NPSL Crest Feature: Nashville FC

Nashville FC is unique in the NPSL (and indeed, in the US) in that they are a supporter owned club. They are also unique in that they feature one of the most beautiful crests in US soccer. The crest features the club colors, which are taken from the colors of the state flag. What stands out in this crest is the seamless blend of sharp modern design with traditional elements that incorporates ‘NFC’ centered around le fleur de lis in a traditional circular crest. Each of these elements also ties the club to its local roots: the circular crest reflects the city’s musical heritage in that it adopts the shape of a record, and le fleur de lis is taken directly from the City of Nashville seal. You can find more on Nashville FC and their club crest on their website

Former NPSL Club Joins ASL

MUFC-logo-500 (2)Mass United dropped out of NPSL play prior to the 2013 season, and when the ASL was originally announced, Mass United was immediately a consideration as a founding club.Today the rumors were put to rest as former NPSL club Mass United has announced that they will join the upstart American Soccer League associated with former NPSL technical director Matt Driver.

The American Soccer League is being formed as a professional league with aims towards USSF division three sanctioning. According to the league website, the ASL “business model resolves issues that have hindered pro leagues in the past including large travel budgets, unorganized league structure, and high entry fees.” Just how they aim to do this remains to be seen.

Displacing USL Pro (or even the PDL or NPSL for that matter) seems like a tall order, especially for a league billing itself as ‘professional’. But, you can read about that here.

Golden Gate USOC Qualifying 2014

Credit: Terry Forte @strongpoint71

Credit: Terry Forte @strongpoint71

Thanks to @strongpoint71 for putting together this bracket for the 2104 US Open Cup qualifying campaign of the NPSL’s Golden Gate conference. Predictions are always a tough thing in a league that relies on college players as squads tend to vary from year to year, but if history is any indication then the Sonoma County Sol (2013 NPSL national runners up) will be the team to beat.

Incidentally, I am curious how the draw was completed as Real San Jose has a bye in the first round.*

*EDIT: Per @strongpoint71 (of the San Francisco Stompers front office), the draw is entirely random and not based on last seasons results.

NPSL Crest Feature: Madison 56ers

56erslogo2color

The Madison 56ers logo is as simple as it gets. It features the clubs red and white colors, the club name, and the 56 – representing the year of the clubs founding. It’s not an elegant crest by any stretch, but the simplicity of the logo speaks to its roots in the heartland of America. Instead of intense Star Wars age graphics, more clubs should stick with the minimalist approach – its hard to go wrong.

FXBG FC SLATED FOR NPSL IN 2015

FXBG FC (1)Press Release byTom Leiss via National Premier Soccer League.

The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) has accepted FXBG FC (Fredericksburg, Va.) into the league, with it beginning play as an expansion team for the 2015 season.

During 2014, the team will be training and playing friendlies while building its player pool and getting its name out in the community in anticipation for its official entrance into league play next year.

The team would enter the Mid-Atlantic Conference, which is the home of reigning 2103 NPSL National Champion RVA Football Club.

“NPSL is excited to add FXBG FC to the NPSL for the 2015 season.  The Mid-Atlantic Conference is adding another great club in a great market. With a 16 month runway to preparing for the 2015 season, Fredericksburg will be a successful addition to the NPSL, on and off the field,” NPSL President Michael Hitchcock said via email. “The City of Fredericksburg is a great location—filling the void between Washington D.C. and Richmond, Va.—providing an option for local players to develop and local supporters to have a team in their own backyard. ”

FXBG FC will be under the control of the Grover Gibson Soccer Foundation (GGSF), which also owns and operates RVA FC. The teams will be affiliated, but FXBG FC will be coached and operated by its own separate staff. The full staff will be announced at a later date.

GGSF founder and RVA FC coach Grover Gibson is proud to be able to bring a team to the area he grew up in and thinks this will only help NPSL continue to grow.

“I believe what we are trying to provide is a revolutionary way of thinking in how to help develop young players beyond their typical youth soccer environments,” Gibson said. “Fredericksburg is very capable of being a hotbed for supporting a NPSL team due to the central Virginia location and accessibility to Interstate-95.”

RVA FC’s success in 2013 also played a part in forming the new team according to Gibson, who added that it will also help the program grow by providing a more smooth transition for youth players hoping to play at the
collegiate level.

“We wanted to form this new team because we felt there was a need for younger players who are not yet able to make the jump into the RVA FC program, but still need to be in a proper nationally competitive league where they gain exposure to playing against older more mature players,” Gibson said.

Gibson said that he plans for this team to take over the roll of the current RVA Reserve team and to serve as a feeder to the RVA First Team.

“The team will be focused on mostly regionally-base high school-aged players, along with collegiate freshmen, but will also add some older more mature players to balance out the environment accordingly,” the former
German professional added about the talent pool for the team. “I don’t see many upper-level collegiate upperclassmen playing in this environment, as those players need to be playing for RVA FC at that stage of their career in order to be on a path that is professionally minded.”

FXBG FC is the first announced expansion team for the 2015 season, building on the exponential growth the league has shown heading into the 2014 season. Already, 20-plus new teams have joined the league following the 2013 campaign.

NPSL Adds Director of Officials

Hitchcock_Machnik_BaroneThe National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) has named Dr. Joseph Machnik as the league’s Director of Officials.The Director will work with individual conferences and regions to ensure that schedules are accurate, collaborate with United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and Puerto Rican Football Federation (Federación Puertorriqueña de Fútbol/FPF) local assignors to assign referees for all NPSL games, issue notices to members regarding cards and suspensions, oversee disputes being reviewed by the Discipline/Rules Committee, and review and update NPSL referee documents.

“NPSL and over 80 members all over the country welcome Joe Machnik as the NPSL Director of Officials,” NPSL Commissioner Michael Hitchcock stated. “In Joe Machnik, the NPSL, our teams, and our supporters are adding one of the country’s top soccer leaders to the league’s front office.  Joe brings a great deal of experience and expertise to the NPSL that will benefit the league on and of the field.”

Machnik brings literally decades of experience in several areas of the game to the fastest-growing national soccer league in North America.

Machnik is an accomplished coach, best known for his time with the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 1990 World Cup.  He also served as a head coach at the collegiate level for New Haven College/University of New Haven and Long Island University before moving on to the professional level.  He was the Head Coach/Vice President of Player Personnel for the New York Arrows of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) in addition to serving as the MISL’s Director of Operations and Director Operations/Commissioner for the American Indoor Soccer Association (AISA).

Since 1977 Machnik has been the President and Director of the No.1 Soccer Camps.  He also boasts a decorated career with Major League Soccer/Soccer United Marketing.  He served in a variety of capacities from 1997 through 2011, including Vice President of Game Operations, Director of Officiating Services, and Assistant to the Commissioner for On Field Competition.

He is a highly decorated official that currently serves in a variety of roles, including Match Official Coach for the Professional Referee Organization (PRO), National Assessor for USSF, National Assessor for the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NISOA), and Assignor for the North East Conference (NEC).

Machnik has served as a distinguished FIFA and CONCACAF Match Commissioner for the past eleven years, presiding over international friendlies, Gold Cup matches, and World Cup qualifiers.

“I have been watching the growth and development of the NPSL since my retirement from Major League Soccer,” Machnik added. “Commissioner Hitchcock and the Board of Directors have made the NPSL the fastest-growing league in the U.S. and I am most proud to be involved, working along with U.S. Soccer to provide quality officiating to its fast- paced up-tempo games.”

The addition of Machnik represents a major moment for the NPSL, bringing one of the most decorated soccer leaders in the history of the American game to a league experiencing unprecedented growth.  Machnik has received a laundry list of awards, including the prestigious Walt Chyzowych Memorial Award (2005) and being named to the National Soccer Hall of Fame (2003) as a NISOA inductee.

After a season with what seemed a record amount of red cards shown, some consistency in the leagues officiating is welcomed. To me, this addition demonstrates NPSL’s commitment to bettering their product and increasing standards.

Rochester United Seeking NPSL

Rochester UnitedCould there be an Empire Division in NPSL? It seems a possibility as NPSL could be getting two new clubs in Upstate New York come 2015. Syracuse is one possibility that is being explored, and it seems a group from Rochester is looking to join in 2015 as well under the Rochester United moniker.

Rochester is a city with a great soccer history, though any new club will have to compete with the Rochester Rhino’s of USL.

NPSL Crest Feature: Brooklyn Italians

brooklynitaliansThe Brooklyn Italians are a club with a storied history. The crest was re-designed this year, and the result is an iconic crest that represents the clubs Brooklyn and Italian roots. Featuring the clubs primary colors of blue and white, the red and green tie in the Italian heritage. The Brooklyn Bridge depiction has long been the primary feature of the crest, and this iteration is no different. Lastly, there are the two stars at the top of the crest representing the 1979 National Challenge Cup Championship and the 1991 US Open Cup Championship won by the club.