Premier League of America

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Premier League of America
Premier League of America logo 2016.png
Founded 2015 (as Great Lakes Premier League)
Folded 2017 (became Midwest Division of UPSL)
Country United States
Confederation CONCACAF
Divisions 2
Number of teams 12
Domestic cup(s) Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
Last champions Milwaukee Bavarians (2nd title)
Most championships Milwaukee Bavarians (2 titles)
Website plasoccerleague.com/

The Premier League of America (PLA) was an American soccer league consisting of teams in cities in the Great Lakes region of the United States. The league was a part of the United States Adult Soccer Association. It began its first season of play in 2015 as the Great Lakes Premier League, and at the end of the 2017 season its member clubs moved to become the Midwest Division of the United Premier Soccer League.[1]

History

original logo

Grand Rapids FC and AFC Ann Arbor both applied to become members of the National Premier Soccer League for the start of the 2015 season and they were both denied admission to the league.[2] Instead of waiting a year or finding another league, the teams decided to start a league of their own.[2] AFC Ann Arbor owner Jamey Amrine and Grand Rapids FC president Matt Roberts began discussions with other teams to gauge interest in forming a new league. Their work led to the formation of the Great Lakes Premier League.[3] The new league held its inaugural league meeting on January 17, 2015 in Grand Rapids, MI.

The two clubs were joined as charter members by Oakland United - later Oakland County FC - based in Rochester, Michigan, and two decades-old Croatian American clubs, Croatian Eagles SC of Milwaukee and RWB Adria of Chicago.[4]

Before the inaugural season began, Milwaukee Bavarians was announced as the first expansion franchise, to begin play in 2016.[5] A second expansion team, Toledo United FC, joined in July 2015.[6]

In September 2015, AFC Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids FC left the GLPL for the NPSL.[7][8] The following November, the Madison 56ers left the NPSL after eleven seasons to join the Great Lakes Premier League.[9]

The league announced on December 8, 2015 that they would be rebranding as Premier League of America, to more accurately reflect the potential growth of the league away from the Great Lakes area.

Two days later, Carpathia FC of Sterling Heights, Michigan in the Detroit suburbs was added as team number eight. The same month, Aris SC of La Crosse, Wisconsin and Aurora Borealis SC from Aurora, Illinois were added. Aris has since been removed from PLA announcements.[10]

A tenth team was added on January 11, 2016, as Minnesota United FC Reserves moved over from the NPSL. An eleventh team for 2016 was added on January 13, 2016, as Stegman's Soccer Club joined as Minneapolis City.[11] After their single season in the PLA, Minneapolis City announced their move to the NPSL.[12]

On August 1, 2016 it was announced that Muskegon Risers SC would join the Premier League of America for the 2017 season after a unanimous 12-0 vote by current team owners.[13]

On September 6, 2017, the United Premier Soccer League announced that eleven of the twelve PLA clubs (all save Grand Rapids Ole SC) had joined its league and would comprise the UPSL's new Midwest Conference.[1]

Competition format

AFC Ann Arbor in action against San Marino Soccer in a 2015 friendly at Hollway Field

In 2015 the league had a schedule that featured round robin play, where each team played every other team home and away. The league did not host a post-season tournament in 2015 and determined its champion based on the final season standings.

As part of the re-branding announcement for 2016, it was announced there would be a two-division geographical split, with an end-of-season championship playoff. The league will host a championship tournament at a neutral site with the top two teams from each division qualifying.[14]

Teams

Team City Stadium Founded Inaugural Season Final Season
AFC Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, Michigan Hollway Field 2014 2015 2015
Aurora Borealis SC Aurora, Illinois Mooseheart School 2016 2016 2017
Carpathia FC Sterling Heights, Michigan Carpathia Club 1952 2016 2017
Cedar Rapids Rampage United Cedar Rapids, Iowa Kingston Stadium 2015 2016 2017
Croatian Eagles SC Franklin, Wisconsin Croatian Park 1922 2015 2017
Elgin Pumas SC Elgin, Illinois Judson University 1991 2017 2017
Grand Rapids FC Grand Rapids, Michigan Houseman Field 2014 2015 2015
Madison 56ers Madison, Wisconsin Breese Stevens Field 1956 2016 2017
Milwaukee Bavarian SC Glendale, Wisconsin Heartland Value Fund Stadium 1929 2016 2017
Minneapolis City SC Minneapolis, Minnesota Edor Nelson Field 2016 2016 2016
Minnesota United FC Reserves Woodbury, Minnesota East Ridge High School 2013 2016 2016
Muskegon Risers SC Muskegon, Michigan Kehren Stadium[15] 2014 2017 2017
Oakland County FC Royal Oak, Michigan Royal Oak High School 20141 2015 2017
Ole SC East Grand Rapids, Michigan Mehney Field 2006 2016 2017
RWB Adria River Grove, Illinois Triton College 1959 2015 2017
Toledo Villa FC Sylvania, Ohio Sylvania Northview High School 2017 2017 2017
Toledo United FC Maumee, Ohio Springfield High School 2016 2016 2016
  • 1 as Oakland United
Locations of PLA clubs for 2017 season

Expansion

Year # of Teams Teams Added Teams Departed
2015 5 5 0
2016 12 9 2
2017 12 3 3

Champions

Season Champion Score Runner-up
2015 RWB Adria [A] Grand Rapids FC
2016 Milwaukee Bavarians 4 – 2 RWB Adria
2017 Milwaukee Bavarians (2) 5 – 3 Carpathia FC
  1. ^ A No playoffs were held in the inaugural season. The champion was determined based on regular season record.

2015 standings

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 RWB Adria (C) 8 7 1 0 23 6 +17 22
2 Grand Rapids FC 8 3 2 3 14 10 +4 11
3 AFC Ann Arbor 8 2 4 2 8 8 0 10
4 Oakland United FC 8 2 1 5 8 19 −11 7
5 Croatian Eagles 8 1 2 5 9 19 −10 5
Updated to match(es) played on July 25, 2015. Source: GLPL standings
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) wins; 3) goal differential
(C) Champion.
Home \ Away ARB CRE GRR OAK RWB
AFC Ann Arbor 1–0 0–0 4–0 1–1
Croatian Eagles 0–0 1–3 1–2 3–6
Grand Rapids FC 5–1 0–0 3–0 1–3
Oakland United FC 1–1 3–4 2–1 0–4
RWB Adria 1–0 4–0 3–1 1–0
Updated to match(es) played on July 25, 2015. Source: [1]
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

2016 standings and playoffs

East Division

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 RWB Adria 10 7 1 2 29 13 +16 22 2016 PLA playoffs
2 Toledo United FC 10 7 1 2 22 7 +15 22
3 Carpathia FC 10 6 1 3 17 17 0 19
4 Oakland County FC 10 4 2 4 14 13 +1 14
5 Aurora Borealis SC 10 2 1 7 13 25 −12 7
6 Ole SC 10 1 0 9 12 32 −20 3
Updated to match(es) played on July 24, 2016. Source: PLA standings
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) wins; 3) goal differential

West Division

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 Milwaukee Bavarians 10 6 3 1 19 7 +12 21 2016 PLA playoffs
2 Cedar Rapids Rampage United 10 5 4 1 18 10 +8 19
3 Minneapolis City SC 10 3 4 3 15 15 0 13
4 Minnesota United FC Reserves 10 2 4 4 13 17 −4 10
5 Croatian Eagles 10 2 3 5 12 15 −3 9
6 Madison 56ers 10 2 2 6 13 26 −13 8
Updated to match(es) played on July 24, 2016. Source: PLA standings
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) wins; 3) goal differential

Playoffs

The semifinals were played on July 30. The final and third place matches were played on July 31.[16]

  Semifinal     Final
                 
  1W Milwaukee Bavarians 1  
  2E Toledo United 0    
      1W Milwaukee Bavarians 4
      1E RWB Adria 2
  1E RWB Adria 2    
  2W Cedar Rapids Rampage United 0   Third Place
 
2E Toledo United 2
  2W Cedar Rapids Rampage United 1

Bold = winner
* = after extra time, ( ) = penalty shootout score

2017 standings and playoffs

East Division

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 RWB Adria 10 7 1 2 25 14 +11 22 2017 PLA playoffs
2 Carpathia FC 10 6 0 4 20 13 +7 18
3 Muskegon Risers 10 5 3 2 18 12 +6 18
4 Toledo Villa FC 10 5 2 3 25 13 +12 17
5 Oakland County FC 10 4 0 6 18 28 −10 12
6 Ole SC 10 0 0 10 4 30 −26 0
Source: PLA standings
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) wins; 3) goal differential

West Division

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 Cedar Rapids Rampage United 10 9 0 1 31 5 +26 27 2017 PLA playoffs
2 Milwaukee Bavarians 10 9 0 1 22 7 +15 27
3 Madison 56ers 10 3 2 5 18 24 −6 11
4 Croatian Eagles 10 2 4 4 19 21 −2 10
5 Aurora Borealis SC 10 2 1 7 9 27 −18 7
6 Elgin Pumas 10 0 3 7 8 23 −15 3
Source: PLA standings
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) wins; 3) goal differential

Playoffs

Played at Heartland Value Fund Stadium in Glendale, Wisconsin.

Semifinal
July 29
Final
July 30
           
W1 Cedar Rapids Rampage United 1
E2 Carpathia FC 2
E2 Carpathia FC 3
W2 Milwaukee Bavarians 5
E1 RWB Adria 2
W2 Milwaukee Bavarians 4*

Bold = winner
* = after extra time, ( ) = penalty shootout score

References

  1. ^ a b "UNITED PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE ANNOUNCES MIDWEST EXPANSION WITH 11 PREMIER LEAGUE OF AMERICA TEAMS". upslsoccer.com. United Premier Soccer League. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Hicks, Justin P. "NPSL denies Ann Arbor semi-pro soccer club's application; owners plan to establish new league". mlive.com. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  3. ^ Haapala, Kelly. "Local team owners announce plans to form new amateur soccer league in Michigan". ClickOnDetroit. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  4. ^ Anderson, Eric. "Croatian Eagles join new Great Lakes Premier League, remain in WSL". Wisconsin Soccer Central. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  5. ^ Anderson, Eric. "Bavarians to join Great Lakes Premier League in 2016". Wisconsin Soccer Central. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  6. ^ "Toledo United Joins Great Lakes Premier League". Toledo United FC. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  7. ^ Wallner, Peter J. "Grand Rapids FC make change, joins National Premier Soccer League". mlive.com. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  8. ^ Hicks, Justin P. "A year after being denied, AFC Ann Arbor joins National Premier Soccer League". mlive.com. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  9. ^ Anderson, Eric. "Madison 56ers leave NPSL, join Great Lakes Premier League for 2016". Wisconsin Soccer Central. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  10. ^ "PLA Announces Divisions for 2016 Season". Premier League of America. 13 January 2016. 
  11. ^ "SSC Minneapolis City: Stegman's Next Step". Fifty Five One. 4 February 2016. 
  12. ^ "Minneapolis City Joins the NPSL as Part of Rebranded North Conference". Five Fifty One. 14 December 2016. 
  13. ^ "Risers to join Premier League of America in 2017". White Lake Beacon. 8 August 2016. 
  14. ^ "PLA Announces Divisions For 2016 Season". Retrieved January 13, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Risers announce they will play their home games at Muskegon Catholic football stadium". Local Sports Journal. 23 May 2017. Archived from the original on 19 May 2011. 
  16. ^ fiftyfive.one/2016/08/bavarians-crowned-premier-league-america-tournament-recap/

External links

  • Premier League of America
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