The Washington Premier League (WPL) was founded in 2003 as a fully affiliated USASA league by all the teams previously participating in the Premier Division of the Washington International Soccer League (WISL). The WPL consists of two divisions, the Premier division which competes on Sunday evenings and a First Division that competes on Saturdays. USASA affiliation is split between teams that affiliate through the Maryland State Soccer Association (MSSA).
The success of the Washington Premier League owes much to the foundation laid by its predecessor. The WISL was founded in 1980 as an organized soccer outlet for the foreign organizations and embassies rooted in the Washington DC area.
Over the years under the careful stewardship of league commissioner Chip Terrill, the league flourished and expanded to multiple divisions with a promotion/relegation structure that fostered the best soccer talent available within the greater metropolitan DC area.
Prior to the MLS-era, some of the top US soccer talent in the country called the WISL Premier Division home. Notable names, such as US National team standout Jean Harbor and English Premier League/Trinidad & Tobago stalwart goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, honed their craft within WISL’s top teams along with many other standout performers.
The WISL was a fully affiliated league from its founding in 1980 through 1998, when it formed a Premier division. Until 2003, only the WISL’s Premier Division teams affiliated with the USASA, before separating to form the WPL.
On the regional stage many teams from the WISL Premier division and the Washington Premier League have competed successfully in the USASA National Cups:
- AC Hellas was a routine participant in the US Amateur Cup and known records show them capturing US Amateur Cup state titles in Maryland in 1999 and 2000.
- The WPL’s Dynamo FC, coached by North American Soccer League (NASL) and Canadian international standout, John Kerr Sr., advanced to the USASA Region I Open Cup tournament in 2002 (w/WISL Premier) and 2003 (WPL).
- In 2004, the WPL was represented by LCC International in the Region I qualifiers of the US Open Cup as MDCVSA representatives.
More recently, the Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks and Club Atletico Virginia have represented the WPL in the Region I and National Cups, highlighted by the Aegean Hawks’ 2009 USASA Amateur Cup title over the AAC Eagles of Chicago.
Through these two bitter league rivals, the WPL boasts two Region I titles (2007 – Aegean Hawks, Open Cup; 2009 – Aegean Hawks, Amateur Cup) in addition to the Hawks’ 2009 US Amateur Cup crown and three USASA Region I finalists (2009 – Aegean Hawks, Open Cup; 2011 – Atletico Virginia, Amateur Cup; 2012 – Aegean Hawks, Open Cup).