August 14, 2020, Baltimore, MD - Maryland Bobcats FC are excited to announce our intentions to joing the Eastern Premier Soccer League (EPSL) for the 2020/21 season.
The Maryland Bobcats FC are the reigning fall 2019 UPSL National Champion and recently participated in the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) Independent Cup. Further, the Bobcats recently announced that they are going full professional and joining NISA which is sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) as a 3rd division professional league (MLS is the only professional league sanctioned by USSF as 1st Division, the USL Championship is the only professional league sanctioned by USSF as 2nd Division, and the USL1 along with NISA are the only profession leagues sanctioned by USSF as 3rd Division). The Maryland Bobcats FC rise to professional soccer club started more than 10 years ago competing in the Maryland Major Soccer League. The club evolved over the years with some name changes, but the ownership and core of the team has remained the same and committed to giving back to their community, offering playing opportunities and exposure for players often overlooked by the traditional youth soccer and college pathway that exists in the United States. The Maryland Bobcats First Team will be fully professional competing in NISA and they will field Maryland Bobcats FC II in the UPSL as well as the EPSL. This alignment establishes a clear connection between the EPSL and NISA and a path to pro.
Club President Jay Saba is looking forward to the continued evolution of the club, "It's a great opportunity for us to still continue to get involved with local leagues and also be able to develop players. It's a step in the right direction for our youth program and for our organization".
EPSL President Bill George said, “we are thrilled to add the Maryland Bobcats who have grown from a Maryland Majors club to a full professional club. Having a NISA club playing in the EPSL aligns with what we are building as a league to provide opportunities and exposure for players and clubs.”
Maryland Bobcats General Manager Evan Raimist said, “Joining the EPSL and placing our Second Team in the competition is fantastic for the continuing player development for our club. Now, the club has a Youth program, a Second Team that can compete locally against high-quality opponents, and a fully professional team on top competing in NISA. This allows us to have a top to bottom club that can take a player from our youth program, to our Second Team to continue to work and improve, and ultimately have a chance at a professional contract. Our Second Team will help us bridge the gap between youth soccer and professional soccer and will allow us to see if some younger players are ready, both physically and mentally, to take the next step in their soccer careers. Add in some of the best amateur clubs on the East Coast and Pro/Rel, and it checks all the boxes for us.”
To keep up to date on all things Maryland Bobcats FC, make sure to follow us on Twitter at @MDBobcatsFC, on Instagram at @mdbobcatsfc, and on Facebook at "Maryland Bobcats FC". Schedules and updates will also be posted on our website, www.marylandbobcatsfc.com.
About the Eastern Premier Soccer League
Formed in 2020, the EPSL is a 501(c) non-profit corporation, which is owned by the member clubs and the feeder leagues. Unlike other national and regional leagues, the clubs and feeder leagues will participate in governance including the establishing of fees, prize money, and schedule in order to keep costs down and minimize travel. The EPSL is looking to establish agreements with other local leagues as either a promotion/relegation feeder league or through a cooperative league agreement to preserve and maintain the relevancy of elite local leagues by marketing as members of the EPSL. Through either pro/rel or this association of leagues, local leagues can collectively market themselves as entry points to higher level playing opportunities and leagues of choice for competitive amateur soccer.
In July of 2020 EPSL reached historical feeder league agreements with two elite amateur soccer leagues in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League (CSL) in the New York metropolitan area and the Baltimore, MD/Washington, DC based Maryland Major Soccer League (MMSL) to establish the first regional based multi-league promotion and relegation system in the United States. The CSL and MMSL have produced US Open Cup and National Amateur champions and have some of the top amateur teams in the United States so reaching agreements with these elite leagues is an exciting milestone in the history of US Soccer.
The EPSL will continue to make announcements on what clubs will complete in its inaugural season in the coming weeks and months. Due of course to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, actual return to play will be dictated by guidance from federal, state, and local health officials along with applicable soccer governing bodies.
EPSL clubs will be affiliated with the US Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA), through their state associations and, as such, will be eligible to participate in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup qualifying rounds, the US National Amateur Cup and state and regional cup competitions.
More information about EPSL can be found at epslsoccer.com or on the league’s social media platforms.
Direct: 201-943-3390 or 410-598-3995