BELLINGHAM, WA— The Evergreen Premier League is looking forward to our fourth season of play in 2017. It will be another year as a designated “Premier League” in the United States Adult Soccer Association. The Premier Leagues include the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), the Premier Development League (PDL) and a group of regional leagues called “Elite Amateur Leagues,” of which the EPLWA is a member.
FLASHBACK: EPLWA awarded Premier League status by USASA
The EPLWA is considered an “Elite Amateur League” by the USASA. This puts us in the same pool with the NPSL and PDL in what amounts to a sprawling, unofficial 4th Division. The US Soccer Federation has officially recognized leagues that fit into Divisions 1, 2 and 3. US Adult Soccer is left to clarify the lower divisions.
EPLWA clubs have played friendlies against sides in both the PDL and the NPSL. The young league scored a breakthrough in 2015 when Vancouver crushed PDL side Lane United 5-1. In their 2016 EPLWA Championship season the Victory also posted a 5-2 scrimmage win over NPSL side Temecula FC.
The professional Kitsap Pumas (now in the NPSL) have scheduled numerous pre-season matches against EPLWA sides, testing their rosters in the build-ups to their campaigns.
The South Sound Shock won the 2015 USASA U-23 National Championship.
Recent changes in the entry process for the United States Open Cup (USOC) have provided an opening for clubs in the EPLWA to consider that competition as well. Player availability and travel costs are among the hurdles our clubs must consider when they think about USOC participation. So far no EPLWA club has elected to try for an Open Cup spot.