NEW YORK (CBS13/AP) – The North American Soccer League canceled its 2018 season on Tuesday after a federal court decision denied its attempt to maintain second-tier status.

The NASL held second-tier status in the U.S. Soccer Federation from 2011 through last year, and when its status was not renewed, it filed an antitrust suit against USSF.

The league announced the cancellation of the season, which was set to begin in August, on Tuesday.

The move leaves players in an uncertain place, with both Major League Soccer and the United Soccer League starting their seasons in March.

The Sacramento Republic is a member of the USL, but the city has its hopes pinned on joining the higher ranking MLS.

A federal judge in November denied the NASL’s application for a preliminary injunction against the USSF, and the league announced last month it would not play a spring season. It planned to start its season next Aug. 11, but said that was pending the outcome of the appeal.

Last week, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the judge’s decision.

“We cannot say at this point that NASL has shown a clear likelihood of its success on the merits,” U.S. Senior Circuit Judge Richard C. Wesley wrote in a decision Friday for a unanimous panel that also included Circuit Judge Denny Chin and Senior Circuit Judge Barrington Daniels Parker Jr.

The 2nd Circuit sent the case back to District Court in New York for further proceedings.

 

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.

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