There has been a not-so-quiet redirection in the world of Washington Youth Soccer. Have you heard about it?
The PDL (known locally as the Player Development League, but not to be confused with the PDL of the United Soccer Leagues) has given way to the new Regional Club League (RCL) which has officially aligned itself with Washington Youth Soccer.
In my role as columnist over at Washington Youth Soccer I talked with the two Co-chairs of the RCL Committee about the new league and how it came together. The change to the new league happened in part to add power to the governing process via the State offices. “The Regional Club approach is aimed at developing players through a club-based development model,” Co-chair Tom Ament told me in the Q & A sessions. “This takes an investment in the right governance and technical infrastructure, and a reasonable base of players.”
The birth of the RCL has also spawned a mini-spree of mergers amongst smaller clubs looking to meet RCL entry requirements. “We’ve already seen a number of club mergers, and expect we’ll continue to see association and club mergers both inside and outside the current Regional Club group,” says Ament.
On Friday July 2 Washington Youth Soccer announced the clubs that would make up the 2010-2011 RCL.
Blackhills FC Olympia
Vancouver United Timbers Vancouver
Crossfire Premier Redmond
Club Dosveedanya Kent
Eastside FC Mercer Island
Evergreen/Washington Rush Everett
FC Alliance Woodinville
FC Greater Renton Renton
Federal Way United SC Federal Way
Harbor FC Gig Harbor
Highline Premier FC Seattle
NorthWest Nationals Mountlake Terrace
Seattle United * Seattle
Snohomish United Snohomish
Spokane Shadow Spokane
Sun City Strikers Yakima
Three Rivers SC Pasco
Washington Premier FC Tacoma
Westsound FC Premier Silverdale
Whatcom FC Rangers Bellingham
Washington Soccer Academy Premier Camas
Currently, teams from the entire state of Washington are represented in the RCL, including Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Spokane, Olympia, Bellingham, Yakima, Vancouver and the Kitsap Peninsula.
Seattle United, the premier club formed within the Seattle Youth Soccer Association, has been invited into the league as a probationary member. United was formed recently and was not a part of the PDL.
The RCL was born out of the “seamless soccer” movement. The movement concentrates in part on aligning clubs and associations under a system that allows players to advance their level of play within a clearer, intently designed system.
As with any change, the new league has been met with both healthy skepticism and broad attacks on WPS-Soccer.com’s forums.
The RCL will begin play this fall. Washington Youth Soccer is currently registering teams from amongst the selected clubs for the league.