NISA Promotes Las Vegas Legends to Pro

First-Ever Promotion on Merit in U.S. Professional Soccer
Published Jan 12, 2024

CHICAGO (January 12, 2024) – Today, the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) announced amateur side and incubator league NISA Nation participant Las Vegas Legends (LVL) earned its promotion boots to pro. It is considered the first-ever intra-system, merit-based promotion to pro in modern U.S. soccer. LVL will take to the pitch as professionals for the 2025 NISA season subject to U.S. Soccer Federation approval.

The club was a finalist in the inaugural NISA Nation National Championship last month dropping to Northern Virginia FC (Nova FC) on penalties. LVL’s application has been streamlined through the NISA Nation path-to-pro process. Both clubs earned an invitation for promotion. Nova FC will not make a decision until at least 2025.

“This is likely a first in U.S. soccer,” says NISA Executive Vice President Josh Prutch. “Earning promotion on the pitch and taking the time to develop a strong front office is critical for any club making the jump to pro. We’ve been able to see that growth alongside Meir (LVL founder and owner Meir Cohen) over the last few seasons, and will work with them in this year of transition.”

“The Legends were well before their time – one of the first pro sports teams in Las Vegas,” says Cohen. “But now, Las Vegas Legends FC will be a part of the booming sports culture in our city joining the Raiders, Golden Knights, and Aces. We are confident that we will build a successful team that our community will be proud to watch and support.”

LVL started in 2012 in front of a thousand fans at Las Vegas’ Orleans Arena. Over the past 12 years, the club has grown playing in the National Premier Soccer League’s West Region, Southwest Conference. For the past three years, it has participated in NISA Nation, the incubator league that provides clubs a platform to meet pro criteria on and off the pitch.

“With youth soccer continuing to grow across Las Vegas’ communities, the players and their families now will have a professional club acting as role models,” Cohen says. “LVL seeks to continue to be a catalyst for the pride and support of a community a club can ignite.”

More information on LVL can be found at NISA will announce the complete 2024 slate of clubs and season format in the coming days. It will release the schedule later in the month.