1996 USISL Premier League season

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The 1996 USISL Premier League season was its second. The season began in April 1996 and ended in August 1996.

Central Coast Roadrunners won the championship, defeating the San Francisco Bay Seals 3–2. Spokane Shadow won the regular season title, winning 14 games to 2 losses.

Changes from 1995 season[edit]

Name changes[edit]

New teams[edit]

12 teams were added for the season.

Team Area Location Previous affiliation
Flag of Washington.svg Bellingham Orcas Northwest Washington area Bellingham, WA expansion
Flag of California.svg Central Coast Roadrunners Central West Coast area San Luis Obispo, CA expansion
Flag of Florida.svg Florida Strikers Greater Miami area Fort Lauderdale, FL from USISL Pro
Flag of Kentucky.svg Lexington Bluegrass Bandits Lexington area Lexington, KY from USISL Pro
Flag of Florida.svg Miami Tango Greater Miami area Miami, FL expansion
Flag of Michigan.svg Mid-Michigan Bucks Flint/Tri-Cities area Saginaw, MI expansion
Flag of Nebraska.svg Omaha Flames Omaha-Council Bluffs area Omaha, NE expansion
Flag of California.svg San Diego Top Guns San Diego area San Diego, CA from USISL Pro
Flag of California.svg Southern California Gunners Inland Empire area San Bernardino, CA expansion
Flag of Washington.svg Spokane Shadow Spokane area Spokane, WA expansion
Flag of Florida.svg West Florida Fury Emerald Coast area Pensacola, FL expansion
Flag of Oregon.svg Willamette Valley Firebirds Corvallis area Corvallis, OR former Portland Firebirds of the USISL Pro League

Teams leaving[edit]

Five teams folded after the 1995 season:

Standings[edit]

Blue denotes team has won their division.
Green denotes team has won playoff spot.
Orange denotes team gets bye into semifinals as defending champion.

Central Conference[edit]

Northern Division[edit]

Place Team P W L SW GF GA GD Points
1 Lexington Bluegrass Bandits* 14 10 4 1 32 18 +14 28
2 Michigan Madness* 14 9 5 1 24 28 -4 25
3 Detroit Dynamite* 14 8 6 1 34 19 +15 22
4 Mid-Michigan Bucks* 14 8 6 1 24 18 +6 22
5 Kalamazoo Kingdom 14 5 9 0 18 22 -4 15
6 Grand Rapids Explosion** 7 0 7 0 6 21 +15 0

* Detroit, Kalamazoo, Lexington, and Michigan were all penalized 3 points.
** Grand Rapids did not have a home stadium this year, and played only road games.

Southern Division[edit]

Place Team P W L SW GF GA GD Points
1 Austin Lone Stars 14 10 4 0 41 17 +24 30
2 Omaha Flames 14 8 6 0 39 22 +17 24
3 Sioux City Breeze* 13 9 4 2 26 23 +3 23
4 Des Moines Menace 14 7 7 0 22 21 +1 21
5 Oklahoma City Heat 14 7 7 0 22 26 -4 21
6 Wichita Blue 13 5 8 0 18 33 -15 15

* Sioux City was penalized 6 points.
The game between Sioux City and Wichita was postponed and could not be resecheduled before end of the season. The game was cancelled because it had no effect on the playoffs.

Eastern Conference[edit]

Northern Division[edit]

Place Team P W L SW GF GA GD Points
1 Roanoke River Dawgs 14 10 4 0 48 28 +20 30
2 Jackson Chargers* 14 8 6 1 34 24 +10 22
3 Nashville Metros* 14 7 7 2 34 26 +8 17
4 Birmingham Grasshoppers 14 4 10 0 20 33 -13 12

* Nashville was penalized 6 points. Jackson was penalized 3 points.

Southern Division[edit]

Place Team P W L SW GF GA GD Points
1 Cocoa Expos* 14 10 4 1 45 22 +23 28
2 Orlando Lions* 14 9 5 1 25 28 -3 25
3 Florida Strikers* 14 7 7 1 31 33 -2 19
4 West Florida Fury 14 5 9 0 29 36 -7 15
5 Miami Breakers 14 4 10 0 29 37 -8 12
6 South Florida Future 14 0 14 0 17 63 -46 0

* Cocoa, Florida, and Orlando were all penalized 3 points.

Western Conference[edit]

Northern Division[edit]

Place Team P W L SW GF GA GD Points
1 Spokane Shadow* 14 12 2 1 34 17 +17 34
2 San Francisco Bay Seals 14 10 4 0 35 15 +20 30
3 Colorado Springs Stampede* 14 9 5 1 20 12 +8 25
4 Puget Sound Hammers 14 8 6 0 31 23 +8 24
5 Willamette Valley Firebirds 14 5 9 0 21 31 -10 15
6 Bellingham Orcas 14 3 11 0 17 50 -33 9

* Colorado Springs and Spokane were both penalized 3 points.

Southern Division[edit]

Place Team P W L SW GF GA GD Points
1 Central Coast Roadrunners* 14 12 2 1 38 16 +22 34
2 San Diego Top Guns* 14 9 5 1 28 22 +6 25
3 Arizona Phoenix 14 7 7 0 32 31 +1 21
4 Tucson Amigos 14 7 7 0 24 29 -5 21
5 Fontana Falcons 14 5 9 0 31 32 -1 15
6 Southern California Gunners 14 3 11 0 19 28 -9 9

* Central Coast and San Diego were both penalaized 3 points

Playoffs[edit]

Format[edit]

Central Coast received a bye to the PDL Semifinals as the defending champion.
The top four teams from every division except the Southwest earn playoff spots. With Central Coast already receiving a bye, the top two teams from the Southwest Division will play each other, however if Central Coast is in the top two, then the third place team receives a playoff spot. The Division winners would then face each other in the Conference finals.

Divisional brackets[edit]

Division Semifinals Division Finals Central Finals
                 
NC1 Flag of Michigan.svg Mid-Michigan Bucks 1
NC4 Flag of Michigan.svg Grand Rapids Explosion 0
NC1 Flag of Michigan.svg Mid-Michigan Bucks (AET/PSO) 0 (1)
North Central Division
NC3 Flag of Michigan.svg Kalamazoo Kingdom 0 (0)
NC2 Flag of Michigan.svg Detroit Dynamite 0
NC3 Flag of Michigan.svg Kalamazoo Kingdom (AET) 1
NC1 Flag of Michigan.svg Mid-Michigan Bucks 3
C4 Flag of Iowa.svg Des Moines Menace 0
C1 Flag of Nebraska.svg Lincoln Brigade 0
C4 Flag of Iowa.svg Des Moines Menace 4
C4 Flag of Iowa.svg Des Moines Menace 6
Central Division
C2 Flag of Nebraska.svg Omaha Flames 0
C2 Flag of Nebraska.svg Omaha Flames 5
C3 Flag of Iowa.svg Sioux City Breeze 3
Division Semifinals Division Finals Eastern Finals
                 
SE1 Flag of Florida.svg Cocoa Expos 5
SE4 Flag of Florida.svg Miami Breakers 2
SE1 Flag of Florida.svg Cocoa Expos 3
Southeast Division
SE3 Flag of Florida.svg West Florida Fury 1
SE2 Flag of Florida.svg South Florida Future 0
SE3 Flag of Florida.svg West Florida Fury 4
SE1 Flag of Florida.svg Cocoa Expos 2
MS2 Flag of Mississippi.svg Jackson Chargers 1
MS1 Flag of Ohio.svg Cincinnati Riverhawks 7
MS4 Flag of Alabama.svg Alabama Saints 4
MS1 Flag of Ohio.svg Cincinnati Riverhawks 0
Mid-South Division
MS2 Flag of Mississippi.svg Jackson Chargers 3
MS2 Flag of Mississippi.svg Jackson Chargers (AET) 1
MS3 Flag of Kentucky.svg Lexington Bluegrass Bandits 0
Division Semifinals Division Finals Western Finals
                 
NW1 Flag of Washington.svg Spokane Shadow (AET/PSO) 4 (1)
NW4 Flag of Washington.svg Bellingham Orcas 4 (0)
NW1 Flag of Washington.svg Spokane Shadow 2
Northwest Division
NW2 Flag of Washington.svg Yakima Reds 0
NW2 Flag of Washington.svg Yakima Reds 1
NW3 Flag of Oregon.svg Cascade Surge 0
NW1 Flag of Washington.svg Spokane Shadow 0
SW1 Flag of California.svg San Gabriel Valley Highlanders 1
SW1 Flag of California.svg San Gabriel Valley Highlanders bye
 
SW1 Flag of California.svg San Gabriel Valley Highlanders 2
Southwest Division
SW2 Flag of Arizona.svg Tucson Amigos 1
SW2 Flag of Arizona.svg Tucson Amigos bye
 

PDL Finals brackets[edit]

  PDL Semifinals                    
  NC1  Flag of Michigan.svg Mid-Michigan Bucks 0  
  H  Flag of California.svg Central Coast Roadrunners 2   PDL Finals
      H  Flag of California.svg Central Coast Roadrunners 2
  PDL Semifinals   SE1  Flag of Florida.svg Cocoa Expos 1
  SW1  Flag of California.svg San Gabriel Valley Highlanders 0 (0)
  SE1  Flag of Florida.svg Cocoa Expos (AET/PSO) 0 (1)   PDL Third Place
    NC1  Flag of Michigan.svg Mid-Michigan Bucks 2
    SW1  Flag of California.svg San Gabriel Valley Highlanders 3

Premier Six Tournament[edit]

Six teams entered the Premier Six Tournament in Cocoa, Florida the weekend of August 16–18. Each of the five division playoff champions qualified for the tournament, along with the host Cocoa Expos. The teams were seeded in this order, based on their regular season points:

  • 1. Central Coast Roadrunners
  • 2. San Francisco Bay Seals
  • 3. Cocoa Expos
  • 4. Omaha Flames
  • 5. Jackson Chargers
  • 6. Mid-Michigan Bucks.

The Central Coast Roadrunners played the bottom two seeds (Jackson and Mid-Michigan). The San Francisco Seals played the #4 and #6 seeds (Omaha and Mid-Michigan). The Cocoa Expos played and #4 and #5 seeds (Omaha and Jackson).

Qualification to the finals[edit]

In order to determine the two teams to qualify for the finals, the league used the following point system during the Premier Six Tournament:

  • Win = 3 points
  • Shootout win = 2 points
  • Shootout loss = 1 point
  • Bonus points: Each team scoring three or more goals in regulation or overtime received one extra point.
Place Team W SW SL L BP PTS
1 Central Coast Roadrunners 2 0 0 0 1 7
2 San Francisco Bay Seals 1 0 1 0 1 5
3 Cocoa Expos 1 0 0 1 1 4
4 Omaha Flames 0 1 0 1 0 2
5 Jackson Chargers 1 0 0 1 0 2
6 Mid-Michigan Bucks 0 0 0 2 0 0

Friday[edit]

August 16, 1996
4:00 PM EST
San Francisco Bay Seals (CA) 2-2 OT Omaha Flames (NE)
Chris McDonald Goal 64'
Ken Folan Goal 86'
Goal 3' Paul Lekics
Goal 52' Keith DeFini
  Penalties  
Ken Folan Penalty missed
Marquis White Penalty missed
Shane Watkins Penalty scored
Chris McDonald Penalty missed
Mike Black Penalty missed
1-2 Penalty scored Keith DeFini
Penalty scored John Anderson
Penalty missed Paul Lekics
Penalty missed Judd Willmann



August 16, 1996
8:00 PM EST
Cocoa Expos (FL) 0-1 Jackson Chargers (MS)
Goal 50' Sheldon Bennett

Saturday[edit]


August 17, 1996
6:00 PM EST
San Francisco Bay Seals (CA) 4-0 Mid-Michigan Bucks (MI)
Chris McDonal Goal 58' Goal 72' Goal 76'
Shane Watkins Goal 86'


Final[edit]

August 18, 1996
Central Coast Roadrunners (CA) 1-0 San Francisco Bay Seals (CA)
Bryan Taylor Goal 48'
Cocoa Expo Sports Center, Cocoa, Florida

Honors[1][edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]