Statewide and Regional Soccer Leagues
Midwest Regional League (MRL) and Michigan State Premier Soccer Program (MSPSP)
GVSA is a western Michigan League. Within Michigan there is also a state wide league, the MSPSL. Michigan also participates in a Regional league, the MRL, that has the top teams from our thirteen state region. Many of our teams go on to play in these leagues, so let's take a look at them. For more information on these leagues visit www.msysa.net
The MRL is for age groups from U14 through U18. The various state associations in the region nominate teams for play. Michigan typically can nominate up to four teams at the U14 age. The State Cup champion and runner-up receive an automatic invitation. Other teams typically are State Cup Runners-Up or were highly placed in the MSPSL. While not all eligible teams participate in the MRL, most of the best teams choose to do so. Typically the four or five best teams in Michigan in each age group participate. In recent years this has expanded further. Virtually of the top U14 and older teams in Michigan play only in the MRL.
The MRL, and its sister leagues in the other three regions, are the highest level youth leagues in the United States.
At the U14 age the MRL has five or six Divisions each for Boys and Girls. These are based on geography. Michigan teams are placed together with those form Ohio North and Indiana. The U14 age is a bit like the "sorting hat" in Harry Potter. The top finishing teams will be placed into the Premier Division and the remainder into the Blue and Red Divisions, which are based on geography. Teams then advance or are relegated based upon their performance. The bottom finishers in the lower Divisions may not be invited back the following year.
The MSPSP is for age groups U13 through U19. All teams must be sponsored by an MSYSA member league. GVSA sponsors teams through our Premier Clubs, the Grand Rapids Crew Juniors Soccer Club, PASS and the Georgetown Rangers, as well as individual teams from other GVSA member clubs as well. Individual teams must be sponsored by their individual clubs and GVSA entertains applications for current U12 and U13 teams wishing to play the following year. Teams are selected on merit and a willingness of their clubs to sponsor them. Note that several GVSA clubs have teams in the MSPSL, but are sponsored by other leagues.
At the U13 age teams are placed into divisions, which are roughly equal. After the Fall season the teams will be placed into divisions, based on their performance. The top two Divisions are called Premier 1 and Premier 2, followed by Classic 1 , Classic 2 and Classic 3. (some older age groups may have fewer divisions). Teams move between Divisions based upon a promotion/relegation process. Teams that do not start play at the U13 age typically are placed in the lowest division and must work their way up the ladder.
Typically good GVSA teams (better than average in the Elite Division) would be in Premier 2 or Classic 1, if they played in the MSPSP. Note the larger number of U13 and U14 teams, which reflect GVSA's recent policy (As of Spring 2005) of sponsoring individual Club teams in the MSPSP.