Puerto Rico Soccer League

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Puerto Rico Soccer League
PRSL Logo.PNG
Country  Puerto Rico
Confederation CONCACAF
Founded 2008
Folded 2011
Number of teams 6
Levels on pyramid 1
Relegation to Liga Nacional
Domestic cup(s) PRSL Regular Season Cup,
PRSL PlayOff Cup
International cup(s) CFU Club Championship
CONCACAF Champions League
Last champions FC Leones de Ponce
Most championships Sevilla FC Puerto Rico (1)
Bayamón FC (1)
FC Leones de Ponce (1)
TV partners DirecTV
Website www.prsoccer.org
2011 PRSL season

The Puerto Rico Soccer League or PRSL was an association football league in Puerto Rico. It was the first unified football league in the island's history, and had a total of six teams for the 2011 season. Association football had been growing in popularity in recent years, and this was an attempt to further develop the game on the island.

The previous highest league in the country was the Campeonato Nacional de Fútbol de Puerto Rico. The league notified FIFA and the Puerto Rico Football Federation of a temporary recess for reorganization and was replaced by the Liga Nacional de Fútbol de Puerto Rico, as the highest active league in the country for 2013. In June 4, 2013, the PRSL notified the completion of its reorganization with teams representing the major cities of Puerto Rico and with the involvement of major personalities of the island's sports. It has announced a "Super Copa" event for the end of 2013, and the commencement of a league tournament on April 2014. However the league folded in 2011.

History[edit]

The league was founded in 2008 with 8 teams. The first president of the league was Mike Roca. In 2009, FIFA donated $150,000 to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico through the "Win with CONCACAF" program. The donations would most likely go to building more capable stadiums, and other such necessities.[1] Over the past few years football has grown throughout the island and is among the top sports in Puerto Rico, behind Baseball, Basketball, Boxing, and Volleyball. The winner of the League got a bid to play in the CFU Club Championship, which serves as the qualifying tournament for the CONCACAF Champions League.

Creation and preparation[edit]

The league was created on May 14, 2008, and held its first tournament in 2008, from June until October. There were a total of 56 games played. The league will develop a Second Division, which will feature 18 teams, and will start relegation and promotion for the 2011-2012 season. The federation's president also said they will create a Third Division for amateurs and a Fourth Division for U-17 teams.

The League was supposed to start in 2009 an "Apertura" and "Clausura" system like the one used in Argentina and Mexico. The Apertura would play from September to December, while the Clausura from January to April.[2] However, the league has yet to implement such system, instead pushing it back for a future season.

Some of the member clubs are affiliated to larger clubs in more established football leagues around the globe. Some teams in the league received promotions from several international clubs, including Club Atlético River Plate, Club de Fútbol Pachuca, Fluminense Football Club, and Sevilla Fútbol Club.[3] The only team which name did not reflect the promotion was the CF Tornados de Humacao, affiliated to Club de Fútbol Pachuca.

Competition[edit]

The inaugural 2008 season featured eight teams, and both the regular season and the playoffs were won by the Sevilla Fútbol Club Puerto Rico. During the regular season, Sevilla FC Puerto Rico accumulated a total 32 points, while the second placed Club Atlético River Plate Puerto Rico accumulated only 28 points. The Playoff Championship game was also won by Sevilla FC Puerto Rico, beating CA River Plate Puerto Rico with a score of 2-1. By winning the championship, Sevilla FC Puerto Rico also qualified to the 2009 CFU Club Championship, joining the seeded Puerto Rico Islanders Football Club.

For the 2009 season, the expansion team was Bayamón Football Club. The Sevilla FC Bayamón moved from Bayamón to Juncos, thus replacing Juncos to their name, which is now Sevilla FC Juncos or Sevilla FC Puerto Rico. The Gigantes de Carolina FC became affiliated to the Club Atlético Boca Juniors and started to be called Boca Juniors Carolina FC. The first game of the season was played on May 21, 2009 in Juncos, Puerto Rico, between Bayamón FC and defending champions Sevilla FC Puerto Rico. Sevilla FC Puerto Rico took the first match in the new rivalry by winning 1-0. CA River Plate Puerto Rico won the regular season and secured the top seed for the playoffs. This season saw the introduction of a home leg and an away leg in the playoffs, with the winner of the aggregate advancing to the final, which also consisted of a two legs format. The champions of the playoffs was Bayamón FC, winning the aggregate with a score of 3-2 over Atlético de San Juan Football Club. Both, the regular season champion, CA River Plate Puerto Rico, and the playoffs champion, Bayamón FC, qualified for the 2010 CFU Club Championship, joining the seeded Puerto Rico Islanders FC.

There were plans to celebrate the 2010-2011 season with the Apertura and Clausura schedule system. However, due to economic problems and other factors, the league recessed on 2010, only scheduling a small tournament called "Supercopa DirecTV 2010" which served as the qualifier for the CFU Club Championship. Eight teams participated in the tournament, including three expansion teams (Mayagüez Football Club, Fajardo Football Club and Puerto Rico United Sporting Club) and incorporating the Puerto Rico Islanders FC to the PRSL for the first time. The two finalists of the tournament, CA River Plate Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico Islanders FC, qualified for the 2011 CFU Club Championship.

The 2011 season ran from April to July with only six teams, three of which (Sevilla FC Puerto Rico, CA River Plate Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico United SC) participated briefly in the USL Pro Division. This season saw the move of the CA River Plate Puerto Rico, from Ponce to Fajardo, thus losing the unofficial CA River Plate Ponce designation for the equivalent CA River Plate Fajardo . However, waiting for its stadium to be built in Fajardo, the team played in Carolina. The regular season was won by the Sevilla FC Puerto Rico, which became the first team to win two regular season cups. Yet, it was defeated int the Playoff Championship game by the season's expansion team Football Club Leones de Ponce. Both teams qualified to the 2012 CFU Club Championship.

Final Teams[edit]

Locations of the 2011 Puerto Rico Soccer League teams
Club Home city Stadium Founded Joined PRSL
FC Leones de Ponce Ponce Francisco "Paquito" Montaner Stadium 2011 2011
Huracán FC Caguas Caguas Yldefonso Solá Morales Stadium 1991 2008
Mayagüez FC Mayagüez Mayagüez Athletics Stadium 2003 2010
Puerto Rico United SC Aguada Aguada Stadium 2007 2010
CA River Plate Fajardo Carolina1 Roberto Clemente Stadium1 2007 2008
Sevilla FC Juncos Juncos2 Josué Elevadito González Stadium2 2006 2008

1 Its first three seasons (2008–2010), the Club Atlético River Plate Puerto Rico played at the Francisco "Paquito" Montaner Stadium in Ponce. In 2011, the team moved to Fajardo, but played in Carolina while its stadium in Fajardo was being built.
2 During its first season (2008), the Sevilla Fútbol Club Puerto Rico played at the Estadio Juan Ramón Loubriel in Bayamón. In 2009, the team moved to Juncos and played at the Alfredo "Papo" Alejandro Stadium. The team played at the Josué Elevadito González Stadium, while the Sevilla FC Stadium was being built.

Former Teams[edit]

Club Home city Stadium Founded Seasons in PRSL
Academia Quintana FC San Juan Hiram Bithorn Stadium 1969 2008, 2009
Atlético de San Juan FC San Juan Hiram Bithorn Stadium 2008 2008, 2009
Bayamón FC Bayamón Estadio Juan Ramón Loubriel 2009 2009
Fajardo FC Fajardo Fajardo Stadium 2010 2010
Guaynabo Fluminense FC Guaynabo Estadio Jose "Pepito" Bonano 2002 2008, 2009, 2010
Gigantes de Carolina FC /
Boca Juniors Carolina FC
Carolina Roberto Clemente Stadium 1998 2008, 2009
Puerto Rico Islanders FC Bayamón Estadio Juan Ramón Loubriel 2003 2010
CF Tornados de Humacao Humacao Estadio Nestor Morales 1994 2008, 2009

Champions by year[edit]

Season PlayOff Champion (Title count) PlayOff Runner-up Regular Season Champion (Count)
2008 Sevilla FC Bayamón (1) CA River Plate Ponce Sevilla FC Bayamón (1)
2009 Bayamón FC (1) Atlético de San Juan FC CA River Plate Ponce (1)
20101 CA River Plate Ponce1 (1) Puerto Rico Islanders FC1 Season did not take place
2011 FC Leones de Ponce (1) Sevilla FC Juncos Sevilla FC Juncos (2)
1The league recessed on 2010. This shows the winner and runner-up of the tournament called "Supercopa DirecTV 2010" which served as the qualifier for the 2011 CFU Club Championship.

Players[edit]

All-time top scorers in the Puerto Rico Soccer League
(PRSL goals only)
Rank Player Goals
1 Cuba Julio César Maya Cruz 22
2 Cuba Lester More 11
As of August 25, 2009 (Bold denotes players still playing in the League).[4]

Players came from different countries, the main one being of course Puerto Rico and the USA. One of the star players is Andrés Cabrero from Puerto Rico, who played with the CA River Plate Puerto Rico.[5]

Other countries that saw a lot of players in the league were Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil, this being because these countries have teams in their respective leagues that sponsored the PRSL Teams. The next country would be Cuba. There were also Middle-Eastern and South American countries with players in the league.

The league's all-time top goalscorer is Julio César Maya Cruz.

Second Division[edit]

Relegation and promotion between the First and Second Divisions was expected to start in 2011. The Second Division was called Liga Nacional de Futbol de Puerto Rico. In 2009 the Second Division changed from the 2008 season and officially became a league with 16 teams. The league was split into 2 groups of 8 teams. In 2010, the league expanded to 21 teams.

Media coverage[edit]

Through the inaugural year there was no coverage whatsoever, however after a successful first year the league found themselves being covered on local TV stations WAPA-TV and also on OneLink. The league was also covered by local newspapers such as El Nuevo Dia.

Presidents[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]