US Club Soccer’s National Premier Leagues (NPL) continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, and the latest addition to the nationwide landscape is the Red River NPL, featuring 14 clubs from Arkansas, south Kansas, Oklahoma and north Texas.
The Red River NPL features 13-U through 18/19-U boys and girls clubs and officially begins its NPL membership in 2017-18.
Member clubs are:
- Arkansas United (Ark.)
- Arkansas Comets (Ark.)
- City FC (Texas)
- FC Wichita (Kansas)
- Fever United FC (Texas)
- Liverpool FC America (Texas)
- Mighty Bluebirds (Ark.)
- Oklahoma Celtic (Okla.)
- NEOFC (Okla.)
- NTX Celtic (Texas)
- South Lakes SC (Okla.)
- Sporting Arkansas (Ark.)
- TSC Hurricane (Okla.)
- West Side Alliance (Okla.)
League winners will advance to the 2018 NPL Finals, where they will join the rest of the country’s NPLs in pursuit of national championships.
“We welcome these talented clubs to the NPL with open arms and know the Red River NPL will be a valuable member for years to come,” said Leo Garcia, NPL General Manager.
In the past three months, the NPL has announced the creation of the Central States NPL, Washington NPL and a new NPL in Southern California. In total, the NPL will include 24 NPLs next season – both a quantitative and qualitative increase from the current 2016-17 season.
US Club Soccer’s mission is to foster the growth and development of soccer clubs throughout the United States to create the best possible development environment for players of all ages in every club.
US Club Soccer fulfills its mission largely through Players First, a branded, holistic club soccer experience for parents and players which emphasizes the development of each individual to his or her full potential, and helps parents make better choices about where their children should play. Players First is anchored by five pillars:
- Club Development
- Coaching Development
- Player Development
- Parent Engagement & Education
- Player Health & Safety
In order to help members adopt the Players First philosophy, US Club Soccer provides a suite of best-in-class resources and content that includes LaLiga, Beast Mode Soccer, FIFA 11+, Fit for 90, Player’s Health, Positive Coaching Alliance, Sideline Sports Doc, SoccerPrep, SportSessionPlanner, TopYa! and World Football Academy.
As with other NPLs, the league will be evaluated for potential Elite National Premier League (ENPL) inclusion as a qualifying competition.
Administratively, the Red River NPL will be aided by league management company PrimeTime Sports. PrimeTime Sports has more than 80 years of event management experience, including select soccer leagues in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Quote from participating clubs:
- Jim Tindell, TSC Hurricane Executive Director: “TSC Hurricane is excited to be joining the Red River NPL, along with so many other highly respected clubs in Oklahoma and across the region. If you look across the country, there is no doubt that US Club Soccer and the NPL have built a leading an innovative competitive platform that’s changed the landscape of soccer for the benefit of the players and clubs. Joining the Red River NPL is aligned with our mission, creates expanded opportunities for our players and fits perfectly into our overall player development pathway. We look forward to an exciting 2017-18 season.”
- Don Rother, Oklahoma Celtic Director of Coaching: “Oklahoma Celtic is excited about the opportunity to partner with many premier clubs in the region to join the Red River NPL. As the sport of soccer continues to grow in the United States, it is important that we continue to create opportunities for our players to develop competitively and in a progressive manner. We believe this is an incredible step in creating an environment of player that is competitive, challenging and provides an avenue to showcase their talents. We have enjoyed our time working alongside US Club Soccer and their commitment to helping everyone comet together only solidifies the professionalism and great experience we anticipate in growing the new league.”
- Mark Gibbs, Arkansas United SC Technical Director: “I’m delighted to see the Red River NPL become a reality and look forward to the enhancement in player development it will allow for Arkansas United’s boys and girls involved in this competitive environment. Our teams will be exposed to higher levels of play as they advance though the league’s regional and national competition. This fits in directly with Arkansas United’s focus on providing an environment that will challenge both players and coaches.”
- Alex Miranda, Northeast Oklahoma FC Executive Director/Director of Coaching: “We are proud to announce our participation in the Red River NPL Division. This will allow our club to provide players and coaches with the best opportunities to compete at a regional stage through a regional league platform, which provides sensible travel and diversity of top-level clubs from across our neighbor states.”
- Brandon Lawless, South Lakes SC Director of Coaching: “South Lakes Soccer Club is excited and proud to be part of the Red River NPL. We are excited about the new opportunity to play with the top teams in the region in an organized and structured league. With the clubs involved, we are confident that this Regional league will be the best league available to our players. Our coaching staff is extremely excited about the new league in regards to intelligent travel and increased competition. Our players and families will benefit holistically.”
- Nick Soutar, Liverpool FC International Academy America Elite Programs Manager: “Liverpool FC International Academy Texas welcomes the new clubs to the National Premier Leagues, and we are looking forward to the challenge the Red River NPL will offer our elite players. NPL has been a great avenue for the club in previous years with our teams reaching the NPL Finals and our players being exposed to college coaches at NPL events. US Club Soccer’s player-centered philosophy matches LFC IA Texas’ curriculum and The Liverpool Way in promoting players to excel at a regional and national level. Our players, coaches and club are proud to continue our long relationship with US Club Soccer and it will be another great year in the NPL.”