MAINEVILLE, Ohio (June 9, 2022) – The Southeastern Ohio Soccer League (SOSL) is excited to announce a merger with Ohio Soccer Association (OSA) starting in the fall of 2022. The league will now be called the Ohio Soccer Developmental League Southeast (OSDL SE) and will retain the festival format and game flexibility popular with clubs in the region.
SOSL was formed in 2007 to give players in southeastern Ohio competitive games in the area. SOSL grew rapidly and consistently had teams from Logan, Athens, Albany, Marietta, Rio Grande, Jackson, Belpre, and Ripley, WV.
“I believe this is a great opportunity for us and something that SOSL has been talking about for some time,” said Brian Ennis, SOSL Director. “I really appreciate OSA’s desire to help us improve youth soccer in this part of the state. The merger will allow us to play more games regionally, play more meaningful games outside of tournaments, attract new clubs, play games in Columbus (optional), utilize OSA’s administrative tools and personnel, and lower costs.”
First Capital FC (Chillicothe) Director Zach Breth, who has teams participating in SOSL, added, “There is a lot of youth soccer being played throughout the southeast district of Ohio. This merger will allow for more collaboration amongst these groups. I believe SOSL has provided a wonderful model that accommodates the local factors such as team formation, travel distances, and field availability. I believe with the involvement of OSA/OSDL, we can support this model, grow the game by building more clubs, and connect these groups with the clubs throughout the rest of the state. I am excited for these opportunities!”
The Ohio Soccer Development League, in partnership with Nike, is comprised of a growing network of locally based regional leagues. OSDL Cleveland and OSDL Columbus were the first to kick off in Fall 2021, and OSDL Southeast will become the third regional league in the OSDL network. The league was formed with the express focus on developing and enhancing player education and retention, mentorship and coaching education, positive spectator sideline culture, and referee development. In the 2021-22 Season, players and coaches were able to work closely with OSA technical staff, including U.S. Soccer coaching instructors, and receive additional educational opportunities at the Columbus Crew facilities. The league is also conscious of supporting its clubs by giving them a voice, which representation comes from a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) comprised of technical leaders from participating clubs.
“Working with SOSL to create OSDL SE is an exciting step for everyone involved. We must thank Brian Ennis for his leadership in SOSL over the past 14 years,” said Tom Turner, OSA Director of Membership Growth and Development. “In a state as large as Ohio, every geographic area has its own unique challenges. In conjunction with OSDL Columbus, OSDL SE caters directly to the needs of the soccer clubs in the southeastern counties. OSA’s mission is to help soccer grow. For many smaller clubs, that simply means providing an opportunity to play against a larger variety of opponents with as much flexibility as possible to get players on the field.”
A: OSA is the largest youth soccer organization in the Midwest, with the main office in Cincinnati and a dedicated Member Services department in Cleveland. OSA provides direct administrative assistance with registration, scheduling, and referee assigning, and offers both formal and informal (free) coaching education to member clubs. OSA is partnered with risk experts Player’s Health to manage Safe Soccer requirements on behalf of its members, eliminating a significant time demand on volunteer club administrators.
A: The Ohio Soccer Developmental League is a growing network of OSA leagues in partnership with Nike. OSDL Columbus and OSDL Cleveland began play in Fall 2021. The league schedule features a combination of four (4) Play Weekends and self-scheduled games. The Play Weekends bring teams to common locations (Coshocton, Dublin, Newark, Zanesville) to play between one (1) and four (4) games as schedules allow. OSDL teams play an 8-game schedule, with additional friendly games added as needed.
OSDL Southeast will be the newest addition to the Developmental Leagues and will have its own local sites (see below).
A: No. Games will be played in a festival format to accommodate the challenges many clubs face in fielding single-age teams of boys or girls.
A: As part of the statewide OSDL structure, OSDL SE teams can elect to compete in the four (4) OSDL Columbus events at no additional cost.
A: OSDL SE will offer divisions for U10, U12 and U14/15 boys’ and girls’ teams.
A: There will be four (4) events scheduled for both the fall and spring seasons
A: Each team would typically play two (2) games per day, but this is not required.
A: Yes. Game formats (7v7 / 9v9 / 11v11) and opponents will be modified as necessary to accommodate genders, ages, and the available number of players.
A: The games will be played at host locations. The fall sites will include Chillicothe and Rio Grande. The remaining fall locations and final schedule will be announced later this month.
A: The cost for a U10 team and up to 15 players is $275 per season. The cost for a U12 team and up to 18 players is $300 per season. And the cost for a U14 team and up to 22 players is $325 per season.
A: Yes. OSDL players will be carded as competitive, and those cards will be valid for tournament play.
A: There are no carding fees for coaches; however, there is an $18 background check required every two (2) years as part of OSA’s Safe Soccer requirements.
A: Teams are responsible for paying 50% of the referee fees for each game. The 2021-2022 referee fees can be viewed here.
A: The OSDL online registration will open on Monday, June 13. Click here to access the OSDL webpage. Each club will have access to a Demosphere registration system provided by OSA and the OSA Member Services team will provide direct assistance to new members.
A: For more information, please contact Jessica Eberle (630-441-8177 / email@example.com) or Tom Turner (216-496-4683 / firstname.lastname@example.org).
About Ohio Soccer Association (OSA):
OSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to growing youth soccer in the State of Ohio. Our singular goal is to support, inspire, and grow youth soccer by unlocking the potential within every community. We support clubs, leagues, teams, coaches, referees, parents, and players with resources, expertise, and programs that it easier for young people to get involved and stay in the game. We stand for innovation, integrity, teamwork, inclusion, and trust.