US Club Soccer is proud to welcome the Oregon Premier League, a new statewide league for competitive boys and girls teams. The Oregon Premier League kicks off this fall with 9-U through 14-U age groups and continues into the spring with the same age groups and also 15-U through 19-U divisions for high school premier and select levels.
League officials project the fall season to include nearly 200 teams. The founding clubs of the league are:
- Oregon United Football Club
- Portland Community Football Club
- FC Piamonte
- Soccer Chance Academy
- La Amistad Soccer Club
- FC Coras
- FC Genesis
- IFC Huracan
“Thank you, US Club, for supporting a new premier soccer league in Oregon,” said Heladio Cruz, founder and director of FC Piamonte. “So many clubs and families will benefit from lower fees and a focus on player development. This is the beginning of a new era in Oregon for all young aspiring soccer players – and the most important part is the players will win.”
In addition to its regular season programming, the Oregon Premier League features a pathway for its champions to advance for free to the National Cup Northwest Regional. The National Cup is US Club Soccer’s annual cup-based championship series, incorporating Regionals and various state cups into an advancement opportunity to the National Cup Finals.
The Oregon Premier League is working in side-step with US Club Soccer to bring player identification and development opportunities to the area, such as a Player Development Program. The league is also intent on reviving the former Oregon Cup, one of the most popular state championships in the region, which would represent another pathway to the National Cup.
“The Oregon Premier League provides an opportunity for like-minded clubs in the state to achieve a collaborative structure that puts the interests of their players first,” said John Borozzi, US Club Soccer Vice President of Membership Services. “We thank these clubs for this commitment and look forward to helping the league grow.”
A big emphasis of the new Oregon Premier League is to be a diverse and open league and make competitive soccer affordable for all young players who aspire to play at a higher level. The new OPL welcomes all clubs that want to come together to create a league that puts all players first.
"We are so excited to join OPL because we value inclusion and affordability in competitive soccer. That's hard to find, but OPL makes it possible,” said Kaig Lightner, founder and director of Portland Community Football Club. "Youth competitive soccer has become very expensive in recent decades, which leaves a lot of marginalized kids out of the game. We love that the OPL has affordable fees, but also puts an emphasis on player and coach development. These are all aspects of the game that are difficult for low-income families to access."
Oregon United Football Club is looking forward to the new changes and a new beginning under the renewed Oregon Premier League banner, said MJ Tate, founder and coaching director for Oregon United.
"OUFC is delighted to be part of the new Oregon Premier League, where players and clubs come first. It is important for our members to feel they have a voice and to be with clubs that are collaborative,” said Tate. “The new OPL, in conjunction with US Club Soccer, provides a similar and familiar developmental pathway that complements our club philosophy.”
The Oregon Premier League promises to:
- Offer innovative league and event programming
- Collaborate and work together with participating soccer clubs
- Promote coaching education at all levels
- Promote a national competitive pathway for the league’s elite teams and its top players
- Ensure open access to all levels of competitive youth soccer for all levels of players and teams
- Keep league fees low
- Embrace diversity and open competition
“Thank you, US Club Soccer, for supporting a new premier soccer league in Oregon,” said Heladio Cruz, founder and director of FC Piamonte. “So many clubs and families will benefit from lower fees and a focus on player development. This is the beginning of a new era in Oregon for all young aspiring soccer players – and the most important part is that the players will win.”
US Club Soccer’s mission is to foster the growth and development of soccer clubs throughout the country to create the best possible development environment for players of all ages in every club. The primary vehicle for accomplishing that ambition is Players First: a branded, holistic club soccer experience for parents and players which emphasizes the development of each individual to his or her full potential, and helps parents make better choices about where their children should play.
That Players First philosophy is supported by best-in-class partners and resources, including LaLiga, and is anchored by five pillars: Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety.
In particular, Player Health & Safety is the emphasis, as US Club Soccer prides itself on fostering the safest environment for players in youth sports. US Club Soccer has implemented best-in-class background checks, as part of its background screening process for all registered staff. The effort coincides with a requirement for those registered staff to complete a Sideline Sports Doc/US Club Soccer online injury recognition course, as well as SafeSport online training.
ABOUT OREGON PREMIER LEAGUE:
The Oregon Premier League is a non-profit organization that aims to develop open and diverse competitive soccer opportunities for Oregon youth soccer players. Sanctioned by US Club Soccer, the OPL offers a range of competitive leagues, tournaments, education and events for soccer players from 9U to 19U boys and girls age groups.