The Club soccer environment has been a rapidly changing place the last few years. The biggest change was the introduction of the US Soccer Development Academy program which operated outside of the traditional US Youth Soccer Association model. Previously youth soccer meant State Cup and pursuit of the USYSA National Championship. That’s no longer the case. There are now three separate paths available, each featuring its own Championship structure.
The top tier is the Academy program, a 10-month (year round) program that is an invitation only opportunity. Within Missouri their are two programs, Sporting KC, associated with the MLS team, and St Louis Scott Gallagher.
Below that is the National Premier League, run by US Club Soccer. Finally, the lowest tier is the USYSA Championship series that includes the traditional State Cup.
Within the NPL are over a dozen regional leagues. Springfield SC is competing in the Midwest Developmental League, which includes U-13, U-14, U-15, U-16 and U-18 boys’ and girls’ age groups for the 2012-13 season, was founded in April 2011 as part of US Club Soccer’s National Premier Leagues (NPL). The Midwest Developmental League includes all of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs and the top clubs outside the Academy in the Midwest.
That last sentence is the key one, as the NPL is partnering with the Academy programs throughout the US to offer an alternative. In St Louis, the NPL offers an outlet for players who chose to play High School in the Fall but still want to play at a high level within their club so there are a number of boys that had been a part of the Academy teams at SLSG but now play NPL. For Springfield SC, it has replaced the Midwest Regional League which operates under the USYSA umbrella and has seen an exodus of programs to the NPL. In Illinois, the State organization has created a competitive league for teams to play in that want to travel. That has been a topic of conversation within the Missouri Youth Soccer Association and could be developed as a result of the AGM going on this weekend in Columbia.
The Spring season opened for the local squad last weekend with three games against the River City Rovers, a Louisville-based club. The results were good, a 1:0 win for the U15’s, a 4:0 win for the U16 squad and a 1:1 draw for the U18’s.
They’ll hope to continue that positive momentum this weekend against the two St Louis programs, Scott Gallagher Missouri and their counterparts in Collinsville, IL SLSG Metro which is Dallas Moses’ home now for Academy play and High School.
Consider getting out for a game, it should be the best boys soccer you’ll see in the area.
|Weekend NPL Schedule|
|Sat Mar 2 11:30 am||Springfield SC U15||SLSG-Metro U15||Plaster Stadium|
|Sat Mar 2 1:30 pm||Springfield SC U18||SLSG-Metro U18||Plaster Stadium|
|Sat Mar 2 3:30 pm||Springfield SC U16||SLSG-Metro U16||Plaster Stadium|
|Sun Mar 3 8:00 am||Springfield SC U15||SLSG-Missouri U15||Plaster Stadium|
|Sun Mar 3 10:00 am||Springfield SC U16||SLSG-Missouri U16||Plaster Stadium|
|Sun Mar 3 12:00 pm||Springfield SC U18||SLSG-Missouri U18||Plaster Stadium|