Two more teams departed the North American Soccer League Friday, the latest blow to the struggling league.
The San Francisco Deltas announced the club is folding just two weeks after winning the NASL championship, and FC Edmonton also shut down.
That leaves the Jacksonville Armada, for now, as one of just five teams from 2017 set to continue its participation in the league, which lost its Division II status in September. North Carolina FC announced earlier this month that it was leaving for the rival United Soccer League.
Along with the Armada, the NASL’s remaining teams are in Indianapolis, Miami, New York and Bayamon, P.R. The league is set to add expansion franchises for 2018 in San Diego and Fullerton, Calif.
Although the Deltas’ likely fate had been known for months, Edmonton’s announcement was more abrupt.
Edmonton owners Tom and Dave Fath said in a statement that the club is leaving the NASL and “discontinuing professional franchise operations effective immediately.”
Those are not the only clubs facing instability.
Puerto Rico FC president Tom Payne announced Wednesday that he would not return to the club, which is owned by the NBA’s Carmelo Anthony.
In New York, Front Row Soccer reported that Cosmos owner Rocco Commisso sent e-mails Wednesday to employees, assuring them that they would receive their salaries “until at least December 31. “
In a statement, NASL interim commissioner Rishi Sehgal said, “We are looking at making a number of changes to our business structure, and we are encouraged by the amount of expansion candidates that are ready to join the NASL.”
He also said that the NASL is in “active discussions” with potential ownership groups to play in the San Francisco in the future.
The long-term implications for the Armada remain unclear.
However, Armada owner Robert Palmer said earlier this month on Twitter that Jacksonville was about to become “a team w/o a league” and that it was “time to find someone to play with.”
The NASL’s bid for a preliminary injunction to force the U.S. Soccer Federation to restore its second-tier status was denied Nov. 4, but the league has appealed the decision. That appeal is expected to be heard on Dec. 15 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York.
Without restoring Division II status, the NASL has said previously there is “no pathway” forward.