US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues kick off fall seasons
FRISCO, Texas (September 5, 2013)
— Early games for the fall season of the US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues have begun in three of the four US Youth Soccer regions. The leagues provide an opportunity for the most competitive teams in each region to play each other on a scheduled basis while also competing for placement in the prestigious US Youth Soccer Regional Championships, as well as the highly-competitive US Youth Soccer National League
In Region IV, the California Regional League, a subdivision of the Far West Regional League (FWRL)
, held a play-in qualification round Aug. 9-11 to kick off its fall season. In the other two divisions of the FWRL, boys teams in the Desert Premier Division begin play on Sept. 28, while the Northern Division kicks off its fall season Oct. 5 for U12-U14 Boys and Girls squads.
Meanwhile in Region III, the Southern Regional Premier League (SRPL)
held August games in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Houston. The SRPL will hold games in Decatur, Ala., Sept. 14-15 and Edmond, Okla., Sept. 28-29. In addition to those games, the Premier League East, West and Central Divisions are underway and have several play dates throughout September, October and November.
In Region II, the fall season of the US Youth Soccer Midwest Regional League (MRL)
is underway and will have its first league-hosted event Sept. 7-8 in Rockford, Ill. During fall play, a record number of teams — 406, compared to 276 in 2012 — will compete in the MRL in the Under-13 through Under-18 Girls age groups, as well as the Under-13 and Under-14 Boys age groups. This weekend, there are 124 teams expected to compete in Rockford.
League-hosted weekends allow many teams to compete against high-quality competition at multi-field locations across the region. The MRL will host a second weekend of play in Rockford, Ill., Sept. 14-15. There will also be league-hosted games in Muscatine, Iowa (Sept. 21-22 and Sept. 28-29) and Overland Park, Kan., (Oct. 5-6).
This season marks the launch of the MRL’s Pro Affiliates Division, which includes teams from three Major League Soccer youth clubs — the Columbus Crew, Chicago Fire and Sporting Kansas City — and their affiliate premier youth soccer clubs in the Midwest. The Pro Affiliates Division will be operated under the umbrella of the MRL but will be conducted outside of the current three-tier structure of the league. Only MLS youth clubs and their affiliates are eligible to compete in this new division, while the MLS affiliated teams and their affiliates may also compete in the traditional MRL to seek placement into the Region II Championships and National League.
Applications for the Region I Premier League
are now open and will be accepted until Nov. 8. The league kicks off its new season in the spring, with games beginning in March 2014.
Champions of the Regional Leagues will move on to their respective Regional Championships, the second stage of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series
, with hopes of advancing to the US Youth Soccer National Championships, the oldest and most prestigious national soccer tournament in the country.
Additionally, the 2013-14 Regional League premier division champions earn qualification for next year’s US Youth Soccer National League. The National League competition is for the nation's top teams in the Under-14 through Under-18 boys and girls age groups, consisting of a total of 16 teams per gender age group. The National League offers additional exposure to collegiate, professional and U.S. National Team coaches and offers the highest level of competition in the country as each team must earn their place in the league. In each gender age group, the top two teams from each division (Blue and Red) advance to the US Youth Soccer National Championships.