Milwaukee Torrent Puts Players & Community First
One of the first owners to do so, Andreas Davi canceled the season for his Milwaukee Torrents in response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. Davi has been involved with the NPSL since 2009.
The Milwaukee Torrent‘s announcement today that the club will not field their National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) Men’s nor their Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) Women’s teams in 2020 surprised the market. Impacted by the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first amateur club to announce a year-long break.
The NPSL announced earlier it was suspending its Spring 2020 Men’s Soccer season as a result of the widespread pandemic, becoming the first American soccer league to cancel an entire season. The WPSL, at this time, is still preparing to play.
Andreas Davi, owner, and CEO of the Milwaukee Torrent has canceled play primarily in response to his commitment to player safety. “It is not safe right now, it is way too dangerous. The first priority is the health of our players, coaches, staff and our fans.”
With 3,267 season tickets already sold for the upcoming 2020 soccer season, fans will be disappointed.
This decision was made because we are a community-based club, and that means we have to put the community first.Andreas Davi, owner, and CEO of the Milwaukee Torrent
While preseason ticket sales for 2020 reflected an increase of more than 1,000 tickets compared to sales from 2019, Davi recognizes that as a soccer organization, the Milwaukee Torrent relies on its sponsors. He believes it is impossible to garner financial support from sponsorships in the midst of this Coronaviru COVID-19 pandemic.
“I do not believe it is even right to ask sponsors for money right now.”Andreas Davi, owner, and CEO of the Milwaukee Torrent
“Several of our sponsors are currently closed or facing drastically reduced business because of the COVID-19 situation. We cannot in good conscience ask them to support us at a time when they are facing serious financial constraints,” said Davi.
Not having a youth soccer club under the adult teams requires the club to have the NPSL and WPSL teams be entirely self-supporting. “We do not have youth program, so we can’t charge an extra $50 dollars to 1,000 youth players and all of a sudden have $50K to fund our NPSL and WPSL teams,” said Davi who was also quick to point out that doing this was not a fair proposition.
The overriding point is we cannot be sure that we can provide a safe situation for everyone – and that’s a risk that we will not take,” said Davi.
The Milwaukee Torrent, the only men’s outdoor soccer team with professional players in the Milwaukee area, had just brought on a new head coach, Carlos “Cacho” Córdoba, a former Argentine player. Before moving to the USA and becoming a coach, “Cacho” helped Argentine club Boca Juniors win three Argentine First Division Championships.
As far as fielding the women’s team this year, the WPSL is a league with a high percentage of collegiate players and following CDC guidelines probably requires kicking off the season later this summer — and that would make it extremely difficult for clubs as many of their WPSL players would be called in to start preparing for the college season.
Davi has already started planning for 2021. “If there is any positive to be taken from this unfortunate situation, it is that we can take some time and focus solely on our future,” said Davi. The Milwaukee Torrent has a new leadership structure in place having recently added Bonnie Peplinski, President; Melanie Sobelman, Vice President; Chris Knowlton, Vice President Sales and Development; and Jen Scherer, Vice President of Operations.
“Looking forward, our goal remains to have the Torrent men’s team join a third-tier professional league, either USL League One or the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA).
Davi also runs the Milwaukee Torrent-Bayer Leverkusen camp,
which is currently scheduled for June 22-26 in Oconomowoc and states the dates may have to change. Leverkusen Academy coaches may not be available that week and all soccer in Germany also is currently suspended.
On a final note, Davi wanted to make sure to thank his 2019 sponsors including Leff’s Lucky Town, Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin, Mob Craft Beer, Parallel Employment Group, La Quinta Inns and Suites, Sobelmans Pub N Grill, Coach USA, Confluence Graphics, WPS Health Insurance, Werner & Associates, Splat!dpi, Nick Webster – RBC Wealth Management and Bell Ambulance.