Family, Community, Soccer

by Sebastian Johnson It’s hard to imagine the work that goes into running a professional sports team. It’s a tall task to be sure - one that could leave even the most die-hard of fans feeling that they bit off more than they could chew. Suffice it to say, running a sports team is not a job for the faint of heart, and few know that better than Bronwyn Capriotti. Capriotti was ...

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Photo Credit: Dan Bartel/ Chicago House AC

Sociology, Criminology, Soccer

by Sebastian Johnson | Photo Credit: Dan Bartel / Chicago House AC Chicago House forward AR Smith remembers the shock he felt the first few weeks attending Butler University in Indianapolis, Ind.. “I went to Butler, which is a PWI,” he says. “That is, a ‘primarily white institution.’ I was one of a handful of black people even attending the school, to begin with...I was often the only black student in many ...

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We Are NISA Nation: An Interview with Pioneer Premier League Commissioner Desmond Armstrong

By Alexa Doebler Last week, the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) proudly announced an amateur league affiliation with the new Tennessee-based Pioneer Premier League (PPL). The Pioneer Premier League is owned and led by Desmond Armstrong and his business partner. Desmond himself is a pioneer in the American game as the first Black player born in the United States to start for the USA at a FIFA World Cup (Italia '90), ...

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Kevin Gonzalez Is The Perfect Man For The Job

By Sebastian Johnson It takes a special type of person to be a goalkeeper. A goalkeeper isn’t just another element of a team’s defense - far from it, in fact. The goalkeeper is the final defensive measure a team has, tasked with possibly the most crucial job on the pitch. Professional soccer players can send a ball towards the goal at speeds up to 80 miles per hour. It takes a unique ...

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For Shinya Kadono, No Distance Is Too Far To Close Through Understanding

By Sebastian Johnson The distance from Kobe, Japan, to Irvine, Calif., is 9,262 kilometers. In imperial units that’s just over 5,755 miles - a measure so great as to be nearly abstract. The average person can hardly visualize 10 miles; 5,755 miles is close to being rendered without meaning in its expanse. That is, unless you’re Shinya Kadono. Despite moving nearly 6,000 miles at age seven, the understanding he was met with ...

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Experience Shapes Actions for Shaun Russell

By Sebastian Johnson Shaun Russell didn’t realize the athlete he was becoming until he was 14 years old. “I realized I was good when I got my first college letter,” he says. It wasn’t much longer after that he got his first college call - a moment that cemented into his mind the fact that he just might be an above average soccer player. Even though Russell doesn’t remember the school that sent ...

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Interview with Babajide Saba: President of the Maryland Bobcats Football Club

By Sebastian Johnson Babajide Saba is the president of the Maryland Bobcats Football Club. He also is a member of a growing number of front office executives who have taken non-traditional paths. He is a man forged by his experiences; a man who has grown to allow his unique past to inform not just his own future, but the futures of every life he has the power to affect. It’s easy to ...

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Difference Makers in the Game of Soccer: An Interview with Stumptown AC Head Coach Rod Underwood

By Alexa Doebler Heading into Week 4 of our 2021 Spring Season, our Game of the Week comes to you from Matthews Sportsplex, the stadium of NISA’s newest team, Stumptown AC. They will be lacing up to take on Cal United Strikers FC this Saturday, May 22nd. And while this club is young- 7 games and about 2 months since initial tryouts- they are taking to the pitch in an impressive showing ...

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Interview with . . . NISA VP of Expansion Josh Prutch

Leading the expansion process for NISA, Josh Prutch is in discussions every day with clubs and investors all over the country looking to join the independent soccer movement.  In the short time frame since taking over the role, Josh has had conversations with investors representing communities of all sizes - some with populations under 25,000 and some in the biggest cities in the country - welcoming multiple clubs in both ...

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Interview With . . . Brian Costin

In NISA Nation’s first post Ten Reasons NISA will be different, the first reason we mention is: "Any Community Can Have Pro Soccer".  Sure, it’s a little early in the history of this blog to be quoting ourselves but here we go: In the United States, only one top tier (“Big Five”) professional sports team is based outside of the largest 50 metropolitan areas. About 160 million people live outside of ...

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