The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce that the 2014 regular season schedules for the South Central Conference, Great Lakes West Conference, Great Lakes East Conference, and the Southeast Conference have been released.
Schedules are now available on the league/team websites and social media accounts.
The South Central Conference will be divided into North and South Divisions, with four teams in each division. Each team will play the other three teams twice, once home and once away, and the four teams in the other division once, two home and two away, randomly selected.
The North Division will include Tulsa Athletics (Tulsa, OK), Oklahoma City FC (Oklahoma City, OK), Joplin Demize (Joplin, MO), and Liverpool Warriors (The Colony, TX).
The South Division will include Dallas City FC (Dallas, TX), Fort Worth (Fort Worth, TX), Corinthians FC of San Antonio (San Antonio, TX), and BCS Clash (Bryan-College Station, TX).
"The addition of six new teams should add much-needed competition and depth to the South Central Conference," Tulsa Athletics owner Sonny Dalesandro stated.
Fans and supporters will get their first glimpse of the new-look South Central Conference when the Tulsa Athletics host a preseason tournament called the Red River Cup between Tulsa, Oklahoma City FC, Liverpool Warriors, and Fort Worth to be held on May 2-3.
The top two teams from each division with the most points will advance to the South Central Conference playoffs, with the first place team in the North playing the second place team in the South and the first place team in the South playing the second place team in the North. The winner of those two games will play for the South Central Conference Championship.
Playoff dates for the South Central Conference will be Friday, July 11 with the final on Sunday, July 13.
The Great Lakes Conference has been split into two conferences: Great Lakes West and Great Lakes East. The West will include Detroit City FC (Detroit, MI), Michigan Stars FC (Dearborn, MI), Lansing United (Lansing, MI), Cincinnati Saints (Cincinnati, OH), and Westfield Select (Westfield, IN). The East will include FC Buffalo, 2013 Midwest Region Champion Erie Admirals (Erie, PA), AFC Cleveland (Cleveland, OH), and Fort Pitt Regiment (Pittsburgh, PA).
"We're quite excited by this schedule as it introduces new faces to our fans while preserving our budding rivalries with old Rust Belt foes," Detroit City FC co-owner Sean Mann remarked.
The Midwest Region Champion will be decided by a weekend tournament comprised of the winner of each of the three conferences, as well as one wild card team. The wild card will be awarded to the remaining team from among all the conferences with the highest regular season points-per-game. Seeding for the playoff weekend will be determined by points-per-game over the regular season.
Two semi-final matches will take place on Saturday, July 19 with a final taking place on Sunday, July 20.
The Southeast Conference is set to begin league play with Rocket City United (Huntsville, AL), Chattanooga FC (Chattanooga, TN), Nashville FC (Nashville, TN), Knoxville Force (Knoxville, TN), New Orleans Jesters (New Orleans, LA), Pensacola City (Pensacola, FL), Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves (Atlanta, GA), and Georgia Revolution (Conyers, GA).
In a new format for 2014, the top four teams of the Southeast Conference will play for a spot in the South Region playoffs. In past years, the leader at the end of the regular season has claimed the title. The host venue for the Southeast Conference Playoffs will be selected through a bid process. The winner will continue on to the South Region playoffs, which will lead to a spot in the National Semifinals.
“This new conference playoff format will make for a thrilling end to the season,” said Sean McDaniel, GM for Chattanooga FC and member of the NPSL’s Executive Committee. “It means the team with the best chemistry, not necessarily the best record, has a great chance to go far into the postseason.”
The NPSL is a national league that operates in the 4th Division of the U.S. Soccer pyramid. NPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup through their affiliation with the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). The NPSL is the fastest-growing national soccer league in North America, operating in 80+ markets across the country. Two Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs (D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls) and four North American Soccer League (NASL) clubs (Minnesota United, Carolina Railhawks, Atlanta Silverbacks, Oklahoma City FC) operate teams in the NPSL. Mitre USA recently signed a multi-year agreement to become the league’s Official Match Ball Sponsor.