American Premier Alliance

Creating a culture...
Growing the game...
Join the movement!

What is the APA?

  • Increased playing opportunities!

  • Grow the game locally!

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    Affordable membership!

Our passion is to grow the game and to promote a thriving soccer culture. Clubs, Communities, and Players will have exclusive access to creating this platform. The American Premier Alliance (APA) is for those who want to keep playing after they have aged out of their youth clubs.
The American Premier Alliance (APA) provides a platform for players and clubs to continue playing in an affordable and competitive soccer league platform. This is the exclusive U23 adult amateur league sanctioned by US Club Soccer.
As an APA member, your club will have a voice on how to shape this summer playing opportunity for 2022 and beyond!

Join the Alliance!

It takes less than 60 seconds to fill out the membership form. Submit the form and grow the game!

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FAQ

  • Why the American Premier Alliance?

    The APA was created to benefit men and women soccer players that have aged out of their youth club system. Statistics show that US youth soccer participation has declined by nearly 500,000 kids in the last five years. A wide variety of reasons for this decline in participation but the cost of participation and travel are a big reason why people quit playing.
    The APA brings access and affordability to the adult amateur soccer platform. Anybody can create a team and enter the league. The goal is to keep players playing locally so there is community support. All members of the APA can showcase the talent in their community with the potential to represent the region on a national level (if desired).

  • Where are leagues operated by the APA?

    The APA operates the following leagues:
    Ohio Valley Premier League: The OVPL is the largest adult amateur U23 soccer league in the country. The league has been in operation since the summer of 2020 in the Ohio Valley Region [IN, KY, OH, PA, WV]. The league has grown from 9 teams to 20 teams competing in the River & Valley conferences in just a short time. In 2021, the league provided a platform for over 1100 men's and women's players to continue to grow their game. 
    Learn more about the Ohio Valley Premier League by visiting their website. We encourage you to submit your team application for teams located in this region by January 31st, 2022.
    Frontier Premier League: The FPL began to play in the summer of 2021 in the Upper Midwest [Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota]. The league's founding four members have ushered a new era of adult amateur play into the region for the U23 age group. The league is excited about being able to provide a platform for clubs and communities to allow players to continue to play. 
    Learn more about the Frontier Premier League by visiting their website. We encourage you to submit your team application for teams located in this region by January 31st, 2022.
    South Central Premier League: The SCPL will be making its debut in 2022 as the newest extension of the APA. The SCPL will focus on providing a platform for teams in Texas and surrounding states. The support from the local clubs in the area makes this an exciting addition to the adult amateur soccer season. 
    Learn more about the South Central Premier League by visiting their website. We encourage you to submit your team application for teams located in this region by January 31st, 2022.

  • Why US Club Soccer?

    The decision for APA to go towards US Club Soccer instead of state associations affiliated with USYSA because the decision making and governance goes back towards APA member clubs. All clubs have an opportunity to have a voting member and decision-making ability in how the APA operates. Since the APA is a multi-state league, the US Club Soccer route allows for player carding on a National level instead of a state-level - this was an important step for the Senior Team league.
    The APA encourages participation in both USYSA and US Club Soccer events.

  • What is the APA governing structure?

    As a league, the APA is governed by co-Executive Director positions (3), Founding Club members, and all other member clubs (1 per club). All member clubs will have an opportunity for feedback on the operations of the APA. 

  • How are players registered in the APA?

    Players are registered through US Club Soccer. The Executive Directors will register all players within APA unless players or Club is already registered with US Club Soccer.

    The APA recognizes FIFA governance on all players, so any international players must send a formal request to the relevant Federation for the player's International Transfer Clearance (ITC). The home Federation and APA will certify that a player is free to play in the League. In accordance with FIFA, Federations have a maximum of 30 days until USSF and APA can declare provisional clearance which enables a player to play for the Club.

    No players are permitted to play in an official League match until they have been cleared.

  • How can my club benefit?

    As a member of the US soccer public, we should encourage people of all ages to continue playing. Youth clubs have forever focused on youth players, while the 18+ age group has left the game (unless they play in college). It is important to the APA that teams utilize a senior team (U23) to continue playing for those who have graduated out of the youth system.
    Additionally, through APA competition, teams can qualify for the longest-running tournament in the United States - the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. With a club's involvement in the senior team division, your club could represent your community in the biggest cup in the US. 
    Studies have shown over the last 10 years; soccer numbers are decreasing in the US. Through the APA, we want to engage people of all demographics to grow the game.

  • How can the APA help my club go to the US Open Cup?

    The APA is a qualifying member of US Club Soccer, which is a member of US Soccer Federation, that allows for US Open Cup qualifying. A total of $475m was awarded in US Open Cup awards and prizes. To qualify, here are the criteria for Clubs:
    1. Belong to a club or league of any Organization Member of U.S. Soccer2. Compete in a regular (i.e. on-going) league competition with at least four teams, with each team playing at least ten league games during the year3. A refundable performance bond of $1,000 must be paid by each team at the time of submitting the Entry Fee ($200).4. Provide a home field that meets tournament minimum standards for local qualifying (field at least 100 yds. x 65 yds.) for each qualifying round and identify that venue at the time of registration5. Remain as a member in good standing in the same league from the fall of 2020 to the end of the tournament in 2021

  • How can my club apply for the US Open Cup?

    APA associated leagues are qualifying members of US Club Soccer, which is a member of US Soccer Federation, that allows for US Open Cup qualifying. A total of $475m was awarded in US Open Cup awards and prizes. Download: 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Open Division Handbook (includes Open Cup Policy)
    Download: REGISTER - 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup - Open Division Local Qualifying
    To qualify, here are the criteria for Clubs:
    1. Belong to a club or league of any Organization Member of U.S. Soccer2. Compete in a regular (i.e. on-going) league competition with at least four teams, with each team playing at least ten league games during the year3. A refundable performance bond of $1,000 must be paid by each team at the time of submitting the Entry Fee ($200).4. Provide a home field that meets tournament minimum standards for local qualifying (field at least 100 yds. x 65 yds.) for each qualifying round and identify that venue at the time of registration5. Remain as a member in good standing in the same league from the fall of 2020 to the end of the tournament in 2021 KEY DATES:
    Aug. 9 (2 p.m. CT) - Team application and entry fee deadline for Local Qualifying track
    Aug. 18 - U.S. Soccer announces teams approved for local qualifying and preliminary allocation of First Round slots among Open Division qualifying pools
    Aug. 23 - Matchups for first qualifying round announced
    Sept. 1 (4 p.m. CT) - Fall roster submission deadline for teams in Local Qualifying track
    Sept. 18-19 - First qualifying round
    Oct. 16-17 - Second qualifying round
    Nov. 20-21 - Third qualifying round
    Jan. 6, 2022 - Final allocation of First Round slots among Open Division qualifying pools announced
    Open Division Local Qualifying will be conducted on a single-game, knockout basis, with up to four rounds of matches in fall 2021, all scheduled for designated weekend dates.
    All Local Qualifying entrants, regardless of level, Organization Member affiliation or other attributes, will start on equal footing and must be able to host games in every qualifying round.

  • Rules on Amateurism

    The APA is sanctioned as an amateur league. It is important for all teams to understand the rules of amateurism. Each member Club should ensure players maintain amateur eligibility, as the Club would be held responsible for jeopardizing amateurism if there is a violation. The United States has two governing bodies on amateurism: FIFA and college (NCAA/NAIA/NJCAA/etc.).
    College amateurism and eligibility will be put in jeopardy if an athlete:- Receives compensation that exceeds actual and necessary expenses- Receives compensation for media appearances based on your athletic ability or fame- Endorsing commercial products or services- Accepting prize money beyond the actual/necessary expenses- Accepting money from an agent or agency- Participating with a player, on the same team, who is considered a professional player
    No amateur teams should ever use the terminology "professional" or "semi-professional" as the term "professional" could jeopardize amateurism. All players must sign a registration form from the Club and APA that reinforces if a player is amateur or professional. A player who wishes to sign with a professional team must have completed college eligibility or be advised that upon signing as an amateur player on a professional team, the player will lose college eligibility.
    A professional player may be reinstated as an amateur only with the permission of that team and the Amateur National State Association or Professional League with which the Club is affiliated. An application for reinstatement to amateur status must be made on the USSF Amateur Reinstatement Form and both the completed form and the applicable fee ($50.00) must be filed with the appropriate Federation. The Federation shall issue approval of the reinstatement to amateur status within fourteen (14) days after receipt, appropriate fees, and compliance with Federation rules. However, the player's reinstatement to amateur status is not effective until the day after the thirty (30) day time period has elapsed from the day that the player competed in his last match with his/her team as a professional player. This is in accordance with FIFA's Regulations Governing the Status and Transfer of Football Players.
    A professional player who is not currently registered as a professional player with any professional division team or league, who has not been a party to a professional player contract with a professional division team or league for a period of one year or longer, and who has not applied for reinstatement as an amateur, shall be automatically reinstated to amateur status by the Secretary-General unless the player affirmatively states in writing that he/she does not wish to be reinstated to amateur status.
    College Player Eligibility for APA
    - Any player signed to or enrolled in college on scholarship or as a walk-on qualifies as a collegiate player for that school.- Any Division I, Division II, Division III, or NAIA player, with or without remaining NCAA eligibility, is permitted to play on an APA amateur team.- College players are not permitted to train, practice or play with any APA amateur teams during their scheduled season.- APA amateur teams ARE NOT to promote the respective league as professional or semi-professional.- APA amateur teams cannot provide any players more than actual and necessary expenses or they will be considered a professional team.- APA amateur teams are permitted to employ college players as camp coaches for summer youth soccer camps, but no amateur or professional players on an APA amateur team are permitted to receive any compensation for playing.- College players are also not permitted to receive any complimentary equipment or apparel from APA amateur or team sponsors. College players must either turn in all team equipment at the end of the season or purchase it from the team at fair market value.- A student-athlete may compete outside of the institution's declared playing and practice season as a member of an outside team in any non-collegiate, amateur competition, provided:- Such participation occurs no earlier than May 1st.- The competition is approved by the institution's director of athletics.- No class time is missed for practice activities or for competition.- A student-athlete may compete outside of the institution's declared playing and practice season as a member of an outside team in any non-collegiate, the amateur competition during any official vacation period published in the institution's catalog.- NO APA clubs may play with more than five (5) student-athletes with eligibility remaining in NCAA DI. There is no limit for NCAA DII, DIII, NAIA, or NJCAA.- NO NCAA student-athletes with eligibility remaining may participate with an APA team if there is a member of the institution's soccer staff involved in any capacity, at any time with the team.
    Exception
    Before initial full-time collegiate enrollment, defined as participants with a team or in fall/spring term, an individual may compete on a professional team provided he/she does not receive more than actual necessary expenses on the team.