The race to crown the first-ever champions of the South Atlantic Premier League will heat up a bit more this weekend, when all 24 teams come together for the league’s second round of matches Feb. 2-3 at the Palisades Soccer Complex in Charlotte, N.C.
Following the inaugural NPL South Atlantic Premier League Kick Off, which was hosted by Charlotte United FC on Dec. 8, this weekend’s matches will give teams a chance to either keep their winning starts going or get back in the title hunt.
With U-13 and U-14 boys and girls divisions, the SAPL is comprised of six elite clubs from around the region: Augusta Arsenal (Ga.), Atlanta Fire United (Ga.), Charlotte United FC (N.C.), FC Alliance (Tenn.), Triangle United (N.C.), and Roanoke Stars (Va.).
SAPL champions will earn a spot in the 2013 NPL Champions Cup
(Denver, July 18-22), and that added to the buzz around December’s Kick Off event, which was attended by NPL General Manager Chris Baer.
“It was a great kick off weekend for the NPL’s South Atlantic Premier League,” Baer said. “We had the perfect recipe for exciting soccer: good fields and good referees with quality clubs and players."
SAPL teams played two matches each during the opening weekend, with a handful taking the pitch again on Jan. 19. Seven of the 24 squads remain unbeaten, and four have gotten off to perfect starts: Atlanta Fire United U-13 boys, Charlotte United FC U-14 boys, FC Alliance U-13 girls and Atlanta Fire United U-13 girls.
League Administrator and Charlotte United Director of Coaching Sean Carlisle came away from the Kick Off excited about the future for the league, which was organized to consolidate the region’s elite players and teams, providing top-notch competition.
“Speaking for Charlotte United, the staff feels that the NPL platform is a great way to expose our players to a very challenging, stimulating and competitive environment,” Carlisle said. “It is an excellent opportunity for these players to continue to progress and develop.”
For more on the league or to keep up with scores and standings, visit the SAPL Home Page