SoccerToday NPSL Spotlight Series
Soccer News: The soccer scene has been exploding and the sport’s popularity increasing substantially. The National Premier Soccer League – NPSL for short – is the country’s largest amateur soccer league with 80 teams competing in 2016. SoccerToday’s special coverage on the this 4th Division of the U.S. Soccer pyramid, gives soccer fans a glimpse into the life of the teams.
Just so you know, NPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Soccer Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and some NPSL teams have performed very well. NPSL is affiliated with both the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA).
OSA FC is an American Soccer Club with Italian influence that was created with the aim of bridging the two different soccer realities and creating a cultural exchange between Italy and USA. OSA FC has a Men’s NPSL team as well as a Women’s WPSL team.
Learn more about OSA FC from Owner Giuseppe Pezzano.
Diane Scavuzzo: When did you become involved with OSA FC and the NPSL?Giuseppe Pezzano: I started the team in 2013, and 2015 was our first season with the league. I chose the NPSL because I believe that it’s a stable league that has a great future, and it’s a league where you can find talented players that can go on to play professionally.
Diane Scavuzzo: Do you feel that NPSL is doing a good job with the challenges of amateur/pro men’s soccer?
Giuseppe Pezzano: Yes, and especially so with the partnership the NPSL has created with the NASL. It seems to me that the USL has mostly become the reserve teams for the MLS. The W league folded, and the PDL isn’t growing compared to the growth that the NPSL has experienced — just look a the number of new teams in the NPSL compared to the PDL.
The natural consequence is that NPSL teams will become farms from where players will be seen and be able to go on to play pro soccer, and thanks to the NASL relationship the connection is direct.
Giuseppe Pezzano: My area is heavily Seattle Sounders and MLS influenced, so its difficult for other leagues to get in. I hope more local clubs will start to understand the potential of the NPSL, but if not we have been lucky to join with the Golden Gate conference and will continue playing California teams.
Diane Scavuzzo: Who is your head coach and why did you select him?
Giuseppe Pezzano: Our head coach is Filippo Milano. He is Italian and knows the methodology, style of play and how to coach this style.
Diane Scavuzzo: How would you describe your team’s style of play?
Giuseppe Pezzano: We use an Italian methodology of training which focuses on technical and tactical play. We bring in some players from Italy each season which helps our local players be able to quickly understand and implement this style of play on the field in games.
Diane Scavuzzo: Would you like to see European style promotion and relegation exist in the USA?
Giuseppe Pezzano: I would like to see this, but I am convinced that it will never happened here, with the way the US soccer system is set up.
We can, however, find ways to continue to incentivize and develop soccer in other ways. My idea is for the NPSL league is to buy two franchise spots in the NASL.
In the first year, the first and second place NPSL teams would be promoted to the NASL and from then on the NPSL team that does the best in the NASL would stay in and the other would be relegated, the winning NPSL team would then be promoted.
This would have to be regulated well so that only teams with the financial stability, proper facility, etc. would be able to be promoted, as to avoid any problems, but it would be a way to create an opportunity for promotion and relegation.
Diane Scavuzzo: What team do you believe does the best at promoting the game?
Giuseppe Pezzano: Chattanooga FC obviously did an amazing job at promoting their final game, the number speak for themselves.
Diane Scavuzzo: Who do you believe is your biggest rival?
Giuseppe Pezzano: I’d have to say the Portland Spartans.
Diane Scavuzzo: What are your goals for 2016?
Giuseppe Pezzano: We will be focused on creating another cohesive team and will work to make the playoffs again.