Building on the success of August’s National Premier Soccer League Championship Final, the NPSL has announced five expansion teams ahead of the 2016 season.
The fourth-tier of American soccer will welcome Grand Rapids FC, North County Battalion from Carlsbad, California, Birmingham Hammers, Little Rock Rangers and Shreveport Rafters FC.
With the addition of the five teams, the NPSL’s 2016 season with showcase 70 teams across the USA; although more teams could be announced in the coming months.
The league will once again feature a regional conference structure with conference winners gaining promotion to the playoffs. Last season, teams were split into 11 conferences throughout the country.
Shreveport is the most recent team to be announced for next season and will compete in the South Region’s South Central Conference.
“The Rafters expect to create a family-friendly soccer experience for all types of fans with a competitive team, engrained in furthering the game of soccer in our cities,” club co-owner Will Broyles explained.
“We have a wealth of knowledge in sporting event promotions and a love of the game. Our game day experience for fans will be unparalleled in the league.”
Little Rock Rangers will join Shreveport in the South Region, playing their games at War Memorial Stadium. The club hopes to grow the game in the state and build on the success of the league in the southern part of the USA.
“We hope to grow the awareness of this league and team, not only in Little Rock, but in the state of Arkansas as well,” Little Rock President Jonathan Wardlaw stated. “We hope the people of Arkansas embrace us and show us the same passion and support as they do anything else that comes from the city of Little Rock.”
Last season’s Championship Final saw 18,227 people witness New York Cosmos B’s 2-1 win over Chattanooga FC.
Follow Drew Farmer on Twitter @DrewMFarmer. Drew Farmer is a Manchester, England-based journalist/blogger that writes for World Soccer Talk. Drew also writes his on blog at Soccer Travels. Drew has contributed to Radio Yorkshire MLS Monday, Forza Italian Football, MLSGB and Soccerly. Originally from southwest Missouri, Drew covers Italy’s Serie A, English Premier League, German Bundesliga and the USA’s Major League Soccer.
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