It's 2022 so the preseason has officially begun! Looking forward to the coming summer soccer season, Equal Time will continue covering the WPSL North Division with it's staple of Minnesota + Fargo clubs, with potential additions still to come. With the birth of a new community owned, pre-professional club in MN Aurora FC, we will expand our coverage to their activity in the reformed USL W League. Joining me in our Summer League coverage will be Lis Schendel, Director of Women's Soccer Content for Protagonist Soccer. I am very grateful to have Lis join us and to make a connection with Protagonist, which is a fine source for all things lower division soccer.
Chicago City Soccer Club
Distance from Midway, St Paul - 350 miles
Founded in 2013, participate in all levels of USL, from Academy to USL W League and League Two
Road Trip Appeal (June 17)
The Bean, Chicago Dogs, Navy Pier. We clearly know Chicago. Joking aside, and no slight on Kansas, but it's a big city away trip! Match it up with an NWSL game and call it a bash
Chicago Dutch Lions
Distance from Midway, St Paul - 350 miles
Founded in 2020 as the 7th (of 9) Dutch Lion Football Clubs in the US. They have played WPSL in the past and their mens team plays in USL League Two
Road Trip Appeal (June 30)
Why not take an Amtrak ride to the Second City? If the stars align you may be able to take in a Loons away match or keep the trip going east to watch an Indy Eleven W League game.
Green Bay Glory
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Distance from Midway, St Paul - 298 miles
Founded as a WPSL team in 2019. Like Aurora, Green Bay wasn't founded atop a youth academy, but as a specific desire for pre-professional options in Northern Wisconsin
Road Trip Appeal (July 7, July 9)
The only divisional opponent on a Great Lake! It's a weekend double header you could plan a trip around and also, we love the crest
Kaw Valley FC
Distance from Midway, St Paul - 476 miles
W League and USL League Two teams named Kaw Valley sit atop a youth academy called Sporting Kaw Valley, which is an affiliate of Sporting Kansas City in MLS
Road Trip Appeal (June 2)
Doubling up with a Kansas City NWLS game, going to KC for some BBQ
St Louis Lions Soccer Club
St Louis, Missouri
Distance from Midway, St Paul - 532 miles
Founded in 2005 as a pre-professional USL club. Previously in WPSL and current men's team in USL League Two. Sit atop the TG Lions Academy.
Road Trip Appeal (June 5)
The Arch. This is the longest away trip on the schedule so it's for the diehards. You can pass multiple Presidential Libraries on the way?
WPSL North Expansion
The WPSL has over 100 teams from coast to coast, so there are various ways that the rosters are made up, but the bulk of the teams are the top level of competition for a broader youth club. Their youth players often come back from their college seasons to stay fit and play for their childhood team. This is usually the case with our Northern Conference teams, hence the success of big youth clubs MTA, Salvo and Maplebrook last year. With two Twin Cities youth clubs adding teams into our Division this year in Manitou FC and Joy Athletic, that trend will only continue. We are also truly a regional league as we've added Souix Falls City FC into the mix. We will take suggestions on a Conference nick name now that we have MN, ND and SD in the mix!
2022 Expansion Teams
White Bear Lake, MN
Founded as White Bear Soccer Club in 1981, known as Manitou FC since 2020. They feature teams from U5 up to pre professional.
Manitou FC's Club Sporting Director and WPSL Coach is Edi Buro, who played the Minnesota Thunder and Minnesota United sandwiched around a stint playing in Bosnia professionally. The crest is immediately one of the best in the Conference
Joy Athletic Club
St Louis Park, MN
Founded in 2009 by parent Non Profit Joy of the People, who seek to build communities and health through play.
They started a men's NPSL team in 2021 and a member of that team is trialing with MN United 2 right now, Emmanuel Iwe. Can we also give it up for the crest of Joy Athletic? My goodness we are a sucker for good design.
Sioux Falls City FC
Sioux Falls, SD
Founded in 2021 to provide the highest level of developmental soccer opportunities for elite female soccer players in the Sioux Falls region
We will say without deep research that this is the first WPSL team from South Dakota. Go visit the waterfalls of the Big Sioux River in Sioux Falls, an underrated Midwest small city!
Fire 98 SC departs WPSL
As rumors indicated this fall, Fire 98 SC will cease operations of their WPSL team in 2022. The Fire are a long time WPSL team who have struggled a bit on the field in recent years. With the announcement of the 2022 WPSL schedule, we now have confirmation that the Fire will not be playing in WPSL in 2022.
(All summer league coverage on Equal Time Soccer is done by Mark Privratsky or by his co-host Lis Schendel. Matt Privratsky, who covers the Gophers and Minnesotans playing pro for Equal Time, is one of the founders of MN Aurora FC so he doesn’t play any role in covering the USL W League or WPSL teams in MN)
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