US Club Soccer has announced it will sanction a statewide u11-u19 competitive league platform, including postseason traditional state tournament play in the state of Oklahoma, beginning in the Fall 2017 season. This landmark initiative for Oklahoma soccer will leverage US Club Soccer’s programming on behalf of member clubs in the State of Oklahoma.
“We’re excited to welcome Oklahoma Premier Clubs to US Club Soccer,” said John Borozzi, US Club Soccer Vice President. “These clubs’ commitment to their players, as well as growth opportunities for coaches and referees, aligns with US Club Soccer’s mission and the Players First philosophy.”
Five of Oklahoma’s top seven clubs by membership size, facilities, and state and regional level accolades are making a full commitment to participation in this innovative new platform. Northeast Oklahoma FC (NEOFC), Oklahoma Celtic, South Lakes Cosmos, TSC Hurricane, and West Side Alliance S.C. (WSA), have each committed to Oklahoma Premier Clubs as the primary leaguing platform for their competitive membership moving forward. These five clubs represent a major portion of the competitive soccer membership population in Oklahoma soccer today, and will bring several decades of consistent, experienced, and innovative leadership to the forefront in leading this new endeavor.
OPC will have a player-centric focus while collaborating and investing in coach and referee development. Each OPC member will work together to raise standards that improve the player experience so that each player has the opportunity to reach their full potential and enjoy the game more.
“TSC Hurricane is extremely excited to be part of the unification of these leading clubs in raising the standards for youth soccer in Oklahoma. OPC is a game changer. Embracing Diversity is one of OPC’s core values and one of the strengths of our team is that each of our clubs bring diverse viewpoints and ideas while also sharing a common philosophy, mission and resources, " reports TSC Hurricane Executive Director Jim Tindell.
We fully understand that as a leading club in Oklahoma, we have a responsibility to our players, coaches and members to provide the most effective and quality competitive platform possible. The quality of the programming has a direct impact on the development and experience of all our players, coaches, partners and members. We are excited to be working side-by-side with all of the OPC clubs to lead the direction of player development, exposure and player path opportunities across Oklahoma. By working together as a team, the potential for what the OPC can achieve is limitless, “ Tindell continues.
In addition Oklahoma Premier Clubs will include a Regional League platform through US Club’s National Premier League (NPL). The NPL Red River will launch in the Fall of 2017, and will host top teams from each club in OPC, and will be joined by a conference of clubs from North Texas, Kansas and Arkansas, providing reasonable, economical and logical travel for a regional league platform.
“Oklahoma Celtic is excited about being a part of the Oklahoma Premier Clubs. We believe the clubs already involved in this league share a similar vision for player development and know this will be a fantastic opportunity to create the best environment for our players and teams to grow. We feel US Club is in the forefront of player development and joining them will give our club great benefit through its multiple player and coach identification and development programs,“ says Oklahoma Celtic Director Don Rother
NEOFC Executive Director, Alex Miranda reports, "NEOFC is proud to usher in this historic change for soccer in Oklahoma. Our club believes in the OPC’s collaborative approach as the guiding principle for developing a league platform, which provides the best player experience at all developmental levels. Through a vast range of programs, we believe OPC offers the most innovative developmental opportunities for players, coaches, and game officials alike. OPC’s focus and determination in establishing standards of excellence for its member clubs, directly aligns with our club’s vision of offering the best overall experience for families, players, and coaches. We look forward to working with all OPC clubs in this exceptional player-centric environment."
OPC clubs are joining forces to leverage the power of their combined resources to transform the landscape for all players in Oklahoma centered on player, coach and referee development while creating multiple player pathway opportunities whether it be from club-to-college, club-to-National Team or club-to-professional. OPC programming will also bring the clubs more closely in alignment with US Soccer Development Academy and ECNL standards and recommendations.
OPC member benefits will include access to US Club Soccer’s ID2/PDP programming, an Olympic Development Program that helps identify players for national pool selection. This innovative concept will expose every player of the OPC to weekly evaluation opportunities through league play, and in-house recommendation avenues, bringing a new level of ongoing exposure to the player.
OPC member benefits will extend to coach symposiums for coach education, the development of a coach network, training standards, sharing best practices, referee development, US Club Soccer’s Player’s First initiatives for safety and health of players, and a streamlined league management process provided by the experts at Prime Time Sports. Prime Time Sports has over 80 years of event management experience including select soccer leagues in the Dallas Ft. Worth Metroplex. Their professional league management will reduce the workload on the clubs, allowing clubs to focus on their intended “player-centric” models. Additionally the league website services will be provided by Blue Star Sports the PTS parent company. Blue Star Sports is a leading provider of sports management software and payment solutions.
“The leadership from the OPC clubs have a great vision for soccer development in the region and we at Prime Time Sports and Blue Star Sports are pleased to partner with their league by providing event management services to build an even stronger platform,” reports Bandon Hollmann, COO at Prime Time Sports a Blue Star Sports company.
OPC league scheduling will include proper periodization that is influenced by club technical directors. This means that the league schedule will account for rest and recovery periods, as well as proper game to training session ratios for a consistent and annualized calendar for the player as well as the families who support the player. Through their home club recreational bases, OPC member clubs will also have control of nearly every major club-based complex in the state while also having access to independent complexes. Multi-million dollar investments are also currently underway or planned at the majority of the OPC complexes.
“South Lakes Soccer Club is excited about the new Oklahoma Premier Clubs announcement with US Club Soccer. Having soccer minded individuals in decision making roles is a "game changer". The OPC leadership will have more knowledge and experience than any other League in Oklahoma's soccer history. The collaboration of clubs and the caliber will be second to none. With having like minded soccer Directors all working together to benefit the players, Oklahoma cannot lose. It has been great working with this group on the creation and launch of the OPC. SLSC looks forward to an exciting future!” says South Lakes Director of Coaching Brandon Lawless.
With the participation of five of Oklahoma’s most historic, reputable, and accomplished soccer clubs, the OPC will become the medium for tremendous player development opportunity, and enhanced overall player experience opportunities. OPC will collectively have the largest and most credentialed coaching staff network in the state. This innovative new platform is not only about the expanded opportunities it brings to all our elite players, but it is intended for ALL our players no matter what experience level, age or background. The combination of size, resources, network, experience and diversity of ideas that each club brings is powerful and will be unmatched in the state of Oklahoma.
“WSA is not only excited, but enthused to be a part of this endeavor on behalf of Oklahoma soccer. We see the opportunity presented by OPC as providing the latitude necessary to properly support and nurture our teams, and ultimately serve our players. The early participating clubs in OPC represent for us a formidable leadership base that we are encouraged to be a part of. We fully understand our responsibility to our players and families and our responsibility as a member of the Oklahoma soccer community, and it is for this reason we are eager to facilitate the OPC vision on behalf of Oklahoma soccer, “ reports WSA Executive Director Roger Bush.
OPC membership is open through an application process to interested clubs that meet the criteria established by OPC. OPC forecasted team expenses reflect a small negative delta (less expensive than previous team fees have been). Registration, tryout, team formation, and league start dates will go relatively unchanged. Please visit our information page for FAQ’s and more league information at each club’s website or the soon to be launched www.OkPremierClubs.com.