VANCOUVER, BC – It will be an exciting milestone for soccer in British Columbia this weekend as the EA SPORTS BC Soccer Premier League (BCSPL) kicks off its first full season.
“The start of this inaugural season is a culmination of a lot of hard work over the past couple of years from not only key stakeholders such as BC Soccer, Whitecaps FC and EA SPORTS, but the whole soccer community within BC”, said David Haber, interim President of the EA Sports BC Soccer Premier League’s Board of Governors.
The action begins on Saturday, February 25, at Coquitlam’s Town Centre West field when Coquitlam Metro-Ford meets Magnuson Ford Mariners in a U-13 boys matchup. In total, the opening weekend will feature 32 matches taking place in Coquitlam, Vancouver and South Surrey. The full league schedule can be found at www.bcsoccerpremierleague.net.
“We’re thrilled to finally be arriving at the start of the first full season of the EA SPORTS BC Soccer Premier League,” said Paul Mullen, BC Soccer director of operations and partnership manager for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and BC Soccer relationship. “We had great success with the mini-season at the end of 2011 and we can’t wait to begin a full schedule of matches.”
The EA SPORTS BC Soccer Premier League is the only provincial-wide elite youth league in Canada which is partnered by a professional Major League Soccer club. Among the players on participating clubs are 42 boys and 40 girls who have been a part of the Canadian Soccer Association National Training Centre program, as well as approximately 200 players who have been part of BC Soccer provincial team programs. Additionally, the Whitecaps FC U-14 Residency squad will play scheduled exhibition matches throughout the season against all league clubs.
“Our club is committed to creating the strongest possible professional development structure, and the EA SPORTS BC Soccer Premier League plays an important role in that,” said Bob Lenarduzzi, Whitecaps FC president. “We’ve already added players to our Residency program after the mini-season and we look forward to seeing the league continue to grow.”
The league schedule will consist of 21 match-weekends spread out over the calendar season from late February until early November. The first 14 match-weekends from February through June will be used to declare the BC Soccer Provincial Premier Cup champion in the form of a four-team playoff at the end of league play. The championship weekend on June 30 and July 1 will feature final matches at all age groups from U-13 to U-16 at venues to be confirmed. Following the season, the U14, U-16 and U-18 boys and girls Provincial Premier Cup winning teams from the final championship weekend will progress to represent BC at the Canadian National Club Championships in October.
“It’s an exciting time for soccer in British Columbia with the opening weekend of the EA SPORTS BC Soccer Premier League and Whitecaps FC preparing for their second Major League Soccer season,” added Matt Bilbey, vice president and general manager of soccer, EA SPORTS. “We’re very pleased to see the league begin its first full season and we wish each and every club the best of luck.”
Regularly scheduled league matches will also take place during the Whitecaps College Showcase, with the girls showcase on from March 17 to 19, and the boys showcase from March 23 to 25. Both events will be held at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey, BC.
For more information on the EA SPORTS BC Soccer Premier League, visit www.bcsoccerpremierleague.net.
EA Sports BC Soccer Premier League
The EA SPORTS BC Soccer Premier League was designed to create a new high performance level of competition and support player development at the provincial, professional and national team level. It will simplify scouting of top young players, provide an elevated level of competition and increase the chance for players fulfilling their potential and creates a dynamic new commercial property at the pinnacle of youth soccer in BC.
Eight founding franchises were announced on February 17, 2011.
- Coquitlam Metro Ford
- Fusion FC (Vancouver/Richmond)
- Magnuson Ford Mariners FC (Abbotsford)
- Mountain United FC (Burnaby/North Shore)
- South Fraser Soccer Club
- Surrey United FC
- Thompson Okanagan FC
- Vancouver Island Wave
Each of the inaugural founding franchises has a nominated representative as their member on the League Board of Governors.
The first full season of competition will begins 25 February 2012 and continue through November. It will feature male and female divisions at the U-13, U-14, U-15, U-16, and U-17/U-18 levels, equating to approximately 1,600 players.
For information about EA Sports BC Soccer Premier League please contact:
Director of Operations and partnership manager for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and BC Soccer relationship
604-299-6401 ext. 2355