Notable News from the NPSL Annual Owners Meeting

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The following is a series of observations and reports on important topics and developments from the NPSL’s Annual Owners Meeting (AOM). Several questions related to this article were sent to the NPSL for comment, however almost none of these questions were answered due to the information not being public. With that in mind, all speculation in this article is based around real sources with real connections to the event and/or the league.

New Chairman, Kenneth Farrell

Kenneth Farrell- previously best known in lower league soccer as the owner of the New Orleans Jesters -is replacing Joe Barone as Chairman of the Board of the National Premier Soccer League. Farrell was previously on the board and replaces Barone, Senior Vice President of the New York Cosmos, who had held the position for quite some time. The most interesting aspect of the move may be that the board will now be headed by someone not associated with the Founder’s Cup despite the competition’s forthcoming launch as the professional branch of the NPSL. While ties to the Founder’s Cup or the Cosmos were of course never necessary aspects of the position of chairman, having a key figure from the New York Cosmos (or a club similar to it in power and scale) no longer hold this position on the board will surely be an important factor in how the NPSL moves forward, especially as the Cosmos along with many of the other biggest NPSL clubs prepare to leap into a new era.

Deal with Catapult Sports

Images from the event revealed that the NPSL discussed Catapult Sports with its members, perhaps hinting at a league-wide deal with the company. Catapult Sports, founded in 2006, provides wearable monitoring technology, athletic data management, and video tools for clubs. The company’s site declares its mission statement: “We create technology to help athletes and teams perform to their true potential.”

When asked about the nature of this partnership, the NPSL declined to comment. With that in mind, the potential uses clubs could find for Catapult Sports products are quite clear and at the same time quite endless.

Deal with FC Global

The NPSL has announced a partnership with FC Global, a group which aims to connect clubs from around the world in order to organize friendlies. We spoke with the group to discover their origins and goals. “A couple of years ago I started bringing youth clubs from Mexico to play in tournaments such as the Dallas Cup and Cerritos Memorial Day Challenge Cup. I reached out to the Fort Worth Vaqueros a couple of years ago and we were able to organize the Tigres vs Vaqueros friendly and from there more doors opened up… This year we set up Club America vs Napa and Academica as well as Tigres vs Vaqueros”

When asked what they expected for the future of their relationship with the NPSL, FC Global had this to say, “We plan to set up more international friendlies (mainly from Mexico). We believe the Latino market is important for the future of the NPSL and by proving NPSL clubs a chance to play Liga MX teams, it will raise awareness among the community… We are looking to set up International Friendlies starting in March.”

NPSL 2 & NPSL Pro

Protagonist Soccer has had multiple sources acknowledge the development of a lower league within the NPSL, nicknamed the “NPSL 2.” Questions were sent, under the assumption that the NPSL 2 would be a major topic of the AOM, to the NPSL that questioned the rumors of promotion and relegation between NPSL 1 & 2, how reserve squads in the NPSL 2 would be or not be allowed to take part in promotion, and the entry or yearly fees for the league. All questions were respectfully declined for answering.

On the topic of NPSL Pro, the NPSL again declined to answer questions revolving around the potential for promotion and relegation between the pro and amateur leagues within the NPSL. It was announced during the writing of this article that the NPSL’s Founders Cup would be played in two split regions, with ASC San Diego, Cal FC, California United Strikers FC, FC Arizona, and Oakland Roots in the West while Chattanooga FC, Detroit City, Miami FC, Miami United, the Milwaukee Torrent, and the New York Cosmos in the East.

Chairman Kenneth Farrell had this to say on This Week in the NPSL in regard to the league’s continued work on figuring out how the leagues will coexist: “It’s going to be difficult working through all the details of it and there’s a task force working on that right now.”

Protagonist Soccer will continue to track these stories as they develop and keep you informed.

- Dominic Bisogno