Colorado Rush and FC Boulder will meet for the first time in the Fall United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) season in a championship rematch. The las
Colorado Rush and FC Boulder will meet for the first time in the Fall United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) season in a championship rematch.
The last time these two teams saw each other was in the UPSL championship where the winner got to take home the bragging rights along with a berth to the national stage. Rush came out on top in what was a back and forth match that went the full distance and needed penalty kicks to decide the winner.
Boulder is coming off a win in their first UPSL match and appear to be in the same top form that they finished out the spring season with. Rush had a shaky start to this fall season dropping their first game but have rebounded and chalked up a pair of wins in a row and will look to continue that streak.
Both of these teams have veterans returning along with some new players trying to make their mark on the roster. It is still early in the season and there will certainly be some growing pains as the new players try and mesh with the respective clubs style of play. Both of these teams love to keep the ball moving and have the talent to do so.
Along with this exciting rematch between these two clubs, the UPSL made some serious noise this week adding multiple new clubs and expanding all over the nation. Colorado Rush head coach Joe Webb took some time to chat about the UPSL and what it means for the league and also chat about the match up this weekend.
Soccernation: There has been a lot of movement with the UPSL and expansions in the last few days. Where do you think this is taking the UPSL and what does it mean for the league as a whole?
Webb: “Well I’m sure most everyone that follows around the nation heard about the addition of the 11 clubs from the PLA to the UPSL, this is a major win for everyone involved in this merger and now brings the UPSL to over 90 teams. The new clubs are certainly going to be a welcome addition to the league as many of these clubs bring a rich soccer history in this country and a very strong fan culture. I personally want to welcome the new teams to the league and I look forward to the high level of professionalism and competition they will bring.”
“This is a really exciting time to be a part of the UPSL, the clubs/owners throughout the nation are expressing their desire to be part of a professionally operated national league that plays year round with promotion and relegation. The goal of the UPSL is to connect American soccer and if you sit down and look at a map of the US right now you can see how we are connecting the dots from city to city across the country, but we are far from done yet, there are still some major announcements expected in the coming weeks and months before the 2018 season starts. I don’t want to steal any ones thunder and I know there are rumors swirling around about where the league will pop up next and some of them may be true but I’m not going to spill anything. What I can say is that there are some areas on the map that haven’t been announced yet and the interest from potential new team owners and clubs from everywhere across the country is very high. The league is experiencing an upswing of high quality clubs joining and I have no doubt in my mind that the league will hit and exceed the target of 100 teams for 2018. I f you don’t have a UPSL team in your town right now then grab a bag of popcorn, sit back, and watch the announcements coming out, before you know it UPSL will be in your town.”
Soccernation: The Colorado UPSL conference has expanded and has a few new teams already in their second season, what do you see as the vision for the conference in CO?
Webb: “The Colorado Conference added 5 teams to our Championship conference (2nd div) this season and we have implemented a system of Pro/Rel in CO starting this season, Alll the teams we added look to be good groups and are hungry to get to the Pro Premier division so I expect it to be a dog fight. Being part of the only national league in the USA that is implementing a system of Pro/Rel is truly groundbreaking and finally teams will have the opportunity to move up and down the ladder based on sporting merit alone and not in a closed system. clubs have been asking for this to happen for a long time but UPSL is the first league of its kind to actually go for it and do it. Being part of these awesome changes in the lower leagues of American soccer creates a lot of opportunity for th clubs and players in Colorado that they never had before and the teams here are excited to be a playing their role in that history and to take part in the significant growth of the game locally. I can only see the momentum we have now continuing, I’m expecting we will eventually see 3 to 4 divisions here in Colorado. The chance to prove you’re the best local club based on sporting merit is very enticing to club owners and teams everywhere. Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to grow a local program and be able to find their place among the best in the State and Country.”
Soccernation: Its looking like the NPSL is going to be moving and has lost some key teams over the last year, where do you see them landing and would it be best for them to combine with another league at this point?
Webb: “Well its really hard for me to comment on what other leagues are doing or their direction but I do wish the leagues would find a way to come under the same umbrella somehow, both leagues have some really great clubs that would benefit from the shared competition but I think this is the role of USASA and USSF to iron some of this out. I know the UPSL league owners are very happy with the current league model that plays year round and they look forward to implementation of Pro/Rel at a National Level. The UPSL is committed to keeping the cost down for it owners while maintaining the higher standards and high level of competition that we see from similar leagues at the national level, thus far the league has come thru on this commitment and we have been quite happy where we see things are going.”
Soccernation: We have a UPSL CO conference championship rematch this weekend, Rush VS FC Boulder. Each match against Boulder has been tight and this will surely be the toughest task this fall season. Anything you’ll do differently or have to account for when playing these guys?
Webb: “Every time we play FC Boulder they bring a tough match and there is quite a bit of respect between the 2 clubs. Both teams have some new faces this season and I would expect as the teams are getting prepared for US Open Cup Qualifying that you are going to see a bit of experimenting from both clubs possibly, with different line ups and formations happening. Rumor has it they have a new head coach this season so that definitely brings an element of surprise too. In the past, FC Boulder usually comes in very organized when we play them and they come into the game with a good game plan and stick to it. This is not a team that will breakdown after getting down a goal or 2 they always are fighting to the very end of a match and you always have to have a ton of respect for a team with that kind of never give up mentality.”