Soaring To The Top – The Story of The 2019/2020 UPSL Champions
The Maryland Bobcats earned their berth in the UPSL National Final Four and soared to the final, becoming the 2019/2020 UPSL Fall Champions this past weekend.
Yan Skwara, Commissioner of the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) says, “The UPSL Congratulates the Maryland Bobcats on a great run. The Bobcats came into the semi-final as a favorite and showed just why by batting it out, back-to-back. beating both Soda City in the semis and knocking out the Santa Ana Winds squad in the final.”
“It takes a great squad to be a UPSL Champion. The state of Maryland now has a great local club that the state can be proud of as a National Champion.”Yan Skwara, Commissioner UPSL
UPSL Spotlight: Maryland Bobcat
What started as a group of guys looking to play high-quality soccer has blossomed into one of the four best amateur clubs in America. This weekend, the Maryland Bobcats are letting the entire Country know that soccer is played in Maryland, and it’s played well.
Ten years ago, a group of guys in the Montgomery County area of Maryland decided they wanted to get together and continue playing soccer at a highly competitive level. Some fresh out of college, others looking to stay fit, together they formed a club by the name of World Class Premier Elite.
In fact, not only did a few of the players have the opportunity to play soccer at the collegiate level, but most were part of the 2014 University of Maryland, Baltimore County NCAA Division I Final Four squad.
As the thirst for competition grew, the club started seeking out higher levels of competition, albeit, the United Premier Soccer League. “We really wanted a step up in professionalism,” stated Evan Raimist, the team’s Director of Marketing.
“We want to have the most professional atmosphere that we can and the UPSL was the next stepping stone in that. The UPSL really gave us our independence,” said Raimist. “We have control over our own brand, it gave us the ability Nationally and competitively to attract partnerships and sponsorships and grow as a club. The past nine months have taken off further than anywhere we’ve gotten in the past ten years. From a player’s perspective, the league has given us a platform Nationally and Internationally to showcase the abundance of talent that we have at our club”.
Taken off it has. So much so that the club is going through an entire re-brand.
They competed this weekend as the Maryland Bobcats and will officially roll out with the re-brand this spring.
“We incorporated the name of our State because that is who we want to represent. We have DC United, but that’s not Maryland. We really wanted to give the State something they could get behind.”Evan Raimist, Director of Marketing
It doesn’t stop at the name though. This club bleeds Maryland from the ownership down. “We wear black and gold which is UMBC’s colors,” mentioned Raimist. “The ownership group all met there. They had this vision in college that they wanted to be owners of a soccer club. The gold and black were their way of thanking the college for giving them the friendships that ten years later could balloon into this club.”
The Bobcats have experienced nothing but success since joining the UPSL. After not losing a single game during the regular season, the team dominated during the playoffs and has wound up in Miami for the National Final Four.
“The league has really taken us to places that we have never been,” said Raimist. “Last weekend was a great example. We got all the players on the plane, flew to Miami, it’s an experience that a lot of guys, even those who have played at the Major League Soccer level, did not get to experience.”
Editor’s Note: Raimist name was originally misprinted as Raymond and we apologize for this error and any confusion it may have caused … and Congratulations.