US Club Soccer has announced the creation of a fourth division within the Mountain Developmental League for the 2013-14 season, as five clubs will join the National Premier Leagues (NPL) platform to compete in the Las Vegas Division.
This fall, Downtown Las Vegas SC, Heat FC, Las Vegas Neon FC, Las Vegas Premier Sports Academy and Las Vegas Sports Academy will begin play in the U-12 through U-18 boys and girls age groups.
“We’re very excited about the addition of the Las Vegas Division,” NPL General Manager Chris Baer said. “These clubs are all high-level competitors who will only enhance the Mountain Developmental League and the NPL, and we look forward to seeing them on the field in the fall.”
The Las Vegas Division expands the Mountain Developmental League to 23 clubs in four divisions across five states, joining the Colorado Division, Arizona/New Mexico Division and Utah Division, which was announced in April and will also debut this fall. Two of the five clubs will join from the Southern California NPL, where Heat FC and LVSA previously competed.
“Heat FC is looking forward to continuing our relationship with the NPL in the new Las Vegas Division of the Mountain Developmental League,” Heat FC Technical Director Eddie Henderson said. “We think the NPL has been a great addition to the development of our existing teams, and we look forward to introducing the quality of play to our younger teams in the years to come.”
As with all NPLs, the winners of the Mountain Developmental League will advance to the NPL Champions Cup, where they will take on top competition from around the country in a true “champions league” competition. The 2013 NPL Champions Cup will be held July 18-22 in Aurora, Colo., and the Utah clubs hope to earn spots in next year’s edition.
“We are thrilled to join the Mountain Developmental League and give our players a chance to compete at a high level,” LVSA and LVPSA Director of Coaching Tommy Tate said. “With the many player identification programs and the opportunity to play for a national championship, the Mountain Developmental League gives us a great platform for our players to take advantage of the many great opportunities that US Club Soccer has to offer.”
Las Vegas will also be the site of the inaugural NPL National Showcase, an interleague event featuring top NPL teams from across the country. Planned for March 7-9, 2014, at Heritage Park, the NPL National Showcase will have a limited number of spots available for boys teams in the U-16, U-17 and U-18 age groups, with preferential acceptance based on final standings from the 2012-13 NPL season.