As amateur teams and leagues across Wisconsin and the Midwest start unveiling their plans for 2017, let's catch up on some news:
- After going 6-1-3 to win the Premier League of America West Division title last summer, the Milwaukee Bavarians dominated the division's Team of the Year selected by coaches. The Bavarians, who had the top attack and defense in the six-team division and went on to win the PLA championship, claimed five of the 11 spots on the honor team: Dogara Zamani and Marquette's Danny Jarosz (Milwaukee Marquette) on defense, midfielders Scott Lorenz (UW) and Logan Andryk (Milwaukee Marquette/MSOE) and Milwaukee School of Engineering forward Braden Andryk (Milwaukee Marquette). The Croatian Eagles had two representatives on the team in striker Andrew Wiedabach (Mequon Homestead/UW-Milwaukee), who led the team in goals, and midfielder Diego Bobadilla. Cedar Rapids Rampage United forward Gordy Gurson was selected as the West Player of the Year. Minneapolis City SC fullback Abdallah Bah (UW-Green Bay), who was named to the divisional Team of the Week every week he played, finished second in the voting as he also earned a spot in the season's Best XI.
- The PLA has added two teams in the past week, with the Elgin Pumas (Ill.) and Toledo Villa FC (Ohio) joining the previously announced Muskegon Risers in entering the league for 2017. The additions offset three departures – Minneapolis City SC, Minnesota United Reserves and Toledo United – as the league remains at 12 teams for the second straight year. The league schedule is expected to be released March 1, according to Bavarians co-manager Patrick Hodgins.
- With the changes, Aurora Borealis (Ill.) has moved to the West Division after playing in the East during its inaugural 2016 season. Here are the divisions for this season:
West Division: Aurora Borealis (played in East in 2016), Cedar Rapids Rampage United, Croatian Eagles, Elgin Pumas (new team), Madison 56ers, Milwaukee Bavarians
East Division: Carpathia Kickers FC, Muskegon Risers (new team), Oakland County FC, Ole SC, RWB Adria, Toledo Villa FC (new team)
- La Crosse Aris FC and Minneapolis City SC are two of the eight charter members of the National Premier Soccer League Midwest Region North Conference. Also in the conference are Minnesota's Duluth FC, Med City FC (Rochester), Minnesota Twin Stars (St. Paul) and VSLT FC (St. Paul), Dakota Fusion SC from Fargo, N.D., and Sioux Falls Thunder FC (S.D.). Aris and the Twin Stars both have lengthy histories in the NPSL – Aris has played in the league seven of the past eight years, while the Twin Stars were a charter member of the league in 2005.
- The spring schedule for the Wisconsin Soccer Leagues Major Division is expected to be released in mid-February, Hodgins said. Bavarian SC (6-0-1) tops the six-team Majors table ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers (5-2-1) and Milwaukee Sport Club (4-1-2) after the fall season. In the First Division, North Shore United (7-1-1) and Bavarian Reserves (7-1-0) are neck-and-neck atop the massive, 19-team standings; the spring schedule for the division already is set. Standings and results: Major Division | First Division
- Top-seeded Green Bay Team Miller (12-3-0) repeated as Northern Wisconsin Soccer League Premier Division champions, beating No. 3 seed Neenah Boom 3-1 in the final Oct. 16, while No. 2 seed FC Oshkosh (10-4-1) edged top-seeded Westchester United 1-0 in the Division I title. The 2017 season likely will kick off in May. Standings, results on the NWSL website
- Madison Fire Black (6-0-2) leads the six-team Madison Soccer Association Division 1 standings by six points over newcomer FC Crossley (4-2-2) following the fall portion of the season. Chivas (7-1-0) and reigning champion Epic FC (6-2-0) lead the way in the seven-team Division 2. Standings, results on the MSA website