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2018 WPSL West Region Preview

By Connor Tapp, 05/05/18, 12:00AM CDT


San Diego SeaLions are the defending West Region champions. [SAN DIEGO SEALIONS]



The question for the four other clubs in the Pac South is whether anyone can keep up with the San Diego SeaLions.


The SeaLions have won the conference two years running and took their dominance to new levels in 2017, racking up a +36 goal differential in just 12 matches played and outpacing second place FC Tucson Women by a full 16 points.  


WPSL newcomers San Diego Parceiro Ladies will receive a trial by fire on May 20 in a San Diego Derby that doubles as the season opener for both clubs. The derby, plus another derby five days later at LA Galaxy San Diego, will indicate immediately if the SeaLions are positioned to make it a three-peat.


Arizona rivals Phoenix Del Sol and FC Tucson Women will face each other twice on the weekend of June 8 with both matches separated by only 48 hours.





If a coach ever needs an example of the value of playing to the final whistle, he or she need to only point to the 2017 Northwest Division standings.


The Northwest was perhaps the most closely contested division in all of the WPSL last season with a mere four points separating first place from fourth. Sounders Women tied with ISC Gunners FC on points but edged them out for the division title by one in goal differential.


Both clubs are back in 2018 in what should be another thrilling battle. PACNW-OSA revamped its roster, including adding two active international players from Ecuador and Italy, and newcomers TSS Rovers, Eugene Timbers FC Azul, and THUSC Diamonds are expansion sides throwing their names into the mix.





Las Vegas Q11 joining the league gives the division two city derbies with defending division champs Players SC also hailing from Sin City.


The two contestants in the WPSL’s Salt Lake City Derby go one step farther, occupying the same stadium at Summitt Academy High School. The SLC Derby will take place in back-to-back weeks to start the 2018 season.


Reno Taho Liberty FC, looking to improve upon its four-point performance in 2017, will host the playoff between the two Pac North division winners. 




The Bay Area division was strong at the top of the table with California Storm and Fresno FC Ladies battling for the 2017 division title. They finished the regular season tied on points, but the Storm’s stingy defense (only four goals allowed all season) gave it the edge in goal difference.


San Francisco Nighthawks, who finished four points behind, also features a strong defense that allowed only five goals in eight 2017 matches. San Ramon FC and MVLA Wolves also make the division competitive, for they finished last season with positive goal differential.


Primero De Mayo is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2017 campaign and has an opportunity to make a statement at Fresno in one of the league's two opening weekend matches.


Marin FC Alliance and Pleasanton RAGE are new expansion clubs within the division.




Legends FC emerged in the conference in 2017 and had the best goal difference. But Legends had too many winnable matches turn into draws and, as a result, ceded the crown to repeat champions Beach Futbol Club. If the Inland Empire club can turn draws into wins, it will be the favorite to topple Beach Futbol Club.


Pateadores finished equal with Legends FC in the tables in 2017 by maximizing its points despite having a zero goal differential, 12 less than Legends.  


So Cal Union FC, based in Temecula, California, is the lone expansion team in the division and will have its first Inland Empire derby match with Legends on June 3.


Proximity defines the conference with all but one club, SoCal FC in Mission Hills, California, within 50 miles of each other. LA Villa FC, LA Premier FC, Fram Ajax and Beach Futbol Club are all based in Los Angeles County.


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