We are tracking offseason developments in men’s elite amateur / semi-pro soccer in the Northwest. There is no clear picture, but the clues are pointing towards changes for leagues and clubs.
Gary Whitehouse has been the General Manager of Washington Crossfire (Redmond) of the PDL for several years. There has been speculation that Crossfire won’t be back in the PDL in 2017. Whitehouse says, “The club has not confirmed for sure yet of their return. If they do, I will not be managing the team again.”
Buzz has been growing that the Kitsap Pumas are leaving the PDL for the NPSL. It was also rumored that one or two other PDL NW clubs could be going with them. Now that seems less likely. Sounders U23 say they are committed to the PDL. Now today Lane United FC (Eugene, OR) tell goalWA.net that (via tweet) they are also “committed to the PDL for 2017.” That leaves unlikely candidates Portland Timbers U23 and two Canadian clubs, Victoria Highlanders and Calgary Foothills FC, as possible defectors to the NPSL. Neither Canadian club has responded to our emails.
Meanwhile, soccer writer Dike Natsai posted in a goalWA comments section this week, “I heard from a very good source that that there would be a group of teams from the PNW joining the NPSL in the coming year. Also the Southwest Conference is due to grow by a number of teams in 2017 as well.”
Where does all of this leave things? Up in the air, of course. It will be interesting to see if new NPSL clubs come on board from Oregon, Idaho or a surprise spot somewhere in Washington.
(Cover photo: Washington Crossfire versus Lane United, 2016 – by Dale Garvey)