As of August 1st, 2016 the Louisiana Premier League, sanctioned and operated by the Louisiana Soccer Association, has folded to make way for the newly formed Gulf Coast Premier League. The league will now operate as it’s own entity as a non-profit organization while expanding itself to clubs outside of Louisiana along the gulf coast.
“In the early stages of the formation of the Louisiana Premier League the goal was to always grow what we’re trying to accomplish outside of Louisiana” said league Vice President and Director of Operations, Jonathan Rednour. “We had to take baby steps to get to this moment, but it paid off being patient.”
The Gulf Coast Premier League will keep it’s USASA Elite Amateur Premier League status and look to further grow into a recognized regional league. “We wanted to test the waters before jumping in head first with this project.” said league President, Jeremy Poklemba “With all of our teams from the prior two years itching to get back out on the field, and the ambitions of our newest clubs, we feel this is just the beginning.”
In addition to the new league expansion news, the league is also announcing its eight and final club for the 2016-2017 season. The Shreveport Rafters of the NPSL has joined the GCPL.
“This league offers us the ability to keep developing talent at the local level. Our local players will now have a place to shine and those who weren’t able to play consistently at the NPSL level will get valuable game time” said Rafters co-owner, Will Broyles. “This will also give our diehard fans a leg up! They will be able to watch their team develop during the NPSL offseason for free and get their soccer fix throughout the year.”
“We were very excited when we found out the Rafters had interest in using our league as a way to keep their local guys playing at a high level during their NPSL offseason” said Jonathan Rednour. “It also adds a little intercity derby between them and BOCA FC, which I feel is needed at this level to get more fans involved”
The league is set to kick off on November 5th and end in late March 2017.