The Leagues

Image courtesy of Ryan Stallings and Roots Up

Image courtesy of Ryan Stallings and Roots Up

It was proposed to us on Twitter, in response to an article on another website about another league. We get a lot of tags and mentions and, while I’ve looked for the tweet that sparked this, I couldn’t find it. I’m sure whoever originally tagged us will mention it. Anyway, it was a list of the top follows in MLS, which, of course, we wouldn’t be on. But it sparked a conversation among our writers, if we made a list of 100 lower league accounts to follow, who would make the list?

So today we begin a week-long conversation with our readers. We’ll suggest who to follow and break them into categories. Agree, disagree, don’t care? We’ll love you regardless, just @ us.

The least controversial is our beginning point, that’s a list of the must-follow leagues across the country. We’ll offer some reasons why for some and include as many as we follow. This is the best way to tap into lower league soccer - follow and support the lower leagues.

@NPSLsoccer - The NPSL is a pretty clean-run Twitter account. By that, we mean you won’t see a bunch of gifs and RTs of non essential information (literally two minutes after writing this sentence, the account began posting gifs, so maybe people change?). The account mainly retweets its member clubs, which is a great way to get to know the clubs that make up the league. Follow it and you’re going to get a buttoned-up, respectable account. Of course, to be transparent, we’re media partners with the NPSL and big fans of the league and their clubs.

@NPSLFC - At the point of writing this, not a single post has been made yet, but it’s coming. This is the official account of NPSL Founders Cup. And if you aren’t pumped about Founders Cup, why are you even reading our website? The anticipation is killing all of us!

@UPSLsoccer - The UPSL is one of the fastest growing leagues in the country, you should be following this account for the near constant stream of new clubs popping up all everywhere. The account is run more loose than the other big national league, but that can lead to more laughs, if we’re being honest.

@GCPLsoccer - One of the most exciting regional leagues, the Gulf Coast Premier League has begun to branch into new territories, adding new clubs that fit the expectations of the league. The existing members are well-branded, solid clubs. The league twitter handle reflects that same approach. Mostly retweets of club handles.

@GPPLOfficial - Great Plains Premier League was announced last year, but information has been a slow drip. The GPPL is a conference of the GCPL, which REALLY expands the influence and impact of the previously regional league to a national level. Bugeaters just announced their arrival in the new conference, but who else is involved is still mostly rumor. Following this conference/league handle is a must, as this year should be a whirlwind of developments as it moves towards 2020.

@NISALeague - Show us someone who says they know what is going on with NISA and I’ll show you a liar. The whole league is cloaked in secrecy, but that only makes it more interesting. What clubs will be playing in NISA - no one is sure. We expect those answers to begin filtering out over the next couple of weeks, so following their twitter account is a damn good idea.

The rest of this list is a who’s who of regional soccer leagues. We’re big believers in their importance to the pyramid and overall health of soccer in the United States. Obviously follow the big national leagues, but find a local league and dig in. Great soccer is all around you.

Western Washington Premier League (Washington State) - @WWPLsoccer

Maryland Major Soccer League (Maryland and surrounding states) - @MarylandMajors

Buffalo and District Soccer League (Buffalo, NY) - @OfficialBDSL

Bay State Soccer League (Massachusetts) - @baystatesoccer

Washington Premier League (Washington DC area) - @WPLsoccer

Wisconsin Primary Amateur Soccer League (Wisconsin) - @WPASLsoccer

Minnesota Amateur Soccer League (Minnesota) - @MASLorg

Evergreen Preview League (Washington State) - @EPLWA

Garden State Soccer League (New Jersey) - @GardenStateSocc

After this article ran, these leagues were added.

Cosmopolitan Soccer League (New York, New Jersey) - @CosmoLeague

So Cal Premier (California) - @socalpremier

San Francisco Soccer Football League - @SFSFL

Michigan Premier Soccer League - @MPSL_Soccer

Atlanta DIstrict Amateur Soccer League - @ADASL_soccer

Of course there’s leagues we haven’t mentioned, mostly because they are flying under the radar. If you have one we should have mentioned, hit us up @protagonistusa.

- Dan Vaughn

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