Peninsula Soccer League Joins NorCal Community
Taking the next step to create a true amateur soccer pyramid in Northern California, NorCal Premier Soccer and LIGA NorCal announced Tuesday the Peninsula Soccer League will be joining the organization as its first regional soccer league.
The goal of LIGA NorCal is to have multiple separate but connected adult amateur regional leagues around the state, with the top teams from each league earning promotion into LIGA Premier, NorCal’s top division of adult soccer.
“Worldwide the greatest number of people playing soccer do so for recreation, for enjoyment, for social reasons,” said Norcal Premier Soccer President Benjamin Ziemer, “In the United States most people participate recreationally or competitively in the youth game but then, after spending their youth in their soccer club, after turning 19 or returning from college, they are forced to compete in a myriad of other unconnected leagues, indoor and outdoor, just to be able to continue to play soccer.
“Our goal is to allow and encourage soccer clubs to develop men’s and women’s soccer teams using their club members to allow a lifetime connection to the club and the friends they played with during the youth soccer days,” Ziemer added.
And while a timetable for promotion from any of Peninsula Soccer League’s nine teams isn’t yet set, the addition of the league represents the first step in LIGA Premier’s lofty aspirations, which begin this September with a fall-to-spring, European-style league (sign ups end August 15 and the application can be found here).
“This is the next step in uniting the amateur adult soccer structure in Northern California,” said NorCal Premier Soccer Director of Adult Soccer Cris Gilmore. “We envision a future in which NorCal will provide the best opportunities in the state for providing a way for adults to stay involved in the game.”
“We are currently in discussions with other leagues across NorCal interested in connecting with LIGA — this is only the beginning,” Gilmore added. “We envision a soccer environment where we cater to our entire community from youth to adults. Soon we will begin to connect with the over-30 crowd.”
Founded in 1957, Peninsula Soccer League is one of the oldest continuously-running and competitive amateur soccer leagues in the state, featuring clubs from the South Bay area.
“Whether it’s the league structure or streamlining all the issues that can arise from organizing adult soccer, I think NorCal does a fantastic job,” said PSL league liaison Jake Morrison. “Bringing that to NorCal was a no-brainer.”
One of such clubs, Santa Clara Sporting, is affiliated with its NorCal club youth namesake, something that those involved hope to replicate more of in the coming years.
“That was my pitch when we sat down at our AGM,” Morrison said. We are the top of the amateur pyramid, but the majority of guys are going to play in a league like ours, so we need to have a better attachment to hooking up with youth teams.
“In the future, this is the model that NorCal wants to go to…so how can we create relationships with the clubs in our community?” he added. “I want to get the local communities on board and get youth clubs involved.”
“It’s great to have an organization like NorCal and a guy like Cris, who has the vision to push (the league) and promote it, while at the same time honoring the history of the PSL,” Morrison said. “We don’t want to forget about that kind of stuff. We want to honor (our predecessors) and build something in that vision.”
For more information about Peninsula Soccer League, click here. For those seeking further information in seeing how this can work in your community or region, please contact Cris Gilmore at [email protected]