National Premier Soccer League

sports league

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National Premier Soccer League
National Premier Soccer League.png
Founded2003; 17 years ago (2003)
CountryUnited States
ConfederationU.S. Soccer
Divisions14 conferences in 4 regions
Number of teams96
Level on pyramid4 (unofficial)
Domestic cup(s)U.S. Open Cup
Current championsMiami FC (2nd title)
Most championshipsMiami FC (2 titles)
TV partnersMycujoo
WebsiteNPSL website
2020 NPSL season

The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is an American soccer league commonly recognized as being a fourth-tier league, although it has been given no official designation by U.S. Soccer.[1][2] The NPSL is a semi-professional league, comprising some teams that have paid players and some that are entirely amateur.[2] Although the league is officially affiliated to the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) and qualifies for the U.S. Open Cup through USASA channels, it is generally considered to be the level of competition behind Major League Soccer (MLS) (Division I), the USL Championship (Division II), National Independent Soccer Association and USL League One (Division III), and roughly equal with USL League Two (unofficial Division IV).[1] It is the successor of the Men's Premier Soccer League, a regional league originally based in the Western United States, which has now expanded nationwide to encompass teams from 29 states. The league's motto is "A National League with a Regional Focus".

Competition format

The National Premier Soccer League's is divided into four separate regions (Northeast, South, Midwest, and West). Each region is divided into conferences with a varying number of teams per conference. The regular season runs from May to July with the exception of the West Region that has historically started in late March or early April.[3]

The NPSL currently has automatic berths in the U.S. Open Cup where they gain eligibility towards the CONCACAF Champions League.

NPSL logo 2005–2015


The National Premier Soccer League began in 2003 as the Men's Premier Soccer League (MPSL) initially as an offshoot of the Women's Premier Soccer League, and marked the first instance of a women's soccer league spawning a men's league. The league's first two champions were the Arizona Sahuaros, who had defected to the MPSL from the USL D-3 Pro League, and the Utah Salt Ratz.

The league expanded into the Midwest in 2005 with the addition of several new teams and a new conference, and changed its name to National Premier Soccer League to reflect its new national footprint; a team from the expansion conference – Detroit Arsenal – won the league in its first year after its eastward expansion. The NPSL expanded further in 2007 with the addition of a new Northeast Conference and five new teams from the eastern United States. The first team from the East to win the national NPSL title was the Pennsylvania Stoners in 2008. The league has since continued to expand, adding more teams throughout the entirety of the country.

Since its inception, the league has managed to place at least one team actively playing under its banner into U.S. Open Cup competition. Though the showing of the NPSL in US Open Cup play was typically only one or two teams in its first six years, the 2009 and 2010 cups have seen four and three, respectively, NPSL teams in each tournament. The recent success of the NPSL in USASA qualifying has encouraged a movement by which the league could have automatic berths in the final tournament.[4] The furthest a team from the NPSL has reached in the US Open Cup during the professional era (1997 and onward after the entry of MLS teams) has been the third round. However, the Brooklyn Italians have won the US Open Cup outright before the existence of either MLS or the NPSL.

Although no team has ever won the league twice, the Miami FC camp has won the championship twice as a club. Its reserve team (Miami FC 2) won the 2018 title, and its first team (Miami FC) won the 2019 championship.


Officially the USSF does not recognize formal levels of the soccer pyramid below the professional 3rd tier. The USSF does not officially recognize distinctions between amateur soccer leagues in the United States. However, the USASA sanctions affiliated, but separately run, national leagues that are recognized in practical terms as playing at a higher level than the USASA state association leagues; for example, they receive automatic berths to the US Open Cup.

USL League Two takes place during the summer months, and the player pool is drawn mainly from NCAA college soccer players seeking to continue playing high-level soccer during their summer break, while still maintaining their college eligibility. The National Premier Soccer League is similar to USL League Two and also attracts top amateur talent from around the United States. NPSL does not have any age limits or restrictions, thus incorporating both college players and former professional players alike.


The NPSL is organized in a mostly decentralized structure and is managed as a team-run league. Each year the member clubs help elect a chairman, treasurer, and secretary and an eight-member board of directors. Each team is individually owned and operated, and is responsible for maintaining league minimum standards. New teams seeking membership into the NPSL are subject to approval from an executive committee of existing team owners. Member clubs have the right to make localized decisions for their respective markets, conferences, and regions based on what they believe is best for their particular region. Each conference is managed by the individual member clubs and elects a conference commission each year.

The current chairman is Joe Barone of the Brooklyn Italians who was elected in late 2013 after previously serving as treasurer. Michael Hitchcock of Playbook Management Inc. was hired as commissioner of the NPSL in 2013. With Hitchcock leading the league, plans to expand the reach of the league and discussion of introducing promotion and relegation in the future were made public. Near the conclusion of the 2014 season, the NPSL terminated the contract of Hitchcock and PMI.

The costs to join the league as of 2016 are reported to be a one-time $15,000 franchise fee and a $5,250 annual league fee.[5] The low entry fee compared to USL League Two's of $75,000 has made the league an attractive alternative to teams looking to compete at the highest level of amateur play.

The league requires that all teams play in stadiums with at least 500 seats, a scoreboard, and locker rooms with showers for both teams and officials. The home team is also responsible for providing water and food for the visiting team, ensuring there is a trainer or doctor on-site for the match, and paying the referees fees at the end of each game.

Sponsorship and partnerships

Mitre Sports International provided the official ball for the NPSL starting in 2014, the sponsorship agreement lasted through the 2016 season. The league also announced several partnerships for the 2014 season, Global Scarves, Wecando, and Pabian Law. Global Scarves and the NPSL planned strategically partnering to not only outfit every NPSL team with soccer scarves branded to the specific team, but planned on working together to increase and elevate the status of both entities to a higher level. Global Scarves began providing custom soccer scarves throughout the league, and worked with the NPSL on various events and contests to increase awareness and fervor throughout the 2014 NPSL season. Wecando Print is a full-service branding company that specializes in printing, promotional products, embroidery, screen printing, banners, fulfillment services, and company stores. Pabian Law specific in law and immigration services and has experience with signing international soccer players.


Current teams

Team City Stadium Founded First NPSL Season Head coach
East Region
North Atlantic Conference
Boston City FC Revere, Massachusetts Harry Della Russo Stadium 2015 2016 Colombia Cesar Deossa

Brazil Roberto Mazzinghy

Greater Lowell Rough Diamonds[6] Tyngsborough, Massachusetts 2016[7] 2017 United States Jacob Simonis
Hartford City FC Hartford, Connecticut Al-Marzook Field 2015 2017 United States Nick Balistierri
Kingston Stockade FC Kingston, New York Dietz Stadium 2015 2016 United States Jamal Lis-Simmons
New York Athletic Club S.C. Pelham, New York New York Athletic Club 2008 2008 United States Barclay MacKinnon
Rhode Island Reds FC Johnston, Rhode Island Mayor Joseph Polsinea Stadium 2012 2012 United States Ruben Resendes
Valeo FC Newton, Massachusetts 2008 2020 United States Corlton Simmond
Keystone Conference
Atlantic City FC Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey Egg Harbor Township High School 2017 2018 Wales Kristian O'Leary
Electric City Shock SC Scranton, Pennsylvania Fitzpatrick Field 2013 2014 United States James Bell
FC Monmouth Red Bank, New Jersey Count Basie Park 2017 2018 United States Brian Woods
FC Motown Madison, New Jersey Ranger Stadium 2012 2013 Albania Šaćir Hot
Hershey FC Hershey, Pennsylvania Hershey High School Stadium 2013 2013 United States Ian Carter
Philadelphia Lone Star FC Philadelphia, Pennsylvania South Philadelphia Athletic Super Site 2001 2012 Sierra Leone Fatoma Turay
Torch FC Perkasie, Pennsylvania Pennridge High School Stadium 2010 2011 United States Daniel Byrd
West Chester United SC West Chester, Pennsylvania Ciccarone Field 1976 2017 United States Blaise Santangelo
Mid-Atlantic Conference
Charlottesville Alliance FC Charlottesville, Virginia Charlottesville High School 2016 2018 England Jon Atkinson
FC Baltimore Christos Baltimore, Maryland CCBC Essex Stadium[8] 2017 2018 United States Larry Sancomb
FC Frederick Frederick, Maryland Thomas Athletic Field 1986 2015 Scotland Chris Spinks
First State FC Wilmington, Delaware 2019 2020 Ghana Chibsah Faisal
Northern Virginia United FC Leesburg, Virginia Cropp Metcalfe Park at Evergreen Sportsplex 2018 2018 Scotland Brian Welsh
Virginia Beach City FC Norfolk, Virginia Powhatan Field 2013 2014 United States vacant
Southeast Conference
Georgia Revolution FC McDonough, Georgia Warhawk Stadium 2010 2011 United States Scott Redding
Inter Nashville FC Antioch, Tennessee International Indoor Soccer Complex 2016 2017
LSA Athletico Lanier[9] Gainesville, Georgia Allen Creek Soccer Complex 2020 2020
Metro Louisville FC[10] Louisville, Kentucky King Louie’s Sports Complex 2020 2020
Nashville United[11] Nashville, Tennessee Richard Siegel Park Stadium 1970 2020 Republic of Ireland Alan O'Connor
North Alabama SC[12] Huntsville, Alabama John Hunt Park 2008 2020
South Region
Gulf Coast Conference
AFC Mobile Mobile, Alabama Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex 2015 2020 United States Steve Wieczorek
Jacksonville Armada U-23 Jacksonville, Florida Patton Park 2010 2016 United States Pat Cannon
New Orleans Jesters New Orleans, Louisiana Pan American Stadium 2003 2013 Republic of Ireland Kenny Farrell
Pensacola FC Pensacola, Florida Ashton Brosnaham Stadium 2013 2020 Trinidad and Tobago Dean Logan
Port City FC Gulfport, Mississippi Herbert Wilson Stadium 2016 2020 United States Chris Handy
Southern States SC[13] Hattiesburg, Mississippi The Oakes Training Center 2015 2021 England Carl Reynolds
Tallahassee SC Tallahassee, Florida Gene Cox Stadium 2018 2020 United States Josh Bruno
Sunshine Conference
Boca Raton FC Boca Raton, Florida TBD 2015 2017 United States Jim Rooney
Central Florida Panthers SC Winter Park, Florida Showalter Field 2019 2019 United States Tom Traxler
Miami Dutch Lions FC Olympia Heights, Florida Tropical Park Stadium 2019 2020
Miami United FC North Miami Beach, Florida North Miami Athletic Stadium 2012 2013 Italy Ferdinando De Matthaeis
Naples United FC Naples, Florida Fleischmann Park 2017 2017 Vicente Sandoval
Storm FC Lauderhill, Florida Central Broward Stadium 2013 2014
Heartland Conference
Club Atletico Saint Louis Eureka, Missouri United Sports Legacy Training Center 2016 2018 United States Ricardo Garza
Dallas City FC McKinney, Texas McKinney Soccer Complex 2013 2014 TurkeyRahim Zafer
Demize NPSL Springfield, Missouri Cooper Stadium 2014 2014 United States Chris Hanlon
Ozark FC[14] Springdale, Arkansas Har-Ber High School 2017 2017 United States David Groves
Tulsa Athletic[15] Tulsa, Oklahoma LaFortune Stadium 2013 2013 United States Joey Ryan
Lone Star Conference
Austin United FC Del Valle, Texas Veterans Stadium 2017 2020
FC Brownsville Brownsville, Texas Brownsville Sports Park 2018 2018
Coyotes FC Temple, Texas Holy Trinity Catholic High School 2018 2020 Colombia Rolando Gonzalez
Denton Diablos FC Denton, Texas Mean Green Soccer Complex 2018 2019 United States Chad Rakestraw
Fort Worth Vaqueros FC Fort Worth, Texas Farrington Field 2014 2014 England Nick Stavrou
Laredo Heat SC Laredo, Texas Texas A&M International University Soccer Complex 2004 2018 United States John Powell
Midland-Odessa Sockers FC Midland, Texas Grande Communications Stadium 2009 2017 United States Dave Jacobs
Midwest Region
Rust Belt Conference
Cleveland SC Cleveland, Ohio George Finnie Stadium 2018 2018 England Ryan Osborne
Erie Commodores FC Erie, Pennsylvania McConnell Family Stadium 2009 2009 Scotland Dale White
FC Buffalo Buffalo, New York All-High Stadium 2009 2010 United States Frank Butcher[16]
Pittsburgh Hotspurs Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania The Ellis School 2019 2019 England Tom Campbell
Rochester Lancers Rochester, New York Marina Auto Stadium 2015 2016 United States Doug Miller
Syracuse FC[17] Syracuse, New York David W. Murphy Field 2017 2017 United States Matt Tantalo
Great Lakes Conference
Carpathia FC Sterling Heights, Michigan Avondale High School 1952 2020 United States Joey Tinnion
FC Columbus Grandview Heights, Ohio Anderson Field 2018 2018 United States Jamaica Maziya Chete
F.C. Indiana Lafayette, Indiana Legacy Sports Club 2000 2015 Ecuador Erik Castro
Kalamazoo FC Kalamazoo, Michigan Soisson-Rapacz-Clason Field 2015 2016 United States Brian Clements
Muskegon Risers SC Muskegon, Michigan Kehren Stadium 2014 2020 Republic of Ireland Stuart Collins
Panathinaikos Chicago[18] Palatine, Illinois Harper College 2019 2021 Argentina Trevor McGrann
Toledo Villa FC[19] Toledo, Ohio Lyden Field 2017 2019 United States Colin Armstrong
North Conference
Dakota Fusion FC Fargo, North Dakota Jim Gotta Stadium 2015 2017 United States Nick Becker
Duluth FC Duluth, Minnesota Public Schools Stadium 2015 2017 Northern Ireland Sean Morgan
La Crosse Aris FC La Crosse, Wisconsin Viterbo Athletic Complex 2009 2009 Greece Greg Saliaras
Med City FC Rochester, Minnesota Rochester Regional Sports Center 2016 2017 Canada Neil Cassidy
Milwaukee Torrent Milwaukee, Wisconsin Hart Park 2015 2016 Argentina Carlos Córdoba
Minneapolis City SC Minneapolis, Minnesota Edor Nelson Field 2015 2017 United States Matt vanBenschoten
West Region
Golden Gate Conference
Academica SC[20] Turlock, California Academica Field 1972 2018 Portugal Sergio Sousa
El Farolito SC[21] San Francisco, California Boxer Stadium 1985 2018 United States Santiago Lopez
FC Davis[22] Davis, California Playfields Sports Park 2017 2018 United States Andrew Bailey
Napa Valley 1839 FC[23] Napa, California Dodd Stadium 2016 2017 England Mark Corbett
Project 510[24] Oakland, California Merritt College 2019 2020 Italy Giuseppe DePalo
Sacramento Gold FC Sacramento, California Capital Christian Stadium 2009 2010 Mexico Ruben Mora Jr.
Sonoma County Sol Petaluma, California Lucchesi Park 2004 2005 United States Vinny Cortezzo
Northwest Conference
Crossfire Redmond[25] Bellevue, Washington Courter Field 2018 2019 England Bernie James
International Portland Select FC Vancouver, Washington Kiggins Bowl 2012 2014 Mexico Sergio Medel
OSA Seattle FC Burien, Washington Highline High School 2015 2015 Italy Giuseppe Pezzano
PDX FC[26] Portland, Oregon Hilken Community Stadium 2017 2017 United States Luke Babson
Spokane SC Shadow[27] Spokane, Washington Spokane Falls Community College 1996 2017 England Dan Philp
Tacoma Stars Tacoma, Washington Washington Premier FC Fields 2003 2020 United States Adam Becker
Southwest Conference
A.S. Los Angeles[28][29] Whittier, California Whittier College 2018 2019
ASC San Diego San Diego, California Mission Bay High School 2015 2016 United States Ziggy Korytoski
Club Xolos USA U-23 Riverside, California John W. North High School 1969 2015 United States Shane Shelton
FC Arizona Gilbert, Arizona Campo Verde High School 2016 2017 England Dave Rogers
FC Golden State Los Angeles, California Jesse Owens Stadium 2018 2018 United States Robert Friedland
High Desert Elite FC[30] Adelanto, California Adelanto Stadium 2018 2019 Mexico Claudio Rivas
Las Vegas Legends Las Vegas, Nevada Peter Johann Memorial Field[31] 2012 2020 Mexico Juan Carlos García
Oxnard Guerreros FC Oxnard, California Del Sol Stadium 2016 2017 Colombia Juan Florez
Temecula FC Temecula, California Chaparral High School 2013 2014 United States Austin Levins


Year No. of
2003 6
2004 10 5 1
2005 13 7 4
2006 18 5 0
2007 22 12 8
2008 25 12 9
2009 27 12 10
2010 31 12 8
2011 37 13 7
2012 46 13 5
2013 57 20 9
2014 77 31 11
2015 68 12 21
2016 84 23 7
2017 96 30 18
2018 98 18 16
2019 91 11 19
2020 94 22 19


Many NPSL teams have rivalries given the close geography of the teams throughout the league. The most notable rivalry was the Rust Belt Derby contested between Detroit City FC, AFC Cleveland, and FC Buffalo. The name refers to the teams' shared region, the Rust Belt.[32] Another intense rivalry existed between the San Diego Flash and San Diego Boca/Force FC, which were crosstown rivals in San Diego. Until the 2013 sale and rebranding of Force FC from Boca FC, the ownership groups of the two clubs were previously partners in the original San Diego Flash club of the A-League that competed from 1998 to 2001.[33]

Derby name Most wins Titles Other club(s) Recent winner
Cheese Barn Derby[34] Split 2 (2018[a], 2019) Cleveland SC, FC Columbus Split (2019)[b]
Chisolm Trail Clásico[35] Fort Worth Vaqueros 1 (2019) Denton Diablos FC Fort Worth Vaqueros (2019)
Erie County Derby[36] Erie Commodores FC 6 (2009–14, 2018) FC Buffalo (4) FC Buffalo (2019)
Kildare's Cup[37] West Chester United SC 3 (2017–19) Philadelphia Lone Star FC West Chester United SC (2019)
Portland Derby[38] PDX FC 2 (2018, 2019) International Portland Select FC (1) PDX FC (2019)
Riverside Derby[39] Club Xolos USA U-23 4 (2015–18) Temecula FC (1) Temecula FC (2019)
Trinity River Cup[40][c] Dallas City FC 4 (2014–17) Fort Worth Vaqueros (1) Fort Worth Vaqueros (2019)
Wine Country Derby[41] Sonoma County Sol 2 (2017, 2018) Napa Valley 1839 FC (1) Napa Valley 1839 FC (2019)
The Wooden Shoe[42] Kingston Stockade FC 1 (2019) Hartford City FC Kingston Stockade FC (2019)
Former derbies
Everglades Cup[43] Miami United 2 (2013, 2014) Cape Coral Hurricanes Miami United (2014)
Gulf Coast Cup[44] Tampa Marauders 1 (2014) Cape Coral Hurricanes Tampa Marauders (2014)
Red River Cup[45][d] Tulsa Athletic 1 (2014) Fort Worth Vaqueros, Liverpool Warriors, Oklahoma City FC Tulsa Athletic (2014)
Louisiana Cup[47] New Orleans Jesters 1 (2016) Shreveport Rafters FC New Orleans Jesters (2016)
Rust Belt Derby Detroit City FC 4 (2013–16) AFC Cleveland (1), FC Buffalo Detroit City FC (2016)
San Diego Derby[48][e] San Diego Flash 3 (2011–13) Albion SC Pros (1), North County Battalion, San Diego Boca FC Albion SC Pros (2016)
I-40 Cup[49] Tied 1 each (2016, 2017) Little Rock Rangers (1), Memphis City FC (1) Memphis City FC (2017)
Alameda County Derby[50] CD Aguiluchos USA 2 (2016, 2017) East Bay FC Stompers Split (2018)[f]
Green Line Derby[51] Minneapolis City SC 2 (2017, 2018) Viejos son los Trapos FC (St Paul) Minneapolis City SC (2018)
I-91 Derby[52] Hartford City FC 2 (2017, 2018) Elm City Express Hartford City FC (2018)
Georgia Derby[53][g][h] Atlanta SC 6 (2014–19) Georgia Revolution FC (1) Atlanta SC (2019)
Volunteer Shield Chattanooga FC 5 (2014–16, 2018, 2019) Knoxville Force (1), Inter Nashville FC, Nashville FC, Memphis City FC Chattanooga FC (2019)
  1. ^ Two game series ended 5–5, with both away teams winning 3–2
  2. ^ Game ended 1–1 with no away goal tiebreaker in place
  3. ^ Dallas City went on hiatus for the 2018 season, meaning no competition for the cup was held
  4. ^ Event returned in 2020, but only with Tulas Athletic and UPSL side Deportivo Alacranes taking part[46]
  5. ^ San Diego Boca folded after the 2013 season. The Flash did not take part in the 2016 season, meaning the derby was contested by the two new San Diego teams, Albion SC Pros and North County Battalion.
  6. ^ Series ended tied 3–3 after two games
  7. ^ 2012 series ended in tie, home team won respected leg 3–1
  8. ^ Derby not played in 2013 as Atlanta went on hiatus

NPSL Members Cup

The NPSL Members Cup, originally called the NPSL Founders Cup, was a competition that ran from August to October 2019. It was initially intended to lead to a new professional league beginning play in the spring of 2020.[54] However, following the departure of numerous previously announced teams and issues in launching the professional league the tournament was altered.

Detroit City FC won the cup on October 16, 2019, when the team defeated Michigan Stars FC, 1–0, in the penultimate game of the tournament.[55][56]

Records and champions

Season Winner Score Runner-up
2003 Arizona Sahuaros 2–1 (a.e.t.) Utah Salt Ratz
2004 Utah Salt Ratz 4–2 Arizona Sahuaros
2005 Detroit Arsenal 1–0 Sonoma County Sol
2006 Sacramento Knights 2–1 Princeton 56ers
2007 Southern California Fusion 1–0 Queen City FC
2008 Pennsylvania Stoners 3–0 Minnesota Twin Stars
2009 Sonoma County Sol 2–1 Erie Admirals SC
2010 Sacramento Gold 3–1 Chattanooga FC
2011 Jacksonville United 3–2 Hollywood United Hitmen
2012 FC Sonic 1–0 Chattanooga FC
2013 RVA Football Club 2–0 Sonoma County Sol
2014 New York Red Bulls U-23 3–1 Chattanooga FC
2015 New York Cosmos B 3–2 (a.e.t.) Chattanooga FC
2016 AFC Cleveland 4–2 Sonoma County Sol
2017 Elm City Express 5–0 Midland-Odessa FC
2018 Miami FC 2 3–1 FC Motown
2019 Miami FC 3–1 New York Cosmos B

Directors, officers and management team


  • Joe Barone – Brooklyn Italians – chairman (2013–current)
  • Cindy Spera – chairman of soccer programs for New York Athletic Club – managing director (2018–current) formerly treasurer (2013–2016) and director of operations (2016–2018)[57]
  • Barry Dixon – founder, Jacksonville United – secretary (2013–present)

Current regional board members

Management team

  • Cindy Spera – managing director
  • Gary Moody – media relations
  • Paul Scott – director of officials
  • Dina Case – director of membership development[58]

Conference commissioners

  • Kabba Joof – head coach, Rhode Island Reds FCNortheast Region – North Atlantic Conference (2013–present)
  • Cristian Brei – Madison 56ersMidwest Region – Central Conference (2013–present)
  • William Forte – East Bay FC StompersWest Region – Golden Gate Conference (2013–present)


In April 2020, the NPSL launched a competitive gaming competition to promote the growth of the league in new areas[59]. The league hopes to "bring its community members together for friendly competition on a virtual pitch". The first eight clubs to formally join the new eSports league were Atlantic City FC, Central Florida Panthers SC, Denton Diablos FC, Duluth FC, Fort Worth Vaqueros, Milwaukee Torrent, Muskegon Risers, and Ozark FC.

The league partnered with Virtual Pro Gaming to assist in operations of the league. Clubs will play full 11 v 11 in pro clubs mode, on FIFA, EA Sports video game.

Clubs in the league also participate in the Lower League eCup, a competition geared towards players, supporters, and competitive gamers, however, is not a year-round competitive eSports league.[60] Unlike the eNPSL, entry is not exclusive to clubs in the NPSL. Many NPSL clubs also offer periodic eSports competitions.

See also



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External links

Original content from Wikipedia, shared with licence Creative Commons By-Sa - National Premier Soccer League