New England Soccer Today

Report: Boston City, Hartford City Set Sights on NASL

Photo credit: Boston City FC

Could NASL soccer be headed to Boston and Hartford next summer?

According to a report by, Boston City FC and an unnamed team from Hartford – presumably fellow NPSL side Hartford City FC – are two of seven teams who have recently signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to join NASL in for the 2018 season.

There are multiple barriers to clear before these sides can move up to the NASL, most notably whether the NASL will retain its Division II status.

Last month, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced over the summer the NASL would not retain Division II status, causing the NASL to file a preliminary injunction, claiming Division II status is essential to the league’s survival.

Additionally, both teams would find new homes, as the Division II stadium capacity requirement is 5,000 seats, more than Boston City’s home ground of Malden Catholic High School and the CCSU Soccer Field, where Hartford City played in 2017.

Joining these squads for the 2018 NASL season are current NPSL sides Boca Raton FC, Detroit City FC, FC Arizona, and Virginia Beach City FC. The remaining seventh team, the New Orleans Jesters, would join the NASL in 2019 after playing 2018 in the NPSL.

It’s no surprise the NASL is in the hunt for new members, as the size of their league has shrunk with some teams joining USL or MLS, or ceasing operations altogether.

The NASL completed the 2017 season with only eight teams, with rumors of FC Edmonton and the San Francisco Deltas not returning next season dropping membership down to six teams, a far cry from the 18-20 teams former commissioner Bill Peterson predicted the NASL would have for the 2018 season.

However, the addition of the NPSL teams mentioned above, as well as two new expansion teams already slated to join the league, would increase the NASL to at least 14 teams for the 2018 season and 15 teams for the 2019 season. Not included in this figure are rumored expansion teams in Atlanta and Chicago.

Representatives from Boston City FC and Hartford City FC did not confirm or deny the report to NESoccerToday, but both acknowledged discussions with other leagues.

A representative from Hartford City FC stated they “have all intentions of fielding a team in the NPSL next season.” This would contradict the initial report, unless Hartford City intends on fielding separate teams in the NASL and NPSL, similar to the New York Cosmos and New York Cosmos B affiliates.

The same representative also stated the club’s goal is to “bring professional soccer to Dillon Stadium,” which has a capacity of 9,600, meeting Division II standards. Previous plans to convert Dillon Stadium, once the home of the Connecticut Bicentennials for a season in 1975 in the original iteration of NASL, into a 15,000 seat soccer stadium to compete in NASL over the past few years have failed to come to fruition. Hartford City hinted at its current ambitions in a post on its Facebook page on Monday evening.

If the report is true, and the NASL takes the field next season with Boston and Hartford in the fold, they would be the first cities in New England with NASL franchises in the current iteration of the league.

The original NASL (1968-1984) featured teams from both markets as the Boston Beacons (1968), Boston Minutemen (1974-76) and Hartford Bicentennials (1975-76) all fielded teams in the U.S.’s top flight at the time.

Leave a Reply