What you need to know from the NPSL AGM

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Above photo from facebook.com/npslsoccer

Greetings! We’re just back from San Diego where the National Premier Soccer League held its Annual General Meeting for owners and new teams.

It was a informative and fun weekend in California, with a lot of tremendous guest speakers and presenters. We learned a lot about new teams, our opponents for next season, and most important our path to a championship and the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup competition.

First, the speakers: Our league did a solid job of bringing in people who could both inspire us and help us to run our teams well. We heard from former Newcastle United star Warren Barton (above left), the current FOX analyst and a fellow owner (San Diego Flash). We heard from ex-Metrostars and Swansea forward Giovanni Savarese on the New York Cosmos project, and plenty of talk on our friendship with the NASL.

[ ORDER NOW: 2016 season ticket scarf ]

There was USWNT’s veteran and World Cup winner Shannon MacMillan on her life in soccer, and L.A. Galaxy social media star Chris Thomas on how they do their thing in Carson.

Nick (right) was invited to speak on a social media panel with Dennis Crowley of Stockade FC — who also started Foursquare — Chris Jones of Nashville FC, Diane Scavuzzo of Goal Nation and John Weinerth of SportNgin. That last gentlemen is responsible for our upcoming 12341398_10153810206454173_1000107857459012182_nnew NPSL web site, and app.

We met the league’s new managing director, Jef Thiffault (also picture at top, with Barton), and had the opportunity to spend a little time with him. His experiences helping grow Major League Soccer make for some great stories, and we’re proud to know the NPSL is being guided by his ambitious and creative mind.

So it shakes down like this for 2015, we are going to play six teams home-and-away in the regular season: Indy Eleven B, Fort Pitt Regiment, FC Indiana, Erie Commodores, AFC Cleveland and Rochester RiverdogZ FC.

We’re also planning on competing against Detroit City FC in the Rust Belt Derby, and there’s even talks of inviting the new RiverdogZ side to make the Upstate NY Derby a three-pronged event with Greater Binghamton FC Thunder. Other friendlies are also in the works, and we will have a minimum of seven home games.

NPSL Midwest Playoffs will be hosted by one of the playoff teams over the weekend of July 22-24. We’re hoping its in Buffalo, yet another reason to finish in first.

The NPSL semifinals will be hosted the next weekend at the higher seed, and the championship is set for Saturday, Aug. 6.

San Diego
(Courtesy: Sonny Dalesandro | Tulsa Athletics)

On the Open Cup, until further notice it’s critical to finish with the top record in the region. There’s no reason to rest once a division is clinched, should we find that luxury, as outside of playoff teams spots will be given to gaudy numbers first. Let’s do this.

We’ve learned of some ways to make much-needed and long-awaited improvements to our store, and mostly came away inspired to put last year’s sick, bitter end behind us. We control our own destiny. We’re excited to move forward, as always, for our city.

Also, San Diego is a big, fun, warm place. Hit 80 degrees a few times… in December. Wonderful stuff.

All the best,

FC Buffalo’s ownership