The National Independent Soccer Association announced the return of the NISA Independent Cup for July and August, with 36 clubs playing in nine regions across the country.

Rochester team Med City FC will be a part of it. The Mayhem had qualified for last year’s US Open Cup, only to have it not happen due to the COVID pandemic.

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Med City FC was approached earlier this year about participating in the 2021 edition of the NISA Independent Cup and Mayhem General Manager Frank Spaeth was excited about the idea.

“We wanted to get more games, especially at home, and we also wanted to test ourselves against higher-level competition,” Spaeth said. “The NISA Independent Cup helps us achieve both goals.”

Spaeth is hopeful that participating in the NISA Independent Cup will help the Mayhem get past the disappointment of not playing in the US Open Cup. It will also allow Med City FC more games.

Med“Now, whether we qualify for the (National Premier Soccer League) playoffs or not, we’ll be playing meaningful matches until late into July,” Spaeth said.

Spaeth expects the Mayhem to get in three NISA Independent Cup home matches, with dates to be announced soon.

Nine current and future NISA clubs will participate, as well as at least one club from eight different amateur leagues.

The Independent Cup, introduced last year as a regionalized competition, provides independent professional and amateur clubs a platform to play together on a national stage. The tournament kickoff date is July 9. Each of the nine regional competitions will crown a champion.