fall.
NISA Nation is a new outgrowth of the National Independent Soccer Association and is intended as a pathway for clubs to go from amateur to professional status. The competition will include several regions around the country made of up independent clubs.
For Atlantic City FC, which recently completed its third season in the NPSL and was part of the NISA Independent Cup, NISA Nation will offer an opportunity to play year round while still fielding a summer team in the NPSL.
“It’s an exceptional honor as somebody who is a huge fan of the game around the world, knowing what it means to bring a focus to a growth system and a pyramid system to the United States and to participate on the grassroots level of that is exceptionally meaningful to us,” Andrew Weilgus, Atlantic City FC president, said in an an interview with NISA Nation. “Being the first team announced holds a tremendous honor for us and I think it stands for all the right things for what we’re trying to do for the growth of the game in this country.”
Proud to announce our first NISA Nation club; from competing in this year’s 2021 NISA Independent Cup to taking the pitch in the 2021 Fall inaugural NISA Nation Season, welcome to the Nation @AtlanticCityFC! Let’s Go!! #AcesUp #NISANation pic.twitter.com/JFE53ZQ9uQ— NISA Nation (@TheNISANation) August 20, 2021
Bayonne, New Jersey club New Jersey Teamsterz FC and Baltimore club Steel Pulse FC have also subsequently been announced as NISA Nation clubs. Steel Pulse FC was part of the 2021 NISA Independent Cup Mid-Atlantic region, which included Atlantic City FC, Allentown United and Maryland Bobcats FC, which won the region after beating the Aces 1-0 in an entertaining match at Rowan University.