Well the potential competitors have been announced in newest “new league” coming our way- the California Regional League, a division of the US Youth Soccer Far West Regional League. The US Youth Soccer Region IV Council recently voted to restructure the league into localized divisions to reduce costs, eliminate excessive travel and foster better competition.
Two months after the introduction of the league, the smoke is clearing as teams applied and have been selected for either the 8 invitational spots or the 12 at large play in spots. The process for the invitational spots was very clear- the quarter finalists of National Cup, but the selection of the At Large teams was a bit more mysterious. In our age group, the selections were pretty clear cut, but apparently other age groups had more controversy. (Where did I find this out? The forum of course!)
BSG’s team applied and was accepted as an At Large team and we are excited for the Play-In Qualification dates in August. The whole application process was a bit unorganized with the announcement date coming over a week after promised, but I’m sure any new venture has plenty of kinks to work out.
The interesting thing to me is to look at the teams that did apply- especially the “invitational” spots. (By the way, I’m only looking at the girls because that’s all I know!!) In our division, one of the automatic qualifiers decided not to apply as well as several of the automatic play in teams. I know several of those clubs lost players/switched clubs and coached so that may have been a factor. Also, the league is not cheap- $250 for the play in fee and then $2500 for the year, so I’m sure that prevented many teams from applying.
In the older age groups, fewer of the invitational spots were taken, leaving more room for the “play in” teams. I wonder why fewer of these top teams were interested? I’m by no means an expert, but I believe that the ECNL teams do not play National Cup so they would not be participating in this new league regardless. This seems like a great opportunity for those second (but still amazing) teams from the ECNL clubs, but maybe there is already the opportunity for travel and greater exposure for those girls guesting with the top ECNL teams.
It will be interesting to see how everything works out for our team and others. Narrowing down the 12 play in teams to 5 spots will be exciting with a lot more at stake than your average tournament.
What do you think about the CA Regional League? Did your team apply?
Click here to read California Regional League- Another New League?? that discusses the introduction of the league back in May and my initial thoughts.