US Club Soccer announces new Virginia National Premier League
US Club Soccer and the National Premier Leagues (NPL) announced the formation of the Virginia NPL on Thursday, with play set to begin in the 2014-15 season.
The 11 clubs that will comprise the Virginia NPL are:
|Annandale Boys and Girls Club||Churchland SC||Richmond Kickers|
|Arlington Soccer Association||FC Virginia||Richmond Strikers|
|Chesapeake United SC||Northern Virginia SC||Virginia Rush|
|Chesterfield United SC||Prince William Soccer Inc.|
“By adding the Virginia NPL, the NPL increases its competitive presence in the East,” NPL general manager Chris Baer said in a press release. “We look forward to the successes of this new league’s clubs and players.”
Like the other 17 member leagues, the Virginia NPL will provide an opportunity for its age group winners to advance to the year-end NPL Finals in Greensboro, N.C., the targeted destination for all NPL teams, where NPL national champions are determined. Regular-season standings determine each age group’s champion. Every team plays every other team home and away.
The Virginia NPL’s member clubs also will be eligible to compete in the NPL Showcase, which held its first edition last month in suburban Las Vegas.
“The Richmond Strikers are very excited for the creation of the Virginia NPL,” said Jay Howell, the Strikers’ executive director. “The collaborative and inclusive culture of US Club Soccer and within the Virginia NPL will offer a tremendous platform for league competition, coaching education initiatives and innovative player development programs.”
This new entity appears to present a direct challenge to the Club Champions League and the VA Premier League, club-centric regional competitions with similar aims. Several of the aforementioned Virginia NPL clubs are standing members of those leagues; it’s not yet known with certainty whether these affiliations are mutually exclusive.
“Prince William Courage is proud to be part of the expansion of the NPL in Virginia,” said PWSI technical director Mike Cullina. “I was fortunate to be part of the Midwest Development League while in Ohio and fully support the vision of US Club Soccer in the expansion of the league here in Virginia. Club-based programming is an important component to PWSI’s player development model.”
The Virginia NPL is set to host Player Development Program (PDP) events in the fall of 2014.
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer is an organization committed to the development and support of soccer clubs in the United States. It offers youth and adult registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms at the recreational and competitive levels, as well as a variety of other programming, including the Olympic Development Program-sanctioned id2 Program and Player Development Programs.
US Club Soccer’s member clubs seek to unite all programs – recreational, competitive and adult – under one organizational umbrella, creating a “members for life” culture within each club.