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By Staff, 03/12/13, 12:15PM EDT


Alliance Premier Soccer League becomes part of US Club Soccer’s Premier Leagues platform

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Feb. 12, 2013) – The Alliance Premier Soccer League is pleased to become part of US Club Soccer’s Premier Leagues platform, a network of leagues in local, statewide and similar geographic regions for competitive clubs and teams. 

The Premier Leagues platform builds on the success of the National Premier Leagues (NPL) and the principle that league-based competition is the primary means for long-term player development and growth of the game. 

“We are both honored and pleased to have been chosen to be a part of US Club Soccer’s Premier Leagues platform. It means a great deal to us,” said Ed Bernstein, President of The Alliance Premier Soccer League. 

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 division of these leagues is part of the Premier Leagues platform, while the top division is part of the NPL platform. This integrated structure allows for movement between divisions within these leagues. 

Premier Leagues are created with similar philosophies as the NPL, as well as the U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy and Elite Clubs National League (ECNL), but with unique structures for participating clubs and teams. 

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. 

In selected markets, Premier Leagues may also operate a state cup on behalf of US Club Soccer. Many US Club Soccer state cups will be qualifiers for the National Cup Finals. Teams in the Premier Leagues may receive “mid-stage” entry into state cup competitions in which they participate based on their Premier League competition results.