In an announcement made by the Girls Academy League and Beadling Soccer Club on Friday, the long-standing club from Western Pennsylvania will become an inaugural member of the Girls Academy League and its Mid-America Conference.
HOW DID THIS COME ABOUT?
On April 15, 2020 U.S. Soccer announced they would end the operation of its Development Academy.
This left 65 teams without a league to play next year. While some notable clubs decided to move on to the ECNL, the same platform that the Riverhounds Development Academy teams participate, a large contingent of former DA clubs looked at this as an opportunity to make changes to a successful model for the better.
The Development Player League announced on April 18, 2020, a new tier of competition in the Girls Academy League.
WHAT IS THE SET-UP OF THE GIRLS ACADEMY LEAGUE?
The Girls Academy League will consist of six conferences across the country.
As of now the league has formally announced the Northeast Conference and the Mid-American Conference. Between the two conferences twenty teams were welcomed as inaugural members of the Girls Academy League. Thirteen of the twenty teams are former members of the Development Academy and seven clubs are coming from outside leagues. There will be more announcements of the inaugural member clubs for the remaining conferences.
Beadling will be participating in the Mid-American Conference with clubs from Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
The Girls Academy League immediate changes were to allow for players to participate in High School Soccer and revise the substitution rule
The format of the league will see clubs play a league season and have several national events. At this time during the current travel concerns amidst the Coronavirus concerns, those details will need to be ironed out as each state will be dealing with different levels of concerns.
Beadling last evening released a statement from club president Denny Kohlmyer.
“I am happy the directors recognize the longevity and success that Beadling has had. We earned our right to be here,” Kohlmyer said.
The club was recently recognized as one of the Top 100 clubs in the country by Soccerwire.com at #75 and followed that up with a jump to #69 the following month.
Denny spoke about how this will affect the girls going forward and their opportunity for college commitments.
“Beadling has always been successful with girls getting to the colleges of their choice. Now we are giving the girls more options of schools for them to look at and schools to look at them.” Kohlmyer added.
“We are providing the best platforms for our players.”
As for the immediate impact this will have on the club Kohlmeyer explained that the current situation may take precedence, but the long-term prospects are exciting.
“Immediately this will not change much with the coronavirus. The club is taking the position that everyone is offered back. Other players might see an opportunity to come to Beadling. Long term it provides a solid league with great exposure for our club’s players.”
The hope for all, is that the league will be running this fall.
Hopefully the country will in a good spot to get back to normalcy for all players and all leagues to get back to what they are used to doing, playing the game they love.