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The PDL is Now the RCL — What Does it Mean?
As many around the state are aware, the PDL — the Premier Development League, long considered the most elite youth soccer league in the state — has become the RCL, or Regional Club League.
The name change is reflective of a new identity for the state's most competitive league. Rather than be managed by District IV, as was the PDL, the Regional Club League will be overseen directly by Washington Youth Soccer, led by Director of Competitive Programs Todd Lincoln.
"We're incorporating the club-based league structure into the state structure, which has never been done before," Lincoln says. "The PDL had really outgrown its support staff, and didn't have the oversight that it needed to have to be successful at a high level. As a league, the PDL had very high goals and standards for club-to-club interaction, and it was getting difficult to move forward in a timely fashion. By working with the state, we're able to utilize the state staff more efficiently for things like publications, websites and infrastructure items that we were hard-pressed to do before."
Besides state resources, clubs and teams competing in the RCL will notice little change in the league structure itself. There will be 21 member clubs participating in the RCL in the 2010-11 season. For a complete list of clubs and more information, read the press release at WashingtonYouthSoccer.org.
Each of those clubs and teams were added based on a formula that includes the number of coaches certified at the highest levels, a commitment to an academy-style training program, as well as an established and on-going success of member teams at state championship competitions.
"The same standards that have made the PDL so successful will continue to apply to the RCL," Lincoln says. "We want the highest-level play and the lowest-level obstacles to player development. And I think that this shows in the quality of the teams that have been competing for the clubs in the PDL."
As the soccer participation grows in the State, there is potential for more regional clubs will be added, allowing for more geographic groupings that will ease scheduling and travel concerns for teams statewide.
Washington Youth Soccer • 500 S. 336th St. Suite 100 • Federal Way, WA 98003
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