The Gulf Coast Premier League will add a summer season for 2017 along with three new clubs as its footprint continues to expand. Currently in the middle of its 2016-2017 season, the league will swell to eleven teams with the new additions.
The new teams are:
- Gulf Coast Texans from Pensacola, Florida
- AFC Mobile from Mobile, Alabama
- Baton Rouge United FC from Baton Rouge, Louisiana
In addition to the new clubs, the Lake City Gamblers from Lake Charles, Louisiana will be returning to the league after sitting out the current 2016-2017 campaign.
The summer season format is still being determined as there could be more clubs that join the league, according to GCPL Director of Operations Jonathan Rednour.
The GCPL is a regional alternative to the national amateur/semi-pro National Premier Soccer League and Premier Development League. Other parts of the country have had regional leagues on the same level emerge in recent years. The United States Adult Soccer Association sanctions the GCPL as an Elite Amateur League, placing it in the fourth tier of the U.S. club soccer scene, below MLS, NASL, and USL.
“[The GCPL] couldn’t be happier about the addition of the three new clubs and the return of Lake City. Our goal was to always involve these areas and continue to grow from there. We’re enthusiastic to see Lake City back and to further our growth to Louisiana’s capital. It will also be exciting to see how Alabama and Florida stack up with the competition in our [expanding league].”