You see it all the time in professional soccer around the world: teams peak at the right time and put together an amazing Cup run. That’s part of the magic of any Cup competition and what makes soccer so unique…every team has a chance. For some teams, an amazing Cup run means they reach the knockout stage of a major event. For others, that means they go on to win the Cup title.
So why can’t that happen here? The answer is…it can and does!
Ohio Soccer Association (OSA) is proud to be able to provide multiple avenues to reach a national stage.
To get there, a team starts at the local OSA competitive/travel league level. The member competitive leagues that make up OSA are:
- Cardinal Premier League (Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky)
- The Premier League (Columbus/Cincinnati)
- Buckeye Premier Youth Soccer League (statewide)
- Miami Valley Youth Soccer Association (Dayton)
- Northwest Ohio Youth Soccer League (Toledo & northwest Ohio)
- Ohio Soccer Developmental Leagues (Cleveland & Columbus)
- Ohio Soccer State League (statewide)
- Ohio Victors League (Cincinnati & Dayton)
Teams with a proven track record may also qualify to USYS regional and/or national leagues, such as:
These leagues have their own qualifying path to reach a USYS regional or national event.
Regardless of what OSA/USYS league you play in, teams are eligible to participate in our postseason events. We call this the Cup Series, and it consists of the State Cup, Presidents Cup, and Governors Cup.
Teams apply by age group for which state event/Cup they wish to participate in. Each event consists of a group stage [round robin] where generally speaking, groups consist of four teams – just like you’d see in Champions League in Europe, The Libertadores in South America, or even the World Cup. Usually, depending on the total number of teams in an age group, the top team from each group moves into the knockout rounds. If a team keeps producing results, they reach the Final for their age group.
Note: the Governors Cup, by design per request of clubs, ends after the State Finals. There is no regional competition.
The champions of each age group not only hold an Ohio state title, but for State and Presidents Cup teams, qualify automatically for a USYS Midwest region event. This is the Midwest Regional Championships via the State Cup path, and the Midwest Presidents Cup via the Presidents Cup path. Regional events follow a similar format to the Cup Series – groups of four, top team after group stage advances. Groups consist of the top teams from the Midwest region – as far west as Nebraska/Kansas, as far north as Minnesota/Dakota’s, and south to Kentucky/Missouri.
Should a team win a regional title, they advance to a USYS national event: either the USYS National Championships or the USYS National Presidents Cup. Once again, teams are placed in groups of four with other top teams from around the country and can progress from there.
The road to a national stage – starting at your local OSA competitive league – is full of strong competition and lasting memories. Last year, Ohio had ten teams advance to Nationals – a high number compared to the majority of the other fifty-three state associations and given the competitive nature of the pathway.
How many will it be this year? Will it be you?