Monday, February 25, 2013

USL Pro continues evolution with new Academy Player rule

Elite youth players will now have the opportunity to play lower division professional soccer in USL Pro
Last week, United Soccer Leagues announced that USL Pro teams will have the ability to expand rosters from the long-established Master 26 to a total of 31 with the addition of five amateur ‘Academy Player’ slots that are available for pre-collegiate under-21 players that are from an affiliated youth team, the local region or the club’s MLS affiliate.

The addition of the Academy Player rule is the second part of what is a major overhaul for the third tier of soccer in the US following the previous affiliation announcement made a month prior with Major League Soccer. USL Pro has gone from an isolated lower division league with post-collegiate players hoping to get noticed or extend their careers as professionals to a league that will feature a schedule with interleague matches with MLS Reserve teams and squads with MLS players on loan from affiliates and the absolute elite youth players on the cusp of professional careers.

The revolutionary implementation of the Player Academy rule by USL is the first formalized employment of the opening created by the recent change in NCAA guidelines that allow pre-collegiate players to play in official competition with paid professional athletes.    

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Shine coach, FC Spokane director Quintero departs for Moscow

Jason Quintero, the Youth Development Director for FC Spokane and head coach of the WPSL Spokane Shine, is stepping down from both roles to take the Director of Coaching position with Moscow United, effective immediately.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Schedules set, NWSL ready to kick off April 13

The new National Women's Soccer League, the first of the three incarnations of professional women's soccer leagues to feature teams in the Northwest, announced it's inaugural schedule Tuesday. Fans will not have to wait long for the Cascadia duo to square off as the Seattle Reign and Portland Thorns will meet in Oregon at Jeld-Wen Field April 21 during the second week of play.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Emerald City’s Berrier bound for Kansas City in NWSL; Seattle and Portland pick final players

Berrier helped ECFC limit Spokane to one goal total in their two meetings | Photos: Gerald Barnhart

After finishing as the all-time games played leader at Loyola University (Chicago) in 2009, Casey Berrier looked bound for a career off the field over a year ago, but a stint with Emerald City as a youth coach and WPSL player started a journey that led to her being selected by FC Kansas City of the new professional National Women’s Soccer League in the Supplemental Draft.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Region’s youth players making college declarations for NLI Day

Wednesday is National Letter of Intent Day around the nation in which graduating high school athletes around the country sign declarations to the colleges and universities they intend to attend. As player commitments are announced or confirmed throughout the region, they will be added to the following list.  See below for player commitments and club/college comments.