Last year we we’re supposed to see a very new lineup for the NPSL and WPSL North. With the NPSL North consisting of just six teams, Dakota Fusion, Duluth FC, LC Aris FC, Med City FC, Milwaukee Torrent, and Minneapolis City SC, the smallest amount in the conference’s history. However on the other hand the WPSL’s North Conference was set to expand to seven clubs, the largest in it’s history, and the most geographically sound as for the second straight year there we’re no Chicago area teams in the conference.
However then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and forced the cancellation of the NPSL season on March 28th. While at the beginning of April the WPSL announced they would delay the start before cancelling the season at the end of the month. This resulted in us not seeing the 2020 season for either league, the UPSL, USL League Two, or the inaugural season of the Midwest Premier League just to our east.
But in 2021 both conferences are coming roaring back with a vengeance. The NPSL North will head back to seven teams with the return of Sioux Falls Thunder and expansion side Joy Athletic Club while Milwaukee Torrent will depart the conference and head back to the Great Lakes Conference.
On the WPSL side the North Conference will see all six clubs return from 2019 with the addition of the Minnesota Thunder Academy fielding the seventh side in the conference. This actually marks the first time the Thunder name will be used for a Senior level side in a National league since the Thunder men folded following the 2009 USL First Division season. A move that resulted in the creation of NSC Minnesota Stars who went on to become Minnesota United FC and our beloved Loons.
As the 2021 season approaches for the local teams stay tuned to E Pluribus Loonum for all the updates and some upcoming specials on different teams, leagues, and various other facets of the game.