Washington Premier League (WPL)
Starliners FC compete in the Washington Premier League, the WPL represents the best local amateur league in the MD/DC/VA area that is affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation via the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). In the Spring of 2014, the WPL was recognized as an Elite Amateur League by the USASA. Starliners FC are associated to the USASA by registering players through the Maryland State Soccer Association (MSSA). In the Fall 2019 Season – Yinz United finished the regular season with the best record to take the Washington Premier League fall title, while Starliners FC finished in second place. In the WPL playoffs Starliners FC shutout Yinz United 2:0 to lift the Helge Boes Cup for the first time.
USASA National Amateur Cup
The United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) National Amateur Cup is a national tournament open to all amateur teams affiliated with the USASA (United States Adult Soccer Association). The USASA is affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). The qualification process is as follows. First, teams have to survive the State qualification process that starts in the Fall season and finishes in the beginning of the Spring season. All state champions qualify for regional rounds of the competition. In the regional rounds of the competition, the various state champions are paired up and play single elimination games until a regional champion is determined. The country is split up into 4 regions – MD/DC/VA in Region 1, which spans Maine down to West Virginia. The four regional champions qualify for the National rounds of the competition, which takes place over a summer weekend in July or early August at a predetermined location. National semi-finals and finals are played during the course of that weekend to determine that year’s National Amateur Champion.
Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is similar to England’s FA Cup. It is one of North America’s longest standing competitions and has been played every year since 1914. It is open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with the USSF. The tournament ultimately commences in first round with 24 professional teams (MLS, USL-1, USL-2) and 16 amateur teams (8 PDL, 8 USASA) clubs participating. There is a qualification process for amateur teams (and professional teams for that matter) which is very similar to that of the USASA National Amateur Cup, but is run as a separate competition. The only wrinkle is that all of the Regional Finalists at the amateur level (USASA) level qualify for the first round of the actual US Open Cup. For more information on the US Open Cup, visit the US Open Cup website (link).
Irrespective of what occurs in the actual US Open Cup, the regional finalists will play each other to determine a champion for each USASA Region. The regional champions qualify for Nationals during a weekend in late July or early August (same location, time as Amateur Cup) to determine an Amateur champion for the US Open Cup (USASA – only). In essence, from the perspective of the amateur team the US Open Cup is exactly like the USASA National Amateur Cup, with the only difference being able to qualify and play in the US Open Cup proper as a regional finalist.