US Lower Division news, 2019

Discussion in 'US Women's Lower Divisions' started by SiberianThunderT, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    We're still quite a ways away from the summer season, but I thought it would be a good idea to simply pool all discussion into one thread unless/until it looks like there's enough to talk about to spin separate threads off.

    The big reason I wanted to start this thread is a single move that may mean a lot and may mean nothing:
    The RSL organization last week announced that they're shuttering their UWS team, RSL Women, and instead beginning a WPSL team (returning to the league after a few years in UWS) with the Utah Royals Reserves. Not gonna help endear the two leagues to each other at all. X-D
     
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  2. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Here's a fun thing: interleague play!
    https://www.michiganmilkcup.com/new...-to-include-mens-womens-and-youth-tournaments
    Two local(?) teams will play in a play-in round, with the winner joining the two MI-based WPSL teams and five of the six MI-based UWS teams for a berth in the final, where the winner gets $5k and the loser $1.5k. I don't know what operating budgets are for all these DII-and-lower teams, but I'm betting those prizes are pretty significant! And not much travel needed by anyone involved.
     
  3. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Seems like conference alignments and some schedules are starting to come out!

    WPSL, which has continued to grow, has now started grouping previous conferences into divisions of new, larger conferences, such that there are five "pods" of teams in each region but only four "conferences" in each region.
    https://www.wpslsoccer.com/news_article/show/999703

    UWS is still a bit piecemeal, but the Midwest and West conferences have both their alignments and schedules ready now:
    https://www.uwssoccer.com/news_article/show/997884
    https://www.uwssoccer.com/news_article/show/1000138

    Finally, that Michigan Milk Cup has now (or maybe a while ago... I'm a little late on this) completed its draw procedure and attached "play-by" dates for the first three rounds:

    Interestingly, (and thankfully, IMO) the two WPSL teams will NOT be playing each other in the QF round! So we're guaranteed to get at least two WPSL-UWS matchups from this little tournament - and maybe more if the WPSL teams advance.
     
  4. Lechus7

    Lechus7 Member+

    Aug 31, 2011
    Wroclaw
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  5. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    #5 SiberianThunderT, May 9, 2019
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
    Both UWS and WPSL kick off this Friday! As in tomorrow!

    WPSL opens with Beach FC (2014 Champions) hosting Salsa SC; there's a second game on Saturday and then three on Sunday, so fairly small start for such a big league. Utah Royals Reserves kick off next Wednesday. And interestingly, there *IS* a Puerto Rico team in the Sunshine Conference: Puerto Rico Pride FC.

    UWS has two games in the Midwest on Friday and two games in the East on Saturday, including the Mutiny and Rough Riders (not against each other), two of the longest-lived WoSo teams in the nation so far. Although one sad note... it seems that the Western New York Flash are no longer playing. =-(
     
  6. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    The Michigan Milk Cup women's tournament will also kick off this weekend, with the play-in match between Livonia City and North Oakland SC - both amateur teams in the local league (i.e. not WPSL or UWS).

    Also in not-WPSL-or-UWS, the Liga PR Femenino (since Puerto Rico is technically part of the USA) is close to wrapping up their playoffs now - the U17 level tomorrow and the senior final Saturday. However, I can't seem to find consistent information on the league... It claims that a team called the Challengers is facing Metropolitan in the senior final, with the Challengers posting an 18-0-0 record in the regular season and smashing their semifinal opponent by a aggregate score of 16 to 0. The Puerto Rico Sol, on their Facebook page, claim this record as theirs. On the Liga PR site, if you look at the (otherwise blank) game report for the second leg of that semifinal series, the location in Google Earth is tagged as Puerto Rico Sol even though all the images on the page are for the Challengers. The Challengers have their own FB page and there they make it sound like the Sol and Challengers organizations are one and the same. So IDK WTF is going on...
     
  7. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    #7 SiberianThunderT, May 9, 2019
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
    Okay, so digging a little deeper on the Challengers/Sol confusion...

    If you look closely at many images on the Sol's FB page, a lot of the gameday jerseys have the Sol crest on the upper left of the jersey front... and the Challengers crest on the upper right. So they very well might be one and the same.

    Some of the confusion, though, is that it's not like there is no Puerto Rico Sol currently on the Liga PR website - a team named the Sol is 7th in the table, posting a 5-3-10 record. If you look at a non-league posted table from back in December, a team named the Sol is 5-0-0 (2nd in the table) and Challengers isn't there - a team named Mayaguez SC *is* there, 2-3-0 and 5th. Now, the Sol's webpage and their Wikipedia page both list Mayaguez Athletics Stadium as their home ground, while the Challengers play at Fajardo stadium, literally on the opposite side of the island - as, apparently, do the Sol academy teams. (??) And, as mentioned earlier, Google Earth seems to recognize Fajardo Stadium as the location for the Sol... So all I can assume is that the Sol is a multi-team organization, and there's been a little bit (or a lot) of name shuffling going around as to who recognizes which Sol team as "the" Sol.

    *shrugs*

    =EDIT=
    Actually, no need for that December table - here's the final table as posted on the Sol's FB page. It matches the league's table almost exactly (you can see some sloppiness in a few numbers) except for the big exceptions of the names of the 1st and 7th place teams.
     
  8. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Recap time!

    WPSL - home teams went 4-1 in the five matches this weekend by a combined score of 13-10 (the away sides were greatly buoyed by that one away win, the Chat. Red Wolves 4-0 over hosts Peachtree City). Also, interestingly, it seems that WPSL has a streaming partner that showed a few games this weekend and will begin an official "game of the week" series next weekend. This coming week, there will be one game each tomorrow and Wednesday, three games Friday, and a dozen games each on both Saturday and Sunday, with most conferences now getting into play.

    UWS - In the East, both home teams (Conn. & New England) won, while in the Midwest, both away teams (Lansing & Detroit) won. There will be one midweek game in the East, two Friday games in the Midwest, and five weekend games with the West conference join East & Midwest in starting play. I'm not sure what's going on with the Southwest conference... It seems that the Houston Aces are the only team with their schedule posted so far.

    MI Milk Cup - North Oakland demolished Livonica City by a score of 6-1 in the play-in match, so now we know all four QF matchups!

    Liga PR - The Challengers/Sol demolished Metropolitan FC by a score of 8-0. On the Sol's FB page, ShekB mentions that the average age of the squad is 19. The Sol debut a new logo. The Liga PR Twitter account is still calling the team the Challengers even as they show pictures with very obvious Sol branding.
     
  9. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Correction/addition to my previous post:
    UWS also has a streaming deal with MyCujoo, so apparently they were on top of that even before WPSL was.
     
  10. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Notable results since last post:
    5/15 WPSL - UT Arrows 0-2 UT Royals Reserves
    5/15 UWS - LIRR got a 3-1 away win over inaugural finalists NJ Copa
    5/17 WPSL - two out of the three games saw teams score 5 goals
    5/17 UWS - Lansing beat Detroit, (which might have been their MI Milk Cup match?) while IN Union and MI Legends opened their respective seasons with the former walloping the latter 5-0
    5/18 WPSL - five games with one team at 4+ goals, another win for the UT Royals Reserves, and a bunch of stuff in CA
    5/18 UWS - Three game out East with only the Mutiny and Fusion remaining perfect. Also, while there *still* is no schedule for the Southeast, we've now seen the most lopsided game among lower divisions so far as the Houston Aces 8-0'd El Paso Surf.
    5/19 WPSL - I didn't even notice before, but apparently the CO Rapids have a women's team, same conference as the Royals. They won, as did the CA Storm and the Chat Red Wolves. The Red Wolves have a +12 GD over 3 games.
    5/19 UWS - LAG OC puts 4 unanswered past Santa Clarita
    5/19 MIMC - In the first competitive inter-league action of the season I'm aware of, WPSL side Motor City beat USW side Grand Rapids by a score of 3-1. The next inter-league match will see the MI Legends (UWC) face the AAFC LumberJills of WPSL TBD when North Oakland (local) will face AFC Ann Arbor (UWS)..
     
  11. Scott Pierce

    Scott Pierce New Member

    UNC Women's Soccer
    May 18, 2019
    Nicely played WPSL match on Sunday between NC cross-town rivals Oak City United and Wake FC. Good crowd in a nice venue in Holly Springs, NC for an intense 1-0 match with the late deciding goal scored by Oak City with Maggie Pierce (UNC) assisting the goal by Claire Griffiths (South Carolina). Clemson, NC State, Duke and Vanderbilt players also represented.
     
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  12. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Thanks for the game report - and welcome to BigSoccer! I always like hearing more details of what's going on outside MLS/NWSL, especially since these lower leagues are so big it's impossible for the league websites themselves to cover everything.
     
  13. Scott Pierce

    Scott Pierce New Member

    UNC Women's Soccer
    May 18, 2019
    My pleasure. Will try to send updates from the Carolinas. I've become a big fan of the WPSL for college prep play. For younger players (my daughter played in the league at 14 and is now back after a spring season at UNC to prep for the fall), it gets them out of the rut of their over-protective club environment and forces them to adapt to new coaches, different teammates, various positions and styles of play, and for the college players it provides some variety and also links their spring season to the early fall start and keeps their foot on the ball. Plus, the games are fun to watch.
     
  14. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Alright, recap of games since the 19th!

    UWS: https://www.uwssoccer.com/news_article/show/1024443 ; a fair amount of close games and only three real blowouts (two of which in the east and the third surprisingly NOT from the Aces). The East already seems like it's down to three teams: CT, NE, and LIRR. It's a little muddier in the Midwest, and both the Southwest and West are too sparse to say anything yet.

    WPSL: 9 midweek games last week, 18 games Saturday, 9 games Sunday, and 11 midweek games thus far this week. Even with that many games, WPSL is so large that not many teams have played 3+ games yet. Teams of note who have hit that benchmark include Omaha Elite, Royals Reserves, NC Fusion, Chatt Red Wolves, and the Nash Rhythm (the latter two in the same conference!)

    MIMC: Lansing and Detriot played their MIMC match separately from the UWS league match I listed above, this time Detroit prevailing in extra time. The MI Legends (UWS) also defeated the AAFC LumberJills (WPSL); AFC Ann Arbor (UWS) will play North Oakland (local) on the 4th. That's going to force a tight turnaround for whoever wins for their semifinal match against the Legends, which must be played by 6/19. The other semifinal match is Detroit Sun (UWS) vs Motor City FC (WPSL). So far UWS and WPSL are 1-1 against each other.

    WUPSL: So far this season, there have been seven matches played across three women's conferences; home teams are a woeful 1-1-5. No team that's played two games has avoided dropping points. There are apparently actually five conferences, but the two that haven't seen play yet have just three teams between them.
     
  15. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    What are your thoughts on competitiveness and ambition in WPSL, and in the Carolinas in particular? It's interesting you say you view the league as college prep, since there are certainly some people that want to view it as the "DII" league right beneath NWSL. I've noticed that the Carolina region hasn't historically had much oomph within the league, so do you think the "college prep" vs "DII" ambition might explain that?
     
  16. Scott Pierce

    Scott Pierce New Member

    UNC Women's Soccer
    May 18, 2019
    Good point. I think of the league as college prep based on my daughter's experience playing in high school, and now playing in the summer after her first spring season of college play. However, the players range from top D1 to D3 players currently in college, and also players who have graduated from college and are looking to catch the eye of a pro team or just playing because they love the game. In areas where the NWSL teams support the league and have their "reserve" team entered, the WPSL surely serves as Division II to the NWSL, and in those areas there are clear cases of WPSL players being called up to NWSL teams. In areas without a direct connection to a pro league, I think the league is probably more college prep. With only 9 NWSL teams, and some teams like the NC Courage apparently not supporting the WPSL, my guess is that most of the 100+ WPSL teams are focused on college prep.
     
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  17. Scott Pierce

    Scott Pierce New Member

    UNC Women's Soccer
    May 18, 2019
    In WPSL action yesterday, 6-0 win by Oak City United vs. Lake Norman, with 6 different players scoring. Big match tonight in Cary, NC as Oak City faces last year's Carolina Division champions, the Carolina Rapids.
     
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  18. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Time for another weekend round-up!

    UWS: Nothing unexpected happened in the East, Southwest, or West - CT and NE drew their match, while LIRR beat Copa in Copa's second game of the weekend; Houston obliterated another team, and Calgary and LAG both won their games. Lansing Utd has emerged as the favorite in the Midwest, beating Detroit while the Legends beat AFCAA

    WPSL: 19 games last Friday, 29 on Saturday, and 28 on Sunday. Chicago joins the ranks of NWSL Reserve squads having played games with a 2-1 win Friday, while the Royals reserves have improved to 5-0. The Chatt Red Wolves have their first loss, bring them down to 4-1, to the now-4-0 Nashville Rhythm. The CA Storm obliterated their Friday opponent 8-1 and now have a +18 GD over four games, almost best in the WPSL, only behind Pensacola at +13GD over two games. Other high-powered teams include Salvo FC (+11/4), AHFC Royals (+12/4), UT Royals Reserves (+13/5), NC Fusion (+12/4), and the SD Surf (+10/3)

    WUPSL: I think some games were retro-added to the schedule, since there were apparently only three games played this weekend but 13 total games played now. Home teams are still really struggling at 3-3-7. That said, three of the four teams in the Central (TX) Conference are undefeated, and there are two Midwest teams at 2-0. Clearly though, no one has pulled above the pack yet.
     
  19. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    A short catch-up on midweek action, since several results are of a bit more interest to me than other lower-division match-ups...

    Three WPSL games of note Wednesday, all of which won by teams from larger organizations, and all in the central region:
    --Red Stars Reserves opened their home slate in style with a 7-0 walloping of the visitors, moving them to 2-0 (+8) so far this season
    --The St. Louis Lions (Lionesses?), the new women's team of the longtime PDL/USL2 squad, beat perennial powerhouse Fire & Ice 1-0 away to move to 3-0 (+3) on the season
    --FC Dallas got a plucky 4-3 away win to take the pole position in their division, though it's just 2-1 (+2)

    Only one UWS game this midweek, which LIRR won, moving them to the top of the East but with 2 or 3 more games played than anyone else (save their Wednesday opponent).

    In WUPSL, we're now up to 15 total games played, except none were in the midweek X-D More evidence that some games have been scheduled (and played) without being listed on the schedule page first. Both retro-added games were away wins for the Midwest teams that were 2-0, moving them to 3-0 each.

    The last MIMC quarterfinal went 6-1 in favor of AFC Ann Arbor (UWS) over local team North Oakland FC. (AFCAA is the only club to have both of their squads in the respective SF rounds of the men's and women's tournaments. The AFCAA women are also, interestingly, last place in the UWS Midwest conference right now.) They will travel to fellow UWS side Detroit Sun (3rd), while Legends FC (4th) will host WPSL side Motor City FC. Dates and times still TBD.
     
  20. Scott Pierce

    Scott Pierce New Member

    UNC Women's Soccer
    May 18, 2019
    Highlights here from the recent WPSL action with Oak City United defeating last season's Carolinas Division champion Carolina Rapids 3-0. Four players at or headed to UNC featured with Maggie Pierce turning hitting the first ball off the post, Tori Hansen sending a corner into Lexi Strickland for the goal, Marzia Josephson with the featured save, and Pierce feeding Hansen for the last goal.
     
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  21. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Weekend update time! Say, is there some big tournament going on? X-D

    WPSL: 12 games on Friday, only two of which (both in Texas) were blowouts. 33 games Saturday and 29 Sunday, with the only potential "upset" being the 1-1 Fire&Ice SC beating the 5-0 Omaha Elite Girls Academy, (so 2-1 and 5-1 now respectively,) putting all three leading teams in that division (other being STL Lions) at one loss each; though the SD SeaLions also beat the SD Surf in what now seems like title-deciding match of their division. All conferences in the Central Region still seem undecided, while each other region has at least two conferences where the winning team seems certain.

    UWS: CT dropped a draw to Rochester, putting them one point and one game behind LIRR, but NE won their match, putting them two points and two games behind LIRR and likely in control of the East. In the Midwest, IN pulled of back-to-back 5-1 away wins but still could only just keep pace with Lansing, who also had two wins on the weekend. Only one game in the west with LA beating CO, and the Aces demolished another team but we also had our first Southwest match of the season that didn't involve the Aces! (San Antonio beat Austin.)

    WUPSL: Three games on the weekend; five of the six teams were shut out; the sixth team scored 9 goals as the away team. This is a weird league.
     
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