Author: Ryan Sparks – @TouchedArtist
With the announcement of Cincinnati Swerve joining the Ohio Valley Premier League, the league sits at seven members for its inaugural season. The new U23 league is set to give players another opportunity to play the game after they leave high school.
There are now four clubs from the Greater Cincinnati area in the league. Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC, Cincinnati Soccer Club, Valhalla FC and Cincinnati Swerve have all committed to the OVPL season. Those four, along with the Indy Saints, Lexington Landsharks and FC Pride from Indiana bring the current team total to seven. Several of the Cincinnati teams are well-established and boost the resume of a league heading into their first year.
Possible future clubs joining the fun for the 2020 season
There are additional discussions with possible clubs in Columbus and Cleveland joining the mix as reported by Cincinnati Soccer Talk. There is also a good amount of chatter of a possible rebirth of the Derby City Rovers (former rival to CDLFC in the PDL) out of Louisville, Kentucky. Another option for youth players in Louisville would be a welcomed opponent from Lexington, Kentucky.
With seven clubs, and possibly more, from the region looking for players, there will be a lot of opportunities for local players to continue playing the game at the adult level. With four clubs from the Cincinnati area playing in the OVPL, local sides will need to work hard and compete for talented players to form competitive sides for the 2020 season.
Is a women’s league a possibility?
OVPL leadership hasn’t ruled out the possibility of youth and women’s leagues in the future. With the main goal of #GrowTheGame and trying to get even more people to #SupportLocalSoccer, seeing more U23 men’s sides join the OVPL has to be an encouraging start to the fledgling league. While its current focus is providing a solid experience for all of their clubs this coming season, further future expansion is not that far outside of the realm of possibility. Our sources indicate the OVPL has sanctioning for a women’s division, and any interested clubs should reach out to league officials. Several of the clubs that have already joined OVPL also have ties to an already existing women’s club. Locally, the Sirens are operated by the same group as the Swerve.
Be sure to follow CST on twitter @cincysoccertalk as we continue to bring you more news from the OVPL in the new year.
******* Club Twitter Accounts *******
Cincinnati Dutch Lions F.C.
Cincinnati Soccer Club