ASPL: The APBA Soccer Premier League

APSL_logoAs far as I know, the first attempt at starting a draft league using the APBA Soccer game was born right here on I called it The Granddaddy of Them All.

From an article published here on Jan 3, 2012:

I am excited to announce the forthcoming formation of a new APBA Soccer play-by-mail draft league, using the 2011/2012 English Premiere League cards.

The League Constitution is still in very preliminary stages, and at this point we have about a half-dozen interested parties. Our intention is to begin play in September with EPL cards based on the season currently in progress.

That league never did get off the ground, nor did various other attempts along similar lines. It’s with great pleasure, however, that I am able to announce that (though I had no part in it) today there is an APBA Soccer League in its inaugural season, and it looks to be a good one.

The APBA Soccer Premier League (ASPL) is the ambitious product of commissioner Ryan Strauss’ imagination. An APBA Soccer enthusiast from Pennsylvania, Ryan first brought up the idea of a draft league back in November of last year. There was strong early feedback that this was an idea whose time had come, and the ASPL had a full slate of managers in no time at all.

For this first season, there are 13 clubs each facing one another twice for a total of 24 games – though each manager is only responsible for his own 12 home matches. The leader on points (3 for a win, 1 for a draw) at the end of the season is the ASPL champion.

Besides the top-of-the-table championship, the ASPL Open Cup is a very exciting and novel concept that I personally look forward to following (and hopefully participating!).

Click on the thumbnail to see this well-thought-out and impressively designed crest from ASPL's Hart United FC at full size. It's worth it.

Click on the thumbnail to see this well-thought-out and impressively designed crest from ASPL’s Hart United FC at full size. It’s worth it.

From what I’ve seen, the league is incredibly deep in terms of imagination, participation-level of each individual manager, and comprehensive thought put into the organization and constitution of the league.

Here are some highlights of what to expect from the ASPL:

  • #DecisionDay on Sunday, August 28th, where all 6 games that day will be played at the same time. This is the day that the league champion will officially be crowned.
  • Open Cup Final will be broadcast LIVE on Periscope over Labor Day Weekend
  • Of the 13 managers in the league, 4 are under 30!
  • From Commissioner Strauss: “We see ourselves as play-testers the game, and will address issues not in the game manual with the APBA Gaming Company.”
  • More Strauss: “We have included some modifications, including: an optional timing dice to add some unpredictability to the minute-by-minute game flow, adding up individual defensive ratings to obtain the team defensive rating, a fatigue chart, a re-roll after Red-Cards, and are using “Master Ratings” (based off of stats) for the Open Cup.”

I hope that the ASPL shares some of these innovations, especially the individual defense ratings system (which sounds like one I’ve been advocating for since forever), as the APBA Soccer community can only benefit from more community-created content.

CLICK HERE TO READ Ryan’s in-depth preview of this first season of the ASPL. (I recognize those Keane/Nguyen cards from somewhere before…hmmm…I wonder where?)

It’s a league worthy of a blog all its own, so I hope we get further online updates as the season progresses. I, for one, will be following intently.

For more info on the Open Cup, or to talk about expansion franchise opportunities, click here to email Ryan Strauss.

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  1. Thank you so much for writing this, Paul!! If anyone has any questions, please feel free to reach out. Also, follow along here on the Official ASPL Facebook Page for updates!:

  2. I’m a big fan of your tabletop sports magazines and it’s great to see you talk about our league , thx Paul .

  3. Hey, the league has “parody,” so that should be fun.

  4. First season almost in the books.

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