The Florida So-Called Premier League


Ideas are not responsible for what people do with them.

The Florida Premier League was created under the banner of US Soccer to help top clubs in the state of Florida compete against each other a suitably high level for the betterment of player development. The Florida Youth Soccer Association, under it’s own authority, created it’s own league for the same purpose inviting the Sweet Sixteen teams from the preceding year’s State Cup to compete in a high quality league. Politics and it’s chronic partner pettiness have resulted in two leagues trying to accomplish the same goal while simultaneously impeding the accomplishment of said goal by dividing the State’s top teams into two leagues.

My son Bryson Pink plays for Orlando City, who is competing this season in The Florida Premier League. It is a good, but not yet great team that stands atop the table with five wins and a draw. In two weeks time, we will have completed 70% of our league fixtures, and only if our next game is competitive, will have played in only two competitive games. We have outscored opponents 28-3 with two of our wins coming against teams that should be playing recreational soccer.

Our club’s second team is winless in the FYSA league, and has been regularly overmatched even with a roster occasionally bolstered by first-teamers. From top to bottom, the FYSA league is probably better, but that misses the point. Soccer is losing. If the top half of both leagues played in the same league, regardless of banner, the best team’s in the Florida would be competing against each other week in and week out. Most games would turn on one, maybe two goals, and players would develop in this sort of competitive cauldron, The bottom half of both leagues would benefit as well. Gone would be back to back 6-0 and 5-1 confidence-sapping beatings, replaced by competitive one and two goal games that turn not on over or underwhelming talent, but execution under pressure. In this setting, players on each level would be exposed for their inability to compete, or identified as destined to play above their current station.

This would be fulfillment of the idea each league aspires to.

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