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Amateur notes: WSL Majors, First Division set-ups for 2014-15 unveiled

07/30/2014, 10:30pm CDT
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The Wisconsin Soccer Leagues just crowned its 2013-14 Major and First Division champions two weeks ago, but the next season isn't too far away.

The 2014-15 season is scheduled to kick off Sept. 7 with 27 teams in the state's top men's amateur leagues – 11 in the Majors and 16 in the First Division.

Four new teams are set to play in the Majors, three of them having been promoted after solid seasons in the First Division: playoff champion North Shore United, regular-season champion Upper 90 Sports Pub and SC Waukesha Blue.

The other newcomer brings Majors play back to the capital city, as the Madison Fire join the circuit. The Fire, who have won four of the past seven Madison Soccer Association Division 1 titles but lost in this year's final to Madison United – the most recent Madison club to field a Majors team. United, the 2008-09 Majors champions, withdrew from the state league following the fall 2012 season because of continued forfeits by teams from the Milwaukee area.

The First Division has five new teams, including the new reserve teams from North Shore United and Upper 90 Sports Pub. Azteca United moves down after playing in the Majors last season, while Arandas and Gunners FC are new teams in the league.

The final matches of the fall season are set for Nov. 16. Here's the full divisional breakdown for the 2014-15 season:

Major Division First Division
Bavarian SC Arandas
Croatian Eagles Azteca United
Madison Fire Bavarian SC Reserves
Milwaukee Brewers FC Croatian Eagles Reserves
Milwaukee Kickers SC Gunners FC
Milwaukee Sport Club Lincoln FC
North Shore United Milwaukee Brewers FC Reserves
Polonia SC Milwaukee Kickers SC Reserves
SC Waukesha Blue Milwaukee Sport Club Reserves
United Serbians North Shore United Reserves
Upper 90 Sports Pub Polonia SC Reserves
SC Waukesha White
Simbas SC
United Serbians Reserves
Upper 90 Sports Pub Reserves
Verdi Sport Club
  • The North Shore United Under-23 team won the WSL Women's Premier League championship, topping the Croatian Eagles Majors 3-1 after extra time in Saturday's final on its home turf at Port Washington State Bank Park in Cedarburg.
  • The Madison 56ers (4-0-1) clinched the WSL Men's Under-23 title with a 2-1 victory over Racine United on Tuesday night, wrapping up the championship with one game still to play.
  • Goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem, who redshirted as a freshman at the University of Wisconsin last fall, played a key role as Michigan PDA team won the USL W-20 championship last weekend in Bradenton, Fla. Clem made two big saves in extra time as PDA outlasted the Grand Rapids Crew Juniors 4-3 in Sunday's final, scoring the game-winner in the final seconds of the 120-minute match. PDA blanked the Washington Spirit Academy 4-0 in the quarterfinals and North Carolina's Triangle FC 8-0 in the semifinals, helping Clem earn the Safe Hands Award as the tournament's top keeper.
  • UW's Genevieve Richard was named the USL W-League Goalkeeper of the Year for the second straight season. Richard played every minute in goal for the Laval Comets (6-5-2) and tied for second in the league with six shutouts, ranked third in saves (68) and fifth in goals-against average (0.83). The W-League All-League and All-Central Conference selection turned aside 86 percent of the shots she faced.
  • St. Louis Lions defender Blake Jones (Green Bay Southwest) and UW midfielder Drew Conner of the Chicago Fire Under-23s were named to the USL Premier Development League All-Central Conference team. Jones, who will be a junior at Hartford this fall, had two goals and an assist for St. Louis. Conner, headed into his junior year with the Badgers, had one goal in 13 appearances for the Fire Under-23s.
  • Three players with state ties saw their seasons come to an end in the PDL conference playoffs last weekend. Jones played all 120 minutes as the Lions (6-5-4) lost to the Michigan Bucks 3-1 after extra time in the Central Conference semifinals last Friday in West Des Moines, Iowa. UW-Milwaukee midfielder Laurie Bell started and went 66 minutes as the Ventura County Fusion (8-3-4) were ousted by the Kitsap Pumas 3-1 on penalty kicks following a 3-3 draw Friday in a Western Conference semifinal in Tucson, Ariz. Defender Stuart Grable (Neenah/UW-Green Bay) played all 90 minutes as the West Virginia Chaos blanked the Seacoast United Phantoms 2-0 on Saturday in an Eastern Conference semifinal in Newark, N.J, and also played the full 90 in a 3-1 loss to the Jersey Express in the conference final Sunday. Grable finished with three assist in 10 matches for the Chaos (8-4-4) this season.

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