Twelve Puget Sound Premier League teams have qualified for one of the country’s most prestigious national soccer competitions — US Club Soccer’s NPL Champions Cup!
Six boys and six girls teams can now make history if they win US Club’s most coveted national title.
In a competition that spanned the fall and winter/spring seasons, the best teams of the Puget Sound Premier League battled to see who would get to punch their ticket to Colorado!
Each team in the Washington State Premier League played 12 matches in a home/away series against rival clubs spanning all of Washington state -- from the shores of Puget Sound to the west to the wheat fields of Spokane to the east. Eighty-four teams representing 18 clubs fought for the coveted championship title.
But only 12 teams could call themselves champions at the end of the season!
And the winners are:
BoysU13-Cobra Aigulitas U14-Wenatchee Fire Black U15-Kitsap Pumas U16-Tynecastle FC U17-Emerald City Green U18-Washington East Girls U13-ISC/Gunners U14-Northwest United U15-FC Edmonds U16-Central Washington Soccer Academy U17-SoccerEdge Academy U18-SoccerEdge Academy
At the national event, regional NPL champions will compete to be crowned Champions Cup winner. The NPL Champions Cup is the culminating event of a year-long, league-based competition involving 18 regional NPL leagues. It is now considered one of the most prestigious youth soccer championships in the country.
“Teams compete in their respective NPL all year to have the opportunity to qualify for the NPL Champions Cup,” said NPL General Manager Chris Baer. “League-based competition is the best and most accurate way to determine the best teams in the country and when they all come together at the NPL Champions Cup, it is a special event.”
The NPL Champions Cup will take place July 18-22 at the Aurora Sports Park, in suburban Denver, a vast soccer complex that recently hosted the Elite Clubs National League National Championships in 2011.
CLICK HERE to see all of the WSPL champions, so far.
The girls high school WSPL just completed a tough 12-match season that produced several dramatic endings at the girls U15 and U16 and some predictable results as well -- SoccerEdge Academy’s U17s are one of the strongest in the state and ran away with first place. The Edge’s U18s also prevailed.
But for FC Edmonds and Central Washington Soccer Academy, it came down to the last weekend for the U15 and U16 champions respectively. FC Edmonds had to overcome a determined Northwest United, just grabbing the title with three points to spare. The same story happened to CWSA: it came down to defeating runners-up Tynecastle at home toward the end of season before the Yakima-area team could claim the championship.
The older boys punched their ticket earlier in the year. Teams such as Tynecastle’s Boys ’96 team captured the PSPL’s Washington State Premier League title for U16 boys during the Fall Season 2012. They put on a command performance, winning 11 games, drawing three and losing none. They amassed 36 points to 27 for the runner-up and scored a league high 47 goals. “This is a special group of boys who work hard and are dedicated to each other.” said Tynecastle coach David “Hoggy” Hoggan. “I’m proud of these boys and I’m really excited to take this team to the Champions Cup.”
Other teams punching their ticket to Colorado include ISC/Gunners GU13 team. The team, coached by ISC coaching director Jimmy Ball, went 10-1-1 with 31 total points compared to ASE Synergy’s 27. The Girls U13 division was strong preparation for the Gunners as the team now prepares for the Champions Cup. "These girls worked hard all year and faced some tough games in our division which should bode well for Denver," Ball said, also technical director for the PSPL. "The NPL is a fantastic reward for the players. They earn a spot on the national stage by winning the league. I know my girls are excited."
The Washington State Premier League is one of 18 NPL leagues located around the country. Each league will send its National Premier League winners to the suburban Denver tournament to compete for a national championship against some of the biggest youth soccer clubs in the nation. Among the clubs the could send winners: Dallas Texans, New York Red Bulls, Chicago Magic, PDA (New Jersey), Mustangs SC, Colorado Rush, Sereno S.C. (Arizona), Santa Clara Sporting, De Anza Force SC, Albion SC, DMS11, Heat of Las Vegas, FC Delco, Pateadores, Legends FC, So Cal Blues and many other nationally ranked clubs.
CLICK NPL for more information on the National Premier League.
Why compete in the NPL? This is the league of the future. This is the only league in the country that is based on league performance instead of competing in a state cup competition. You win the WSPL and your team qualifies for the NPL Champions Cup. All of the biggest clubs in the country have either joined or will be forming their own NPL qualifying leagues. This gives the clubs in the PSPL a unique opportunity to leap frog over some of our rivals in the state’s Regional Club League, which offers no equivalent national or even regional competition. It gives our clubs a chance to test ourselves among the nation’s best teams and clubs. No other competitive league in Washington can match what US Club and the PSPL offer.The inaugural NPL Champions Cup was held July 27-31, 2012, at Waukegan Sports Park in Waukegan, Ill., where five boys teams were crowned NPL national champions. Both the Texas Pre-Academy League and the Midwest Developmental League boasted a pair of championship-winning teams at the event, which featured league champions from across the nation in the U-13 through U-17/18 boys age groups.
Click VIDEOS to see videos of last year’s Champions Cup competition.