NPSL Weekly: Sunshine Sides Start Season

The South Conference’s Sunshine Flight gets underway while the West Conference starts its second month
by Daniel Casey   |   Friday, May 03, 2013

NPSL Weekly – column on the NPSL and the league's clubs, players and owners

This weekend the NPSL’s Sunshine Flight of the South Conference gets its season underway with the league’s newest rivalry, the Everglades Cup, between Cape Coral Hurricanes and Miami United.

During the preseason, the teams have played twice with Miami drubbing Cape Coral 6-1 the first time out and then drawing 2-2 in the second match. One suspects the 2013 debut for each of these expansion clubs this Saturday will result in another high-scoring affair.

The Everglades Cup isn’t the only rivalry cup that Cape Coral is in. There’s also the Gulf Coast Cup against the other Florida expansion side Tampa Marauders. Unfortunately for Cape Coral, it appears that it can’t get much traction in this match up either with 2 preseason games both going 2-0 in Tampa’s favor.

Tampa will be opening its season away at Jacksonville United, the defending champions. Soccer in Florida has grown by leaps in bounds over the last 2 seasons. It would seem that the new faces Cape Coral, Tampa and Miami will definitely bring an edge to the competition. It’ll be very interesting to see who comes away as the NPSL’s champions of Florida.

US Open Cup begins

While the Floridians sort themselves out, the Georgia Revolution will spend the weekend prepping for their Play-In Round match for the 100th US Open Cup this Tuesday against the Colorado Rovers.

Also facing a US Open Cup Play-In Round game on Tuesday will be the West Conference’s FC Hasental. The squad will be on short rest after facing the San Diego Flash this Saturday.

FC Hasental has cooled since the ridiculous opening match goal barrage as it has faced progressively better opposition in the West Conference’s Southern Flight. FC Hasental will face the San Diego Flash, who is coming off a 5-0 victory over the conference’s whipping boy, Las Vegas Stallions FC.

Vegas trouble

Las Vegas has had a horrid start to its season. Arguably its best match thus far had been a 0-0 draw to the other San Diego side, San Diego Boca. Things won’t get easier for the Stallions this weekend against Flight-leaders Orange County.

OC Pateadores are undefeated (3-1-0), having only given up 2 goals, and last week against San Diego Boca got their offense going in a 8-0 win. While Las Vegas has started off poorly, it’s been no picnic for Boca.

Boca will also face a challenge, going up against FC Santa Clarita, which is on a 3-match winning streak. If Boca can turn its form around, it’ll be due to the fact that Santa Clarita has only just won these matches by a single goal.  

Marquee matchup in the Northern Flight

In the Northern Flight, the San Francisco Stompers will have the weekend off. Hopefully, the squad will take the time to buck up its ideas and re-set its game plan. April for San Francisco was a bit of a nightmare as the team recorded 4 straight losses.

Also having a hard time of it so far is the Northern Flight’s expansion side CD Aguiluchos USA, with their lone win coming against San Francisco. CD Aguiluchos will travel to face the staunchly middling Real San Jose.

The weekend’s marquee match will be between the Sacramento Gold and Sonoma County Sol. With only a point separating the 2 teams this will be an early season test. If Sonoma County is victorious, it’ll have begun to put a nice cushion between itself and the rest of the Northern Flight.

But if Sacramento comes out ahead, it will set the tone for the rest of the matches between the two as it is quickly becoming clear that the Northern Flight winner will be on these sides.

Daniel CASEY

Carthage College Univ. of Notre Dame
Club Domestic:
Chicago Fire & Minnesota Stars
Club Foreign:
Manchester United
Founder/editor of the literary magazine Gently Read Literature, active but barely read poet and literary critic, and an occasional English professor. Never got to play soccer until his mid-30s, so he is routinely schooled by U10 crowd at pick-up games.