Slimmed-down North American Soccer League to kick off 2017 season on March 25

NASL 2017 season to kick off March 25

NEW YORK — A slimmed-down North American Soccer League will kick off its spring season on March 25 while FC Edmonton will open April 2 on the road against Jacksonville Armada FC.

The eight-team league’s split-season schedule will feature 16-game spring and 16-game fall calendars. Within each season, every club will play the other seven opponents home and away, plus two additional matchups.

The other teams are the newly formed San Francisco Deltas, the defending champion New York Cosmos, Indy Eleven, Miami FC, North Carolina FC and Puerto Rico FC.

Edmonton will host Jacksonville on April 8 in its home opener at Clarke Stadium where the bulk of its home games will be Friday or Saturday this season.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies and Ottawa Fury FC have left the league to join the USL, another Tier 2 league. Minnesota United is now part of MLS.

Rayo OKC and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers dropped out of the league.

The Cosmos will open their title defence March 25 at Puerto Rico FC. North Carolina FC will host Miami FC and San Francisco will entertain Indy Eleven that same day.

The Spring and Fall Season champions advance to the league’s four-team post-season tournament, along with the two clubs that collect the most combined points over the course of the overall 32-game competition.

Edmonton lost 1-0 to Indy Eleven in last season’s semifinals.

The Canadian Press