NISL brings professional soccer teams to Memphis area

Sports

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (WREG) — The newly formed NISL is making its first stop in Southaven with the Memphis Americans.

“Of course, the world’s most popular deserves to be in Memphis,” said Kyle Rote Jr.

Rote, one of the nation’s first soccer superstars, served as head coach of the original Memphis Americans back in the early 80s. That team was a part of the pioneering Major Indoor Soccer League.

It was nostalgic for him to see that team brought back Thursday.

Rote said, “I’m so glad to be able to once again give Memphis, and the Shelby County, and north Mississippi, and all within about three hours of drive another opportunity, not just to be entertained, but to also learn more about the game.”

You have economic impact and the amount of people this league will bring to the Memphis area, but one of the main reasons this was founded was to combat the lack of representation in professional women’s sports.

The NISL will be the first in the country to have a professional women’s indoor league.

“By fielding both a men’s and women’s team, we will be able to reach a broader range of fans including my now five-year-old daughter Talia,” said Joshua Blair, who sits on the NISL Executive Board of Directors.

“I’m a former member of the US National Men’s team, we have never won a World Cup of soccer,” Rote said. “Our women’s program, nationally, internationally, has won multiple World Cups. I would hope people would come here and watch how talented our ladies are.”

The Memphis Americans will compete in 24 matches, all of them double headers with fans being able to enjoy those matchups inside of Landers Center in Southaven.

“I’ve been in a lot of arenas in this country and just the atmosphere alone – I always try to put myself in the shoes of the consumer,” said NISL Executive Board member Jason Gibson. “I have three kids and a little girl like Josh just said and I think, ‘OK would I bring my disposable income here and pay to watch an event here? Absolutely.’”

The NISL plans to kick off its inaugural season just after Christmas and wrap up next April.

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