Looking forward to 2019

With the year drawing to a close, we thought we’d reflect on what we’re looking forward to next year. As you can see by our responses, the NPSL Founders Cup is definitely on our minds!

Dan - Founders Cup 2019

I’m a big fan of what the NPSL has done so far putting this tournament and eventual professional league. I have concerns of course, but what’s not to love about a new professional league rising from this competition. The clubs involved are exciting and fun to watch. I can’t wait for the Founders Cup (even making plans to attend if possible)!

Steven - Riverside Coras FC’s 50th season

The staff and I have been putting in a lot of work over the last couple months. 2019 is set to be the biggest year in our history. Our new coach is a Hometown Hero and looks to be the leader the Coras need to get back into the NPSL playoffs. We are also working on tons of new content that will help put Riverside Soccer on the map. NPSL South West division is competitive and with the added clubs and a few teams getting ready for NPSL Pro, this season is going to be great!

Shawn - Founders Cup 2019

I have to agree with Dan on this.  I’ve been following the NPSL closely over the last few years, so when the rumors began to swirl I started getting excited.  Now that it’s a reality, I can’t wait to see how it plays out and see who starts to flex those muscles.

Phil - Growth of Soccer

“Grow the Game” was an extremely cringe-worthy catchphrase that made its way around US Soccer about 10 years ago and it feels like an extremely small amount of tangible success actually exists from this “growth.” However, the literal growth of the game, whether through new leagues or new clubs in new areas, is occurring through those entities. There are more teams, more cities being represented, more opportunities for players, managers and supporters than ever before. We can still want a lot of reform around US Soccer, but this is a good thing. The good news, these systems are built to handle more teams and I hope we can do that in a way that rewards clubs that have fostered a positive culture.

Dominic - Founders Cup 2019

Not to be that guy, but I agree with Shawn and Dan that the Founders Cup is the thing I’m most looking forward to next year outside of continuing to see my clubs play. The Founders Cup has two clubs in the midwest (Milwaukee Torrent and Detroit City, both only one or two states away from me) and that makes me all the more excited as I feel the northern midwest is a hugely underappreciated region in modern American soccer with only one MLS franchise in the area and two USL League One franchises (the USL Championship has none). Having pro soccer grow here while avoiding the horrible franchise business of American sports is a perfect combo for me.

Josh – Founders Cup 2019 and its impact on NPSL

The era of NPSL pro is upon us, there are currently 11 clubs who have decided they either make enough money at the gates to fund a season of lengthily travel or that they simply have enough money to burn. Conversely, there are a ton of NPSL clubs who are hesitant to throw their lot in with the emerging professional branch of their league. I am looking forward to seeing the Founders Cup being very successful and have fingers crossed that NPSL are able to wrangle sponsorship large enough to help clubs who might not have it in the bank to join, but might have the ambition to grow and the market potential to do so.

Brian -- Hopefully Meeting Some or All of My Protagonist Soccer Colleagues

I would have said Founders Cup 2019 as well, but that is only because of the writing done by my colleagues at Protagonist Soccer. All of them seem to at least be at the Master’s level regarding their knowledge of lower tier US Soccer, while I am just now getting into my 200-level classes. I love reading their stories about clubs I had previously never heard of before, and then following them. I am sneaky like that. If it were not for this project, I would never have met or spoken to people like Rose Shoen, Sam Seibert, Gary Wiggins, Vinny Bell, Coletun Long, and so many more. Men and women who have passion; the kind of people you want to be around on a daily basis.

Plus, since most of the gang are located around the country, it allows me to see more of the United States. Soccer here is just like the food, the accents, etc. It has slight differences in the Pacific Northwest, in the Mid-Atlantic, in TEXAS and so on. That is what makes each day seem like the first day of soccer school.