A Look At The Eastern Division Ahead of 2022 Kick Off
Published May 16, 2022
Written By:   Thomas Costello
              Central Region Contributor


Entering the 2022 WPSL season, realignment changed the way the teams in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania compete. A more compact Ohio Valley Conference offers excitement and heightened competition in the new season – mainly because the distance between teams was shortened, offering more roster selection on quicker trips.

This season, Ohio Valley is comprised of a mixture of established WPSL teams and expansion sides as well as featuring two conference champions from the 2021 season. The conference is split into Eastern and Western divisions, with the winner of each divisional standing facing off in a conference title match scheduled for July 9 at the home field of the Eastern Division champion.

The teams in the Eastern Division include Ambassadors Cleveland, Beadling Soccer Club, Century United, Cleveland Ambassadors, and Columbus Eagles. Here's what to know about each before the conference schedule kicks off on May 17.

Ambassadors Cleveland & Cleveland Ambassadors

In Northeast Ohio are Ambassadors Cleveland and Cleveland Ambassadors. While they’re one organization, they tout two teams that compete and compete well in the WPSL.

Ambassadors Cleveland won the 2021 Ohio Valley Conference, with the Cleveland Ambassadors sitting just behind in second place. Between the two sides, there was only a single loss all season that came when the two met on May 29, 2021, resulting in a 4-2 victory for Ambassadors Cleveland.

With an absence of a league postseason, the Ambassadors’ season ended with the one-two finish at the top of the table, but accolades followed as Cleveland’s a team to watch with its ability to foster talent.

Head coach Caleb Fortune took home the Ohio Valley’s Coach of the Year award and postseason voting placed nine players across the two teams on the 2021 East Region All-Conference Team.

Beadling Soccer Club

The next team in the Eastern Division is new to the league, but nowhere close to new at its foundation. Beadling started soccer operations in 1898, making it the longest-running youth soccer organization in the United States. It’s one of two teams in the conference located in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Beadling focuses on all ages of the game and fosters talent that moves on to NCAA Division I soccer. Its inaugural WPSL team already features athletes from the strongest conferences in the NCAA including two players from the West Virginia Mountaineers, four from the University of Pittsburgh and players across the B1G and SEC conferences.

In its most recent round of player announcements, Beadling added defender Samantha White from Michigan State University who’s started every match in her collegiate career and earned All-B1G Second Team recognition.

Century United

Alongside Beadling in Western Pennsylvania is Century United who joined the league in 2021 and ended its inaugural season in third place behind the two Ambassador sides.

After a tough start to 2021, losing both of its first two matches against Cleveland, Century went on a tear and didn’t lose another match from its final five matches of the season, including a 3-3 draw against Ambassadors Cleveland on the final matchday. That draw was the only points Ambassadors Cleveland dropped all season to show the improvement of Century from the beginning of the season till the end.

In 2022, it’ll be interesting to see how Century continues to grow.

Columbus Eagles

Rounding out the Eastern Division of the Ohio Valley Conference is the Columbus Eagles. Columbus is one of the more tenured WPSL sides as it enters its eighth season in the league. Each of the club’s past seven seasons brought varying levels of success, but 2021 was a challenging season for the Eagles after facing a coaching change which proved difficult to overcome.

Head coach Matt Ogden, who also coaches the Division III Capital University women’s soccer team of the Ohio Athletic Conference, took last year off after the 2020 fall college season was pushed into the spring of 2021.

Eagles CEO Mark Wise, who has a long history of coaching soccer, put himself in charge of the 2021 season. That, alongside travel that stretched the Eagles all the way to St. Louis, Mo. for away matches, was difficult to overcome. Even so, the team comprised of more experienced players began to show improvement at the season’s end as Columbus won two of its last four matches.

Ogden returns to coach the 2022 Eagles, looking to add to the improvement shown at the end of 2021.

The Eastern Division kicks off the 2022 season for the Ohio Valley Conference as the two Ambassadors' sides face off on May 17

Check back for Part II ahead of the Western Division season kick-off match on May 20.

For the complete Ohio Valley Conference visit