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February 14, 2013
US Club Soccer unveils Premier Leagues

US Club Soccer has created the Premier Leagues platform, a network of leagues in local, statewide and similar geographic regions for competitive clubs and teams. Premier Leagues will include U-10 to U-18 but must include a minimum of five age groups.

An initial group of eight leagues from across the country have been designated as part of the Premier Leagues platform:
Alliance Premier Soccer League (Ohio and Pa.)
Indiana Champions League (Ind.)
Major Island Soccer Organization (Hawaii)
New York Club Soccer League* (N.Y.)
NorCal Premier League* (Calif.)
Northern Illinois Soccer League* (Ill.)
Oregon Premier League* (Ore.)
Washington State Premier League* (Wash.)

The second divisions of the leagues marked with an asterisk are part of the Premier Leagues platform, while the top divisions are part of the NPL platform. This integrated structure allows for movement between divisions within these leagues.

While US Club Soccer’s emphasis on club development led to a club-based structure for the NPL, one of the differentiating factors in the Premier Leagues platform is the allowance for more team-based competition, due to the smaller geographic region that each league covers (for example, no overnight stays are necessary). In areas with existing NPLs, the new Premier Leagues platform will extend opportunities to more clubs.

In addition to competing for league championships, qualifiers from each Premier League will meet for a Regional Premier Leagues Championship in future years, eventually culminating in a Premier Leagues national championship event. Qualification paths will be based on the number of leagues, regional travel logistics and calendar considerations.

“The creation of the Premier Leagues platform represents US Club Soccer’s continued drive to innovate and create better league-based competitive platforms, bringing those development formats to more clubs,” said US Club Soccer Executive Director Bill Sage. “Club development is the most important factor in the growth of the sport and the Premier Leagues provide an avenue for more clubs to become involved in US Club Soccer competition, player identification, education and development initiatives.”

Among the benefits to Premier Leagues will be integration into US Club Soccer’s id2 Program and Player Development Programs, to allow opportunity for selected players to participate in these Olympic Development Program-sanctioned programs.

Development Academy Roundup

The Seattle Sounders FC Academy returned to USSDA action last weekend with an unbeaten (2-0-2) performance on the road against division rivals Santa Cruz Breakers and DeAnza Force. Both the U18's and U16's won one and drew one, extending their unbeaten streaks to three games for the U18's and five games for the U16's. The highlight of the weekend came in a 5-1 U18 win on Sunday, with a three- assist performance by Duncan McCormick.

Real Salt Lake AZ U-15/16 remained at the top of the Southwest Division with a 4-0 win against Strikers FC U-15/16. Salt Lake scored three of their four goals in the second half and saw week four Player of the Week Sebastian Saucedo score back-to-back goals in the 63rd and 66th minutes.

Houston Dynamo U-17/18 earned a 2-0 win against Dallas Texans U-17/18 as both teams continue to jostle for position at the top of the Frontier Division. Jose Rodriguez and Irvin Ramirez both tallied second half goals to secure the win against their in-state rivals.

In the highest scoring game in the country, Concorde Fire U-15/16 defeated South Carolina United Battery Academy U-15/16 by a final tally of 5-4. Concorde’s Christian Duncan and Deandre Robinson tallied two goals each, with Robinson notching the winner in the 77th minute.

High School Players of the Week
Nicole Newton, a senior midfielder at Episcopal High School (Baton Rouge, La.) and Dan Glascock, a senior midfielder at Acalanes High School (Lafayette, Calif.) have been selected as the NSCAA High School Players of the Week.

Newton scored five goals in her first two playoff games, leading her team to consecutive 8-0 victories. The three-time All-State midfielder finished the regular season with 36 goals and 19 assists. Newton committed to Birmingham-Southern College (Birmingham, Ala.) last week.

Glascock capped off an undefeated season with the Acalanes Dons by winning a third consecutive Diablo Foothill Athletic League (DFAL) Championship. The senior midfielder scored a goal and produced four assists in his last three games.

Glascock was also named the DFAL Player of the Year and will begin the sectional round of the playoffs tonight. The Acalanes Dons are ranked as the top seed in the North Coast Section (NFS) Division II region.

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