Southern Premier Soccer League

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Southern Premier Soccer League
Southern Premier Soccer League.jpg
Country United States United States
Confederation CONCACAF
Founded 2010
Folded 2011
Levels on pyramid 5
Promotion to None
Relegation to None
Domestic cup(s) U.S. Open Cup
Last champions Rio Grande Valley Ocelots FC
(2011 SPSL Summer Cup)

The Southern Premier Soccer League (SPSL) was an amateur soccer league featuring teams from Texas and Oklahoma and recognized by the United States Soccer Federation and United States Adult Soccer Association. The league comprised seven teams.

The Southern Premier Soccer League was founded in September 2010 in part of the National Premier Soccer League's inability to get a winter season started as a minimum of four teams were required to start a division (South Central). The first season took place with 6 teams (2 of which failed to finish the season), with each team playing 20 games in the regular season with the season ending on March 27, 2011. The 2011 Spring-Summer season was planned to start afterwards, with the seasons to run from September until June, with each team playing 36-40 games in the regular season.

The 2011-2012 fall-winter season, however, failed to start as planned though. [1]

Competition format

The 2010–11 regular season ran from October 2 through March 26. The league added additional teams for the 2011 Summer Cup. 2010–2011 was the only year with two partial seasons, which was established to allow the original clubs to go forward with the winter schedule and to allow the new clubs to compete in the second half of the schedule.

History

Beginnings

In 2010, National Premier Soccer League's original three South Central teams, Galveston Pirate SC, Regals FC, and Corpus Christi Fuel, joined with Texas Lonestrikers, Tulsa Lobos FC, and Houston-based Club América Academy began play later that year for the 2010-11 SPSL Winter Season. Regals won the inaugural season, with five of the six top goalscorers playing for that club.

For the 2011 Spring-Summer Season, RGV Ocelots FC (formerly Rio Grande Valley Bravos FC of the USL Premier Development League (PDL)) also joined the league.

Since the NPSL currently runs from April until July, the SPSL fills the marketplace by providing players and teams with the chance to compete together and gain national exposure on a year-round basis by having games from October to July. The league will play a spring-summer schedule in 2011 before the first full natural season, schedule begins in October 2011 and ending in April or May.

Teams

There are seven SPSL teams spanning Texas and Oklahoma. More teams were expected for the 2011–2012 SPSL season.

Before the 2010–2011 Winter Season started, SPSL added its first two expansion teams: the RGV Ocelots FC (last playing in the USL Premier Development League in 2010 as Rio Grande Valley Bravos FC) and the Houston Hurricane (last playing in the North American Soccer League in 1980 of the same name). The RGV Ocelots FC began play in the 2011 Spring-Summer season. They won the summer session with a 9–1 record and a championship game victory over Regals FC. Modern-day Houston Hurricane began play with the 2011–12 SPSL season.

For the 2010–11 Winter Season, teams were as follows:

Expansion

The club in Brownsville, Texas, was renamed RGV Ocelots FC before the summer season. The Houston Hurricane FC and Fort Worth were added for the 2011 Summer Cup. Shenandoah, Texas in Montgomery County was named as an expansion franchise.[2]

Team names

Originally, in the style of other U.S. sports, teams were given nicknames at their creation such as the Corpus Christi Fuel or the Texas Lonestrikers. Three exceptions to this were Galveston Pirate SC, Regals FC, and Tulsa Lobos FC, adopting naming conventions usually seen in European clubs. However, one new team, RGV Ocelots FC, continued this trend. One club derived their name from their origins in defunct American professional soccer leagues like the NASL, the 1978–80 Houston Hurricane.

There are only two SPSL clubs whose names do not specify a city, state, or region. Club América Soccer Academy is named for the Mexican team Club de Fútbol América, who are often known by their nickname "Águilas," which translates to "Eagles". Houston-based Regals FC also elected not to utilize a geographical reference.

References