League hopes to have original franchise back for 2025
Indoor soccer will not be played at the Landers Center in Southaven this 2024 season. The National Indoor Soccer League (NISL) Thursday released its schedule for the year and the Memphis Americans are not included among the teams playing this year.
In the news release, the NISL said the Americans “were taking a hiatus for the 2024 season with aspirations of returning to the league in 2025.”
The Americans were one of the original members in the rebirth of professional indoor soccer to the Mid-South in January 2021 with ownership by Andrew Haines and A-League Sports. Majority ownership of the franchise was acquired by Lanier James of James Pest Management in March. Previously holding minority shares with the club, James assumed operational control with the acquisition of additional shares.
The original version of the Memphis Americans began in 1981 with the purchase of the Hartford Helions by soccer standout Kyle Rote, Jr., who moved the team to the Mid-South Coliseum and renamed the team. The Americans existed for three seasons before moving to Las Vegas in 1984.
While successful on the pitch, the new Americans never drew well at the gate with few fans following the team.
The NISL was organized to have both men’s and women’s teams playing the same night. The women’s team won the first NISL championship and the men lost in the championship game.
According to the news release, the 2024 regular season starting in January will see six teams – Fayetteville Fury, Albany Aces, Foundry FC, Magic City SC, Tampa Bay Strikers, and Central Florida Crusaders.
The NISL will welcome three expansion teams this year, including its first team in Alabama, Magic City SC. Joining this Birmingham-area team this season will be two Georgia based teams – Foundry FC and Albany Aces.
North Carolina’s Fayetteville Fury returns for its third campaign in the league with Tampa Bay Strikers and Central Florida Crusaders from the Orlando area, set to compete in their sophomore seasons.
Corey Adamson was the playing coach and general manager for the Memphis Americans during its time in Southaven. An effort to reach Adamson for comment was not immediately successful.