The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is an American soccer league commonly recognized as being a fourth tier league although it has been given no official designation by U.S. Soccer. Although the league is officially affiliated to the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) and qualifies for the U.S. Open Cup through USASA channels, the league is generally considered to be at the fourth tier of competition in the United States soccer pyramid, behind Major League Soccer (MLS), the USL Championship (USLC), USL League One (USL1), and roughly equal with USL League Two (USL2). It is the successor of the Men's Premier Soccer League, a regional league originally based in the Western United States, which has now expanded nationwide to encompass teams from 29 states. The league's motto is "A National League with a Regional Focus". Some of the clubs are former USL clubs.
|National Premier Soccer League|
|Divisions||13 conferences in 4 regions|
|Number of teams||94|
|Level on pyramid||4 (US) (unofficial)|
|Domestic cup(s)||U.S. Open Cup|
|Current champions||Miami FC 2 (1st title)|
|Most championships||16 clubs (1 title each)|
|2019 NPSL season|
The National Premier Soccer League's is divided into four separate Regions (Northeast, South, Midwest, and West). Each Region is divided into conferences with varying number of teams per conference. The regular season runs from May to July with the exception of the West Region that has historically started in late March or early April.
The National Premier Soccer League began in 2003 as the Men's Premier Soccer League (MPSL) initially as an offshoot of the Women's Premier Soccer League, and marked the first instance of a women's soccer league spawning a men's league. The league's first two champions were the Arizona Sahuaros, who had defected to the MPSL from the USL D-3 Pro League, and the Utah Salt Ratz.
The league expanded into the Midwest in 2005 with the addition of several new teams and a new conference, and changed its name to National Premier Soccer League to reflect its new national footprint; a team from the expansion conference – Detroit Arsenal – won the league in its first year after its eastward expansion. The NPSL expanded further in 2007 with the addition of a new Northeast Conference and five new teams from the eastern United States. The first team from the East to win the national NPSL title was the Pennsylvania Stoners in 2008. The league has since continued to expand, adding more teams throughout the entirety of the country.
Since its inception the league has managed to place at least one team actively playing under its banner into U.S. Open Cup competition. Though the showing of the NPSL in US Open Cup play was typically only one or two teams in its first six years, the 2009 and 2010 cups have seen four and three, respectively, NPSL teams in each tournament. The recent success of the NPSL in USASA qualifying has encouraged a movement by which the league could have automatic berths in the final tournament. The furthest a team from the NPSL has reached in the US Open Cup during the professional era (1997 and onward after the entry of MLS teams) has been the third round. However, the Brooklyn Italians have won the US Open Cup outright before the existence of either MLS or the NPSL.
Officially the USSF does not recognize formal levels of the soccer pyramid below the professional 3rd tier. The USSF does not officially recognize distinctions between amateur soccer leagues in the United States. However, the USASA sanctions affiliated, but separately run, national leagues that are recognized in practical terms as playing at a higher level than the USASA state association leagues; for example, they receive automatic berths to the US Open Cup.
The Premier Development League takes place during the summer months, and the player pool is drawn mainly from NCAA college soccer players seeking to continue playing high level soccer during their summer break, while still maintaining their college eligibility. The National Premier Soccer League is similar to the Premier Development League and also attracts top amateur talent from around the United States. NPSL does not have any age limits or restrictions, thus incorporating both college players and former professional players alike.
The NPSL is organized in a mostly decentralized structure and is managed as a team-run league. Each year the member clubs help elect a chairman, treasurer, and secretary and an eight-member board of directors. Each team is individually owned and operated, and is responsible for maintaining league minimum standards. New teams seeking membership into the NPSL are subject to approval from an executive committee of existing team owners. Member clubs have the right to make localized decisions for their respective markets, conferences, and regions based on what they believe is best for their particular region. Each conference is managed by the individual member clubs and elect a conference commission each year.
The current chairman is Joe Barone of the Brooklyn Italians who was elected in late 2013 after previously serving as treasurer. Michael Hitchcock of Playbook Management Inc. was hired as commissioner of the NPSL in 2013. With Hitchcock leading the league, plans to expand the reach of the league and discussion of introducing promotion and relegation in the future were made public. Near the conclusion of the 2014 season the NPSL terminated the contract of Hitchcock and PMI.
The costs to join the league as of 2016 are reported to be a one-time $15,000 franchise fee and a $5,250 annual league fee. The low entry fee compared to the PDL's of $75,000 has made the league an attractive alternative to teams looking to compete at the highest level of amateur play.
The league requires that all teams play in stadiums with at least 500 seats, a scoreboard, and locker rooms with showers for both teams and officials. The home team is also responsible for providing water and food for the visiting team, ensuring there is a trainer or doctor on-site for the match, and paying the referees fees at the end of each game.
Mitre Sports International provided the official ball for the NPSL starting in 2014, the sponsorship agreement lasted through the 2016 season. The league also announced several partnerships for the 2014 season, Global Scarves, Wecando, and Pabian Law. Global Scarves and the NPSL planned strategically partnering to not only outfit every NPSL team with soccer scarves branded to the specific team, but planned on working together to increase and elevate the status of both entities to a higher level. Global Scarves began providing custom soccer scarves throughout the league, and worked with the NPSL on various events and contests to increase awareness and fervor throughout the 2014 NPSL season. Wecando Print is a full-service branding company that specializes in printing, promotional products, embroidery, screen printing, banners, fulfillment services, and company stores. Pabian Law specific in law and immigration services and has experience with signing international soccer players.
Ten teams will participate in the inaugural NPSL Founders Cup, a competition that will run from August to November 2019. It is intended to lead to a new professional league beginning play in the spring of 2020.
|Year||No. of teams||Teams added||Teams departed|
Many NPSL teams have rivalries given the close geography of the teams throughout the league. The most notable rivalry is the Rust Belt Derby contested between Detroit City FC, AFC Cleveland, and FC Buffalo. The name refers to the teams' shared region, the Rust Belt.
Another intense rivalry existed between the San Diego Flash and San Diego Boca/Force FC, which were crosstown rivals in San Diego. Until the 2013 sale and rebranding of Force FC from Boca FC, the ownership groups of the two clubs were previously partners in the original San Diego Flash club of the A-League that competed from 1998 to 2001.
|Derby name||Most wins||Titles||Other club(s)||Recent winner|
|Alameda County Derby||CD Aguiluchos USA||2 (2016, 2017)||East Bay FC Stompers||split|
|Wine Country Derby||Sonoma County Sol||1 (2017)||Napa Valley 1839 FC||Sonoma County Sol|
|Erie County Derby||Erie Commodores FC||5 (2009–2014)||FC Buffalo||Erie Commodores FC|
|Everglades Cup||Miami United||1 (2014)||Cape Coral Hurricanes||Miami United|
|Gulf Coast Cup||Tampa Marauders||1 (2014)||Cape Coral Hurricanes||Tampa Marauders|
|I-40 Cup||Little Rock Rangers||1 (2016)||Memphis City FC||Little Rock Rangers|
|Louisiana Cup||New Orleans Jesters||1 (2016)||Shreveport Rafters FC||New Orleans Jesters|
|Red River Cup||Tulsa Athletic||1 (2014)||Fort Worth Vaqueros, Liverpool Warriors, Oklahoma City FC||Tulsa Athletic|
|Rust Belt Derby||Detroit City FC||4 (2013–2016)||AFC Cleveland, FC Buffalo||Detroit City FC|
|San Diego Derby||San Diego Flash||4 (2011–13)||Albion SC Pros, North County Battalion, San Diego Boca FC||San Diego Flash|
|Trinity River Cup||Dallas City FC||1 (2014)||Fort Worth Vaqueros||Dallas City FC|
|Volunteer Shield||Chattanooga FC||3 (2014–16)||Knoxville Force, Inter Nashville FC, Memphis City FC||Knoxville Force|
|Green Line Derby||Minneapolis City SC||2 (2017–18)||Viejos son los Trapos FC (St Paul)||Minneapolis City SC|
|2003||Arizona Sahuaros||2–1 (a.e.t.)||Utah Salt Ratz|
|2004||Utah Salt Ratz||4–2||Arizona Sahuaros|
|2005||Detroit Arsenal||1–0||Sonoma County Sol|
|2006||Sacramento Knights||2–1||Princeton 56ers|
|2007||Southern California Fusion||1–0||Queen City FC|
|2008||Pennsylvania Stoners||3–0||Minnesota Twin Stars|
|2009||Sonoma County Sol||2–1||Erie Admirals SC|
|2010||Sacramento Gold||3–1||Chattanooga FC|
|2011||Jacksonville United||3–2||Hollywood United Hitmen|
|2012||FC Sonic||1–0||Chattanooga FC|
|2013||RVA Football Club||2–0||Sonoma County Sol|
|2014||New York Red Bulls U-23||3–1||Chattanooga FC|
|2015||New York Cosmos B||3–2 (a.e.t.)||Chattanooga FC|
|2016||AFC Cleveland||4–2||Sonoma County Sol|
|2017||Elm City Express||5–0||Midland-Odessa FC|
|2018||Miami FC 2||3–1||FC Motown|
Current regional board members
The 2018 National Premier Soccer League season was part of the 106th season of FIFA-sanctioned soccer in the United States and the 16th season of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). Elm City Express was the defending champion.
The 2018 NPSL champion qualifies to play for the 2019 Hank Steinbrecher Cup organized by the United States Adult Soccer Association. The NPSL has elected to use results of the 2018 league season to determine which NPSL clubs qualify for the 2019 U.S. Open Cup. The United States Soccer Federation has not yet determined how many berths for the U.S. Open Cup will be awarded to NPSL clubs.Miami FC 2 defeated FC Motown on the road, 3–1, to win the 2018 NPSL championship. Dylan Mares was named Man of the Match.Boston City FC
Boston City FC is a men's soccer club based in Malden, Massachusetts that competes in the North Atlantic Conference of the National Premier Soccer League. The club was founded in 2015; their inaugural season was 2016. The club's colors are red, navy, and white, and plays its home matches at Malden Catholic High School's Donovan Field at Brother Gilbert Stadium.Dallas City FC
Dallas City FC (DCFC) is an American soccer club based in Dallas, Texas. DCFC competes in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) as a member of the Heartland Conference of the South Region. The club changed their name before beginning play in the NPSL. Early in 2017, it was announced that the club would no longer compete in the NPSL. However, when the 2017 season began, the NPSL listed DCFC in the standings in the place of Liverpool Warriors. The primary rival of DCFC in the NPSL is Fort Worth Vaqueros FC. The two clubs annually compete in a cup competition, the Trinity River Cup, which is a two-leg total goal series.Electric City Shock SC
Electric City Shock SC are an American soccer team playing in the National Premier Soccer League, the fourth tier of the American soccer pyramid. They are located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States and play their home game at University of Scranton's Fitzpatrick Field.FC Columbus
FC Columbus (FCCLB) is a semi-professional American soccer club based in Columbus, Ohio. Founded on February 8, 2018, the club began its inaugural season in 2018 as a member of the Great Lakes Conference in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL).The club is locally owned by Maziya Chete, who is also the founder of the Columbus, Ohio based youth club TVSA Santos FC.FC Columbus currently plays its home matches on Anderson Field at Bobcat Stadium in Grandview Heights, Ohio.During the first match of the 2018 NPSL season, the local supporters affectionately nicknamed the club "The Saints" in honor of the link between the youth club TVSA Santos FC and FC Columbus.Hershey FC
Hershey FC is an American soccer club based in Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States. The club was founded in 2012 to play in the Keystone Conference of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), a national amateur league at the fourth tier of the American soccer pyramid.
The team plays some home games out of Hersheypark Stadium. The club colors are white, blue and orange.Inter Nashville FC
Inter Nashville FC is an amateur soccer team based in Nashville suburb of Antioch, Tennessee. They began play in the National Premier Soccer League in May 2017.List of National Premier Soccer League teams
Below is a timeline of all teams that have or will play in the National Premier Soccer League.
Current clubs Former clubs On Hiatus Future clubs Former provisional member clubsMiami FC
Miami FC is an American professional soccer team based in Miami, Florida. They began play in the North American Soccer League (NASL), the second tier of the American soccer pyramid, in the 2016 season. As of the 2019 season, the club plays its home games at Buccaneer Field on the campus of Barry University. Following the cancellation of the 2018 NASL season, some Miami FC players competed with Miami FC 2 in the National Premier Soccer League.Milwaukee Torrent
The Milwaukee Torrent is a professional American soccer team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The team was founded in 2015 and played their inaugural season in 2016. The team plays in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), a national semi-professional league.It was announced in a press conference on December 18, 2018, that Carlos Córdoba will be the Milwaukee Torrent's new head coach for the 2019 season.Napa Valley 1839 FC
Napa Valley 1839 FC is a men's soccer club based in Napa, California. It competes in the NPSL Golden Gate Conference. The club's colors are green and white.New York Cosmos B
New York Cosmos B are an American soccer team based in the New York metropolitan area who play in the National Premier Soccer League, the fourth tier of the United States soccer league system, as the reserve team of New York Cosmos. The club began play in the 2015 NPSL season.Regals SCA
Houston Regals are a men's American soccer club. They play in the National Premier Soccer League. 1,000-capacity Kipp High School is their home. The club and stadium are located in Houston, Texas. After a one-year hiatus, the club announced their return to the National Premier Soccer League for the 2015 NPSL season in December 2014. The club again competed in NPSL in 2016, drawing their first match with Fort Worth Vaqueros, and finishing 9th in the NPSL's 11-team South Central Conference.On December 12, 2016, Houston Regals announced open tryouts for the 2017, confirming that they would again be competing in NPSL for the 2017 season.Riverside Coras USA
Riverside Coras USA, formerly Deportivo Coras USA, is a men's soccer club based in Riverside, California. The club currently competes in the National Premier Soccer League in the Southwest Conference, having joined the league as an expansion team in 2014.Sacramento Gold (2009–)
Sacramento Gold is an American soccer team based in Sacramento, California, United States. Founded in 2009, the team plays in National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), a national amateur league at the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, in the West Region, Golden Gate Conference.
The team plays its home games in the stadium at Capital Christian School, where they have played since 2017. Previously, they played in the stadium at River City High School. The team's colors are burgundy, navy blue and white.
The Sacramento Gold won the National Championship in its first year in the National Premier Soccer League in 2010.Syracuse FC
Syracuse FC is a soccer team based in Syracuse, New York. They debuted in the National Premier Soccer League in May 2017. The team colors are white, black, gold and maroon.Temecula FC
Temecula FC is an American soccer club based in Temecula, California. Founded in 2013, the team will play in the National Premier Soccer League, the fourth tier of the American soccer pyramid, starting in 2014. The team colors are red and white.Torch FC
Torch FC, formerly Buxmont Torch FC, is an American soccer club currently competing in the NPSL. They play in the Keystone Conference of the National Premier Soccer League, the fourth tier of the United States soccer league system. Despite dropping Buxmont from its name, the club continues to play home matches in Bucks "Bux" and Montgomery "Mont" Counties. Torch FC's home fields are Dock Mennonite Academy in Towamencin Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and Palisades High School in Nockamixon Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.Tyler FC
Tyler Football Club is an amateur American soccer club based in Tyler, Texas that plays in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), the fourth tier of the American soccer pyramid.
National Premier Soccer League seasons
|Men's Premier Soccer League (MPSL)|
|National Premier Soccer League (NPSL)|
|Men's national teams|
|Women's national teams|
|Men's outdoor leagues|
|Women's outdoor leagues|
|Men's indoor leagues|
|Men's futsal leagues|
|Men's Cup competitions|
|Women's Cup competitions|
|Men's college soccer|
|Women's college soccer|
|Defunct women's |