The American Soccer League announced on Wednesday that the will be changing the playing calendar for their games for the upcoming 2016 season. They will be moving from their current Fall to Spring schedule to the more traditional American Spring to Fall schedule. The league will still continue however it's split schedule format.
"Switching to a Spring-To-Fall season allows us to do more with players during the Summer break such as league-wide All-Star Games and promotional tours," said ASL CEO Matt Driver in a press release announcing the decision."
One of the reasons for the change was that it will allow teams a longer break in between seasons to give them more time to prepare rosters. The league is putting a premium on developing and signing younger players.
"A realignment of our scheduling and seasons will allow the ASL to become the premium league for young American professional players by aligning ourselves with the top domestic leagues." said Driver.
Another reason is to prepare expansion teams for their debut seasons. For teams, such as the impeding Delaware franchise, it will give them more time to prepare. The ASL is looking to expand to 14-16 teams and will use the additional time to choose the franchises that will join.
"We want our incoming franchises to be ready to play and prepared to play," said Driver later on in a phone interview. "It's controlled expansion."
So what does this mean for the local ASL teams and the games that would have been the Fall season? In the press release it said the Fall season will still be played, however the games will now be unofficial exhibitions.
The Philadelphia Fury will continue to train and prepare for their first season at Rowan University. As for new expansion side the Delaware Copperheads, owned by Philadelphia native Jeremiah White, they will continue to have tryouts to build up their roster. The team will have a combine this weekend, 4-6pm Saturday and 10-12 Sunday at Total Turf in Pitman, NJ.