Sounders FC, Timbers FC and Thorns FC academy teams increase participation
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TUKWILA, Wash. (May 6, 2015) – The details and application process for the 2015-2016 US Youth Soccer Far West Regional League (FWRL) Northwest Division are now available.
Entering its 9th season, the FWRL is the premier league competition for US Youth Soccer’s Region IV (West), and is divided into three geographic divisions – Northwest, Desert, and California. The Region IV Far West Regional League joins the Region I Premier League, Region II Midwest Regional League and the Region III Southern Premier League as the top regional competitions throughout the country, with each feeding into the prestigious US Youth Soccer National League.
Each US Youth Soccer Regional League is comprised of the top teams in their respective region that have earned their spot based on a proven track record of success in US Youth Soccer competitions. The top finishers in each Regional League earn advancement to the US Youth Soccer Regional Championships, part of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, the oldest and most prestigious youth soccer national championship competition in the country, and a chance to earn a coveted spot in the US Youth Soccer National League.
Beginning in 2015-2016, Region IV has approved a National League qualifying competition between the three FWRL divisions, in which two of the three division champions will directly advance into the National League the following season. Details will be announced at a later date.
The FWRL Northwest is comprised of the top teams from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and British Columbia, Canada. Idaho, Oregon and Washington each hold automatic qualifying spots, while additional teams may be added based on application and acceptance by the FWRL Trustees.
The FWRL Northwest is excited to announce that Sounders FC and Portland Thorns FC academy teams will increase their participation in the league. The Sounders U14 and U15 boys academy teams will participate in the U15 and U16 divisions respectively, and the Thorns U16 and U18 girls academy teams will also be a part of the league in 2015-2016. Additionally, the Portland Timbers FC U14 boys academy team will join the league in the U15 age group. The top two teams from British Columbia’s EA Sports Premier League will also participate in both the U14 boys and girls divisions.
After undergoing a change in league management at the start of last season, several changes to the league format will occur for 2015-2016.
- Second Divisions: We have fielded enough interest in the FWRL Northwest that a second division may be added to some or all of the age groups based on application. When applying, teams will be asked which division they are applying for. During review of the applications, we will work with clubs to best accommodate a second division if applicable. We encourage all teams that are interested in participating in the FWRL Northwest to apply.
- Balanced Schedule: For the 2015-2016 season, there will be no self-schedule league matches. All games will be scheduled by the league and played accordingly once the schedule is officially released. Teams may use FWRL games to dual-count for local or state leagues, however the games must be played as scheduled by the FWRL. This change will ensure that the FWRL schedule is balanced for all teams, and no team will have a competitive advantage due to fewer games than an opponent during any given weekend.
- Referee Payment: In response to concerns about paying referees at the fields, teams will no longer be required to pay referees at the field before each game. Once the divisions and schedules have been finalized, the FWRL will collect all referee fees before the season and administer the assignment and payment of the best available referees for each weekend. The FWRL will again work to ensure that each FWRL game has a full crew of three referees.
- Team Schedules: Teams that apply should be prepared to travel to all scheduled games once the schedule is officially released on August 1. The full season schedule will be released prior to the start of the season.
Qualification and Team Selection
The following positions have earned an automatic spot in the league for the U13-18 Boys and Girls first divisions. Should an automatic qualifier not accept their position in the league, that spot is NOT guaranteed to the next-place finisher. Additional teams may be added to a division based on application and acceptance by the FWRL Northwest Trustees.
– Idaho Youth Soccer State Cup champion
– Top two finishers in Oregon Youth Soccer Timbers/Thorns League Premier Division (Fall season for U13-14 age groups)
– Oregon Youth Soccer State Cup champion
– Top three finishers in Washington Youth Soccer Regional Club League First Division (Fall season for U13-14 age groups)
– US Youth Soccer Washington State Championships champion
For the list of current automatic qualifiers, click here.
Idaho and Oregon will not enter teams in the U12 boys or girls divisions for 2015-2016 as both states will play small-sided-games at that age. The US Youth Soccer Region IV Far West Regional Championships will conduct an 11v11 competition for the Under-12’s, and the FWRL Northwest still holds an advancing spot to the Regional Championships in this age group. Therefore, all Washington RCL First Division teams will have the opportunity to use their position in the RCL standings to claim that spot. The FWRL Northwest will not administer a U12 competition.
The FWRL Northwest makes every effort to consider travel costs in scheduling. The highest priority for scheduling will be competitive balance, but cost control for teams will be a very important consideration. That being said, the FWRL is a regional league and teams must be prepared to travel up to four weekends to participate in this league.
Divisions and Schedules
Below are draft schedules based on the anticipated divisions. The FWRL Northwest reserves the right to change the number of teams per division and the schedule prior to the official release based on the application process. Should these schedules change, it is anticipated that only one additional weekend would be required per team. The field of teams will be announced June 8, and the official schedule is expected to be released on August 1.
Under-12 (Washington RCL – Fall)
Under-12 (Washington RCL – Fall)
The U15-18 Boys and Girls age groups will again play within the PacNW Winter Classic college showcase. In 2014-2015, more than 40 college scouts attended the showcase each gender weekend, and that number is expected to increase for 2015-2016.
College Scouting Opportunities
By eliminating self-schedule and dual-counted matches, the high school age groups will have better opportunities to draw college scouts with more games in one location consisting of the best teams from the Northwest. The FWRL is working to promote these weekends to college coaches throughout the West to provide more scouting opportunities to our high school aged teams.
Under-13 and Under-14: $750 per team (referee fees required after acceptance based on number of games to be played)
Under-15 through Under-18: $795 per team (referee fees required after acceptance based on number of games to be played)
League fees cover all expenses related to league games, including administrative and field costs. For the U15-18 teams, the league fees also cover all expenses for participation at the PacNW Winter Classic Showcase.
Once the divisions and schedules have been announced, the FWRL will collect the required referee fees from each team based upon the number of games to be played.
Application and Fees
All teams interested in participating in the 2015-2016 FWRL Northwest season must complete an application. The application period is now open and will close atmidnight on May 29th.
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