A League All-Time High Roster of Teams set to compete in the 2021 season
The Women’s Premier Soccer League unveiled Tuesday its roster of teams, as an all-time high 141 teams, who will compete during the upcoming season.
The league alignment features 16 conferences, spanning 32 states from coast-to-coast. The four region names remain the same – West, Central, South, and East, however, the composition of each varies significantly from previous seasons.
After canceling the 2020 season due to the Coronavirus Pandemic that impacted sports throughout the world, the WPSL added 34 new teams to its membership, including 32 expansion sides and two teams who return to the league following a two-season exodus.
On top of the 141 active clubs who will compete in 2021, an additional 18 teams have taken one season off due to the impact of COVID-19 or are in pending status awaiting local and state travel restrictions to be defined.
The WPSL, through expansion and realignment, has put the primary focus for the 2021 season on reducing travel to accommodate and adapt to the continual effects of the pandemic.
The West Region has acquired the Mountain Conference, consisting of teams in Colorado and Utah, from the Central Region. The Desert Division will now stand as its own conference and the Pac South has been renamed to the So Cal Conference.
For travel accommodations, both the So Cal and Pac North conferences have been split into two divisions.
The Central Region has acquired the Midwest Conference from the East Region and has been renamed the Midwestern Conference. The Heartland Conference has been disbanded and the region features a newly created Lake Michigan Conference, consisting of six teams among Chicago, Green Bay, and Milwaukee – some of which have been realigned from the Ohio Valley Conference in the East Region. The South Region has adjusted both the Sunshine and CarolinasConferences, with the addition of eight expansion teams, to accommodate travel concerns.
The Sunshine conference has been split into two divisions, putting teams in Tampa Bay and Orlando together and teams in the southern portion of Florida together. The Carolinas Conference has split into three divisions – Northern, Southern, and Atlantic to reduce team travel.
The East Region has seen the most growth with 16 additional teams. The Metropolitan Conference has been split into two divisions and the Mid-Atlantic Conference, which will be a stand-online conference, has been renamed to the Colonial Conference.
The WPSL’s 23rd season will run from May through late July. Conference and team schedules are projected to be released the week of March 22-26, as teams will play 8-to-12 matches throughout the 11-week season.
To reduce travel and hotel requirements in 2021, the league will not host a postseason and will crown 16 individual conference champions.
For additional information on the WPSL visit wpslsoccer.com or contact the league’s communication department.
The WPSL is in its 23rd season and is the largest women’s soccer league in the world with more than 130 clubs from coast-to-coast in 35 states. WPSL rosters feature elite collegiate, post-collegiate, international, and standout prep student-athletes. Many of the United States’ most accomplished women’s players have played in the WPSL, including household names such as Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, and Brandi Chastain.