• What is the National Soccer League?
    The National Soccer League (NSL) is a competitive men’s soccer league whose clubs play in the Chicago metropolitan area. The NSL is affiliated with the Illinois State Soccer Association (ISSA) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). The NSL is a not-for-profit organization. 


  • When was the National Soccer League founded?
    The NSL began play in 1919 and is one of the oldest soccer leagues in the US.



  • How can I contact the League?
    The NSL website is at http://www.nslchicago.org


  • Who runs the National Soccer League?
    The NSL’s member clubs elect a seven-member Executive Board, which administers the League’s operation. Board members serve two-year terms. 


  • What is the structure of the National Soccer League?
    The Senior level is split into as many as three Divisions: Major, First and Second. The structure of the competition is dependent on the number of participating teams. 


  • What types of competitions does the National Soccer League organize?
    There are two competitions: outdoor and indoor. Teams play 10-16 matches in both the outdoor and indoor seasons. The outdoor season usually runs from late April to mid-October. The indoor season typically runs from late November to mid-March. 


  • How can my club become a member of the League?
    Clubs who desire membership in the NSL must fill out an application for membership. The NSL’s member clubs consider new applicants at the League’s monthly meeting after which the application was received and then vote on whether to accept the prospective club as a new member. 


  • How much does it cost to compete in the League?
    The costs vary, depending on the competition. For the outdoor season, clubs will pay an affiliation fee to the League when they register to participate in the competition ($500 for the outdoor season). There are other costs, which are not directly related to the League. When a team plays at home, it is responsible for paying referee fees of $200. Clubs must register their players with the ISSA ($22 per player, secondary medical insurance included).

    For the indoor season, there is an affiliation fee ($800). The NSL currently stages its indoor competition at the Odeum in Villa Park. Everyone who enters the Odeum pays a $7 entrance fee.

    There are other costs connected with running a soccer club, but those costs vary from club to club. It is beyond the scope of this FAQ document to list them all.


  • Where are the matches played?
    Outdoor matches are played all over the Chicago area. All indoor matches are played at The Odeum in Villa Park. 


  • Where will my team play its home matches if I don’t have my own home field?
    The NSL encourages clubs to find their own fields. For clubs who are not able to secure their own field, the League is always available to assist. 


  • Do all of my players need to be registered?
    Yes. All players must be registered with the ISSA and have a player pass that proves that they are registered. Teams who use unregistered players will forfeit any matches in which such players have participated and will face disciplinary action from the League. 


  • What if I don’t have a club? Can the League find a place for me to play?
    The NSL has no mechanism for placing individual players with teams. The clubs themselves fill their rosters. Players are encouraged to contact individual clubs via our Links page. Players can also come to the fields where the games are played and make contact with a club there.