UPSL Kick Off 2017 with AGM Meeting in Los Angeles
The UPSL continues to bridge the gap in American soccer as it gains national attention for its innovative plans makings way onto the soccer scene. With the league welcoming promotion/relegation and a new Colorado Conference for the 2017 Spring Season, the need to reorganize and map out expectations remains a high priority from those across the league.
The UPSL held its Annual General Meeting this past weekend as club representatives joined for discussion about the growing league.
UPSL Soccer News: As the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) takes a step towards the future, team representatives from across the league gathered in Los Angeles at the 2017 NSCAA Convention for the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
The UPSL opened the event by recognizing the accomplishments during the past year before switching gears to discuss the goals for 2017.
League administrators laid out the groundwork for the future, highlighting the exponential growth of the UPSL with expectations remaining at an all-time high.
“The goal of the AGM is to explain the current landscape of the league and the direction moving forward,” said Yan Skwara, UPSL Commissioner. “Hopefully this can help continue to launch us into 2017. We are on a great start, but this only keeps the momentum going.”
The AGM welcomed not only club representatives, but also sponsors who helped map out strategies for maintaining a solid business plan for the clubs.
“The importance is to discuss different strategies to support team memberships by providing ideas on how to operate properly,” said Skwara. “To discuss different ways of generating revenue streams, which is hopefully what we accomplished today. This allows for the teams to feel positive about their investment in the UPSL.”
In attendance was also Peter Wilt, Senior VP of Marketing & Operations for Indy Eleven, who commends the UPSL for its dedication to growing soccer on the national level.
Cal South was also represented as several of its affiliate clubs compete in the UPSL.
“I really like the UPSL and its vision,” said Christopher Haitz, Cal South VP of Adults. “I’m excited to see the direction the league will be going after attending today.”
The room for growth remains on the forefront of the UPSL’s future. In recent months, the league announced expansion of its Colorado Conference set to kick off during the 2017 Spring Season.
“It was amazing to see all the owners and different groups in one place,” said Joe Webb, Colorado Rush Director of Coaching. “You can see the excitement from everybody about what we are doing.”
Webb was not shy when explaining his excitement for the league making its way to the Centennial State, as the growth has everyone in the region interested about what is planned moving forward.
“The expansion to Colorado has been great because everybody sees what we are doing and they are interested,” said Webb. “Teams are reaching out to us and asking how they can be a part of this.”
The evening also welcomed positive responses from attending clubs who saw the event as an opportunity to connect the dots within the league.
“This evening has been great. We have only been in contact with each other through email,” said Lekan Gbadamosi, SFV Scorpions President and Director of Coaching. “We are able to match the names with the clubs here and see the expansion of the league. We were here three years ago. We had a smaller group and it has expanded enormously.”
“It’s been good to see all the teams working together in soccer. At times you see organizations butting heads,” said Webb. “Everybody is trying to help each other here. A team was asking about sponsorships and things I can help them with — if I have questions they will do the same for me.”
Promotion/Relegation In the UPSL
In light of the recent news of promotion/relegation makings its way onto the UPSL scene, the highlight of the topic focused on requirements to meet standards and growing your brand.
“I think it’s a good thing because it will allow for team owners, coaches and players to evaluate themselves in order to see how deep they are going to dig to play at that top level,” said Robert Rake, Founder and Owner of OC Crew. “If they can’t meet that standard, they can go down to another level to rebuild or rebrand.”
The promotion/relegation system can be seen as a motivation for increasing competition in the UPSL, which will field over 30 teams in California this season.
“I’ve been asking for this for the past couple of years,” said Gbadamosi. “We want to see the league grow and as a club owner I want my team to be challenged. Why are we doing this if we don’t challenge ourselves? Promotion/relegation helps teams that are having trouble developing go down in order to help find their own identity.”
For some, the thought of being relegated will provide the x-factor that competitors will always hope to avoid.
“It gives the league a professional feel. It raises the stakes a bit because you don’t want to get relegated,” said William Velasquez, SFV Scorpions head coach and graphic designer. “You will be trying extra hard because obviously you always want to be among the top dogs.”
SoccerToday’s Diane Scavuzzo spoke on our Media Partnership with the UPSL as we remain dedicated to growing the game.