Something special is coming to the soccer pitch soon. Through a press release from United Premier Soccer League (USPL), Don Harmon, a Boulder, Colorado native, will take the role of director of the new Women’s United Premier Soccer League (WUPSL). Harmon, the director of FC Boulder’s Adult Team and owner of Harmon Sports Group, also serves as the Colorado Conference Manager for the USPL.
WUPSL Director Harmon said that with the UPSL, and now the WUPSL, there is a place for the next generation of soccer stars to develop their game and prove themselves on the pitch. Already, the UPSL has created opportunities, not just in Colorado, but across the nation for both the men’s and women’s soccer game. The UPSL’s Promotion and Relegation model is great structure for both the women and men. Harmon looks forward to building the next level, the WUPSL into a top-tier women’s national league.
Yan Skwara, UPSL Commissioner said that with the launch of the WUPSL, women’s soccer, and soccer in general is taking the next step into becoming a true American Pro Development soccer league. Providing both men’s and women’s teams with a professionally-operated platform, that will help achieve that goal.
What bodes well for the WUPSL to succeed is the strength of the men’s devision, the UPSL, and the fact that a good percentage of the men’s team already have a women’s team started. Now those women’s teams will officially have a league to play in. According to Skwara, the league already has a group of teams ready to go. Over time, they will set up conferences and divisions, and starting in Colorado and Southern California, as early as this spring, they will launch with some friendlies and exhibition games. The hard launch for the WUPSL is planned for the fall of 2017.
So far, the business model for the UPSL, which will also be used for the WUPSL, is what is key to the survival of both leagues, and for the men, it is working so far. Keeping travel to games local and keeping league costs at a minimum allow the leagues to operate at break-even at the minimum, and some teams with a profit margin. That will, hopefully, keep all the teams in both leagues to continue operations and help connect American soccer nationwide.
Teams in Southern California and Colorado will be named soon for the inaugural games this spring. The rest of the league will be identified and finalized soon after. The WUPSL will start their inaugural regular season focused on intra-conference soccer matches. They will build up to cross-conference playoffs to determine a league champion. As soon as there are enough teams, conferences will be split into two divisions and then the UPSL’s Promotion and Relegation model will be implemented. For those unfamiliar with this method, there are typically to levels. In baseball it would be Major League and Minor League. The top team from the lower league at the end of the season will move up to the upper league, and the last place team will fall to the lower league for the next season.
There is growing excitement for the new women’s soccer league. Not only the fans, but the organizers behind it cannot wait for it to begin and grow. They have plans to have teams all across the United States.
Commentary by Cletus Dillwood