US Lower Division News, 2020

Discussion in 'US Women's Lower Divisions' started by SiberianThunderT, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Haha no worries! Mid-January is certainly the time I've started new threads in the past, and I've only started them because it seems like I'm usually the only one checking lower division news semi-regularly. X-D

    Damn, yeah that's rather upsetting. The SeaLions have been one of the best WPSL teams throughout the league's history, with two WPSL titles, three WPSL runners-up, fairly consistent playoff appearances, and a USASA National Women's Open title. Well, good luck to the Strikers at least.

    If we want to summarize what's gone on since last summer's seasons ended, we know, the biggest news was of course the near-promotion of the Sacramento Storm, which fell apart after the USSF/NWSL disagreement and an unnamed issue that came up late in the game on the Storm's end.

    Other news since then:
    --among the general expected shuffling of WPSL teams each offseason, the big win was that the El Paso Surf have left UWS for WPSL. TBD what this move means for the UWS Southeast division.
    --UWS Midwest is expanding again and dividing into two divisions. UWS East is expanding too but I don't see any news of the East splitting into divisions despite being currently bigger than the Midwest.
    --The last time I check the UPSL website, it was in the middle of a rebuild and impossible to mind much information at all, much less anything about the UPSL Women's Division. It's not much better now, as https://women.upsl.com/ is a mess and doesn't actually have any information related to women's teams that I can find... All of the "news" is UPSL-wide news, and the "teams" and "standings" pages are blank, (as are all the tabs in the menu bar,) even for past years.
     
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  2. Nacional Tijuana

    Nacional Tijuana BigSoccer Supporter

    May 6, 2003
    San Diego, Calif.
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm in a UPSL hotbed city, at least for men's. It is a shame the site is such a wreck. I'd like to hit a match, but so many don't have home pitch info.

    Said city is also a WPSL hotbed, and had a conference (or maybe division? Five teams.) to itself. One team folded and a new team sprung up, as noted above. And LA Galaxy reworked its relationship to the youth clubs that used to be branded to it. So LAGSD turns into City SC Carlsbad. Assuming the same sort of thing with LAGOC. There's also a City SC Temecula, but I think that may just be youth.
     
  3. Nacional Tijuana

    Nacional Tijuana BigSoccer Supporter

    May 6, 2003
    San Diego, Calif.
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    SiberianThunderT repped this.
  4. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    #4 SiberianThunderT, Feb 3, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
    What it means for the UWS Southwest was the beginning of a very quick end. The Houston Aces have also abandoned UWS to return to WPSL, along with LAGOC and the CO Pride.
    https://www.wpslsoccer.com/news_article/show/1082565
    Big set of blows for UWS. I wouldn't be surprised if the league reins in its ambitions over the next year or two and just sticks to a Great Lakes+Northeast footprint.

    Also side note for WPSL expansion: a new LA club has taken on the "SOL" name
    https://www.wpslsoccer.com/news_article/show/1079857
     
  5. Klingo3034

    Klingo3034 Member

    Dallas FC
    United States
    Oct 11, 2019
    Should have a women's FC Dallas.
     
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  6. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    FCD have fielded a team in WPSL from 2011-2012 and 2016-2019. There isn't a team by the name FC Dallas on the 2020 standings page at the moment, unfortunately, so IDK what's up with them this year.
     
  7. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    As a side note, WPSL is currently sitting at 131 teams across the country (well, 129, as 2 teams are in Canada). While it's great to provide regionalized play for amateur teams, there are some *really good* WPSL teams whose players aren't being served well by not regularly playing against similarly strong teams. I really hope WPSL revives WPSL Elite soon - lord knows that each region could donate 4 or so teams to an Elite division without thinning out the existing divisions to the point that regional travel costs would go up.
     
  8. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Alright, I'll say it outright: I entirely underestimated UWS' ambition

    They launched with the intention of being a pro-am/semipro league that bridges the gap between amateur play (e.g. WPSL) and D1 pro play (e.g. NWSL). I don't recall how many of their teams took a pro-am or semipro approach before, but they've just launched "UWS League Two" for U23 teams, I imagine with the intent that any organizations with teams in both league would push their senior team that much more toward professionalism.
    https://www.uwssoccer.com/news_article/show/1084639
    The lede of the article also mentions pro/rel, though it doesn't mention any details it beyond that, so I'm skeptical.

    They also have created a South*east* conference, currently with three teams:
    https://www.uwssoccer.com/news_article/show/1084785
    Two of the teams previously had provisional status as UWS members in 2018; the third is all the way from Puerto Rico and is a steal from WPSL. Color me skeptical about this SE divison as well.

    Still no news as far as I can tell about what's going on west of the Mississippi, but if they're gonna have a three-team conference in the SE including PR, I'm guessing they might decide to just continue trucking along with a (recombined) West conference this year too.
     
  9. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Just scrolling around on Twitter, it seems like the Lancaster Inferno, FC Austin Elite, and southeast newbies Unity FC will be among the organizations fielding both UWS and UWSL2 teams.
     
  10. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Alright, so this post isn't news - feel free to ignore it - but I've mused on this idea for a little bit and wanted to write it down.
    For the inaugural year of this new Elite division, take the top 16 teams from last year's WPSL - i.e. each conference's playoff representative. WPSLE retains the four "regions", and in the first phase of the season, each team plays its three regional opponents home and away, for six games. Then, in the second phase of the season, four teams host "cross-region weekends" that take one team from each region - the four teams at each location are determined before the season starts (so travel can be planned early), as are how they're paired up for two Saturday games. On Sunday, the winners of the Saturday games play each other and the losers play each other, so all 16 Elite teams have now played 8 games each. That's the end of the regular season.

    This way, WPSLE teams only travel 3-4 times each regular season, all of which are pre-planned. I think that 3-4 longer trips should be at least comparable financially to the 5 shorter trips teams currently take in the WPSL conferences; it'd probably be a bit more, but hopefully not much, and with teams that already had enough ambition to qualify for WPSLE, I would hope they at least a little more capital to use. Also, with a new "Elite" league, hopefully WPSL could attract some sponsors to help cover travel costs.

    At this point, the team with the best record in each region qualifies for the WPSLE national finals - which are hosted by the same team that hosts the normal WPSL national finals. This is because the four teams in the normal WPSL finals (i.e. the new regional champions) are automatically qualified to promote into WPSLE next season. The worst WPSLE team in each region is automatically relegated to match. Finally, to make sure more teams have things to play for in both leagues as the seasons wind down, the WPSL regional runners-up play in pro/rel play-offs against the 3rd-ranked WPSLE team in each region.

    This format could also fairly easily be expanded to an Elite league of 24 or 32 instead of just 16 - hopefully with expanded WPSLE playoffs to match. Alright, that's the end of my wild league designing! (Hire me, WPSL!) :D
     
  11. Nacional Tijuana

    Nacional Tijuana BigSoccer Supporter

    May 6, 2003
    San Diego, Calif.
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #11 Nacional Tijuana, Feb 12, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
    OK, well, there's still no info on Breakaways in the "standings" area of the WPSL site, but then I googled it and found a link to their page. They will play at Del Norte High School in, I believe, Black Mountain Ranch. Still within the city, but the extreme north end of it, and away from buses. So I can't go.

    http://www.sdbreakaway.com/

    Going to aim to see ASC and Parceiro when I can this season.
     
  12. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    #12 SiberianThunderT, Feb 15, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
    UWS has announced expansion into Illinois with Ladies Steel City in Joliet (just outside Chicago) - will be Midwest Conference, obviously. The Calgary Foothills are also tweeting UWS stuff, so I assume they still plan on playing in a consolidated West Conference this year.

    WPSL has another expansion in Colorado, Broomfield Burn in the Denver metro area.

    UPSL seems to have *slightly* cleaned up their website, as you can now see two relatively well-populated conferences on the "teams" tab of the women's UPSL site. 8 teams in Texas, 9 teams in the NY/NJ area. The Standings page also now has these teams showing, though don't try scrolling through older seasons yet. OF NOTE: the women's UPSL division in the northeast includes the NJ Wizards *and* the NY Magic, two teams with long D2 WoSo history.
     
  13. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Just realized that two things I covered last year - Liga PR and the MI Milk Cup - haven't been mentioned yet here! There is no news at the moment for MIMC, but we can see what's going on down in Puerto Rico right now!

    The league is down to 9 teams from 10 last year, and as far as I can tell, only 6 teams returned from last year. Among them is just the one namesake squad for the PR Sol organization (i.e. neither the Challengers nor Mayaguez FC are back) and they're even stronger than ever. This time last year, they were 9-0-0 with 61/2 goals F/A and Bayamon FC also at 9-0-0 on their heels; now, they're still 9-0-0 but with 79/0 goals F/A and Bayamon FC are six points back. Surprisingly enough, the Sol had massive player turnover - losing 12 from last year including their top scorer going to Bayamon - and haven't dropped a beat. They now have a winning streak of 30* (222/3 goals F/A), closing in on the record of 34 consecutive wins held by Corinthians Paulista Women of Brasil.

    *in official play, that is; the Sol played two friendlies in Florida last year and lost them both, 0-5 to NWSL's Orlando Pride and 0-2 to NCAA's reigning champions FSU.
     

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