The Skyline Club Soccer League is excited to announce a major expansion for the Fall 2019 season. Originally founded in the Charlottesville area and Shenandoah Valley, the new league footprint will include all areas west and southwest of Richmond, VA. The expanded league will be able to offer multiple league platforms and feature a greater variety of competition.
"The Skyline Club Soccer League’s new structure and broader footprint will be beneficial for all involved. The recent expansion process has spurred an open dialogue and joint effort from clubs throughout the region to maximize our potential, as a collective, and provide the very best programs for all of our players. With a stronger emphasis on pooling ideas, resources and initiatives, we believe we can be even greater than the sum of our parts," states Dave Stuart, Director of Soccer at Valley AFC.
The new league structure will feature three levels of play. There will be two Classic Divisions, one in the southern half of the league in areas near and around Roanoke, and another in the northern region in areas around Charlottesville and the Shenandoah Valley. The two regions will have crossover play to allow for a greater diversity of competition while maintaining traditional and reasonable commuting distances for regular league play. The Premier Division will feature an enhanced caliber of play with membership from the largest clubs as well as the strongest teams from each of the Classic Regions.
“SWVA Rush feels that the new structure of Skyline fits with the philosophy of our club’s player development process. Our top teams will be able to play a more competitive schedule while our developmental teams will be able to play at an appropriate level while staying within a reasonable distance for all families,” comments Adam Ritchie, the SWVA Rush Technical Director.
The Skyline Premier Division will continue to feature its innovative block scheduling format allowing larger clubs to schedule their entire slate of teams together for home and away match days.
"The Augusta region has been a proud member of the Skyline League since its inception. The Skyline League has provided excellent levels of competition for both our Premier and Classic teams as well as open-minded leadership and club directors who have a player and club-development first approach. The block scheduling format is ideal for our club’s families and makes the travel schedules much easier for our participants," says Nora Maguire White, SOCA Augusta's Regional Director.
One of the most gratifying features of the new expanded league is the enhanced opportunity for strong teams from smaller clubs to be able to compete at the Premier level of play when they have advanced beyond the Classic level.
“It’s exciting to be able to promote worthy teams into our Premier Division based on merit,” comments League Commissioner Matt Wilson. “In our past set up we had limited flexibility to accommodate deserving teams in the Premier Division outside of our big clubs. Our new format will allow quality teams who have earned the right to compete an opportunity to advance into the Premier Division and compete against the strongest teams in the area.”
“As President of Orange Soccer Association, the new Skyline League brings quality and competitive competition each week. The opportunity to have our teams matched up with similar skilled groups will allow for considerably more player development within Orange Soccer Association and all member clubs.” says Tim Shuman, President of Orange Soccer Association.
Eric Hash, Director of the Danville Soccer Club explained, “Danville Soccer Club is excited to join the Skyline Club Soccer League. This is a unique opportunity for our club to more fully reach our potential by joining a high quality league. We are excited about the player development opportunities that will come with facing higher level competition and the growth we will see by joining with like-minded clubs.”
In addition to the expanded league membership and new competitive platforms available, the Skyline League will be rolling out several new initiatives this fall. An annual college combine will become a league staple each winter allowing aspiring players the opportunity to showcase their talents in a dedicated setting before college coaches. Additionally, league wide all-star teams will be selected in specified age groups to compete as league select teams at summer showcases. U10 Academy festivals, winter futsal tournaments and college showcases are also in development.
“I am very excited about the future of soccer in the southern VA region. The amalgamation of all the clubs working together is a giant step forward in the development of our game for each of the clubs and areas that make up the Skyline League. I look forward to working with all the other member clubs on moving soccer forward,” says PYSL Director of Soccer Enda Crehan.
"Christiansburg Soccer is thrilled to have the opportunity to join the competitive platform that the Skyline League provides. Skyline is an established league with a structure and environment that will help our players develop and flourish," comments Rick Rose, President of Christiansburg Soccer Club.
The new, expanded Skyline League will be home to nearly 30 different member clubs and feature a diversity of competition previously unavailable in the region. League play begins in Fall 2019.