Independent leagues edging way into Northwest soccer

eplwa-600-cropWashington, Oregon and Idaho are considered “Soccer Country” by many around the United States. The success of the Major League Soccer Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake (Utah) only add to that perception.

NPSL Official Logo 2016In men’s adult elite semi-pro and amateur soccer Washington has clubs in three different leagues. The Evergreen Premier League (EPLWA) has Bellingham United, Olympic Force, Seattle Stars, South Sound Shock, Spokane Shadow, Vancouver Victory and Yakima United (Wenatchee FC recently folded.) The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) has the Kitsap Pumas and OSA FC (Seattle.) The Premier Development League (PDL) has Sounders U-23 (Tacoma) and Washington Crossfire (Redmond.)

The Evergreen Premier League held its AGM in Yakima recently. The clubs of the league voted to begin a search to replace folded Wenatchee FC. They also agreed to support the Washington State Adult Soccer Association’s (WSASA) vision to create an east and west pair of leagues in Washington that might serve as a bridge from city leagues to statewide play in the EPLWA.

PDL Primary ShieldOregon is lagging behind in semi-pro / elite amateur involvement at the regional / national level, but they do have Portland Timbers U-23 and Lane United in the PDL and Portland Spartans in the NPSL.

147897264170339Now comes news that Southern Oregon is in the game in the Pacific Premier League with the addition of the Southern Oregon Starphire out of Ashland.

The United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) is headed to Colorado and has a club staking territory in Idaho.

UPSL-logo.pngThe UPSL recently announced a Colorado Conference. That puts the league in California, Arizona, Nevada, Iadho and Colorado.

The UPSL’s other big recent news is their plan for a pro division and future promotion and relegation.

As for the UPSL in Idaho, Magic Valley FC (Twin Falls) finished strong in the Nevada Conference in the summer of 2016. Magic Valley’s owner isn’t aware of other Idaho clubs building to join the UPSL, but if that club can continue to compete, perhaps the UPSL has an anchor in the Potato State.

Founded in 2016: Twin Falls’ Magic Valley FC (UPSL) and Ashland Oregon’s Southern Oregon Starphire FC (PPL).

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