Tell me a little about yourself. Who you are, where you're from, and what your role is with the Atlanta District Adult Soccer League.
My name is Matt Laczko, I'm currently living in Kennesaw, but I'm originally from South Florida. My current role is more of a communications/marketing director role. It ranges from taking photos to live-streaming games to being the marketer for the league on a freelance basis.
What can you tell me about the ADASL? What's the league's origin story?
The ADASL is a 52 year old Promotion-Relegation league that started due to the Atlanta Chiefs want to grow the game of soccer in Atlanta. Since then, the league has been an active member of the Georgia State Soccer Association.
The League started with 9 teams in 1967. In that first year, the league played two seasons, split between the fall and spring. The final was played before an Atlanta Chiefs home game in the old Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. The Lockheed Tornado overcame the UGA club team by a score of 1-0 to win the inaugural league championship! Current membership averages between 25 to 30 teams for the Major Season in two divisions. The Major Season is the main competitive season starting the third Sunday in September and running through late spring.
How many teams are currently in the league, and how is it structure?
Currently we have 10 Division 1 teams that compete all over the Atlanta area and 16 Division 2 teams that are competing for promotion this season with the newest addition to our Pro/Rel league with the inclusion of a Top 5 playoff that includes the teams that finish 2nd through 5th being in a playoff for the final promotion spot in Division 1. The team that finishes 1st will be an automatic promoted team. The teams in the bottom 2 of Division 1 will be relegated at the end of the season.
We also have an intra-league tournament called the Perrin Cup which was named after a former ADASL player, manager, and league officer that lost their life to cancer in the 80s. Chris Perrin optimized a ADASL lifer and we are glad to honor him with the tournament now named after him being an automatic qualifier to the USASA Region 3 Tournament via the Georgia State Soccer Association and ours partnership! The biggest part of this tournament is that it is a single-elimination tournament so that means anything can and will happen due to the stakes!
What can you tell me about the Perrin Cup? When did it start, and how do the teams respond to a knockout competition?
The Perrin Cup started two weeks ago (October 27th) and will go on throughout the season. Last year it ended following the end of the season in the Spring. This year it will probably have the same timing. It’s basically the EFL’s Carabao Cup but in our league it leaves more room for teams in D2 to get the chance for upsets! Teams either are all in, like Fury FC last season who went to the semi-finals as a D2 team last year, or can be all our before the tournament. All of our players love it because they get to test their mettle against Division 1 teams and see if they’re ready to take that leap.
How did the opportunity come about for the Perrin Cup to become the qualifier for the USASA Region 3 tournament? I'm sure there will be a lot of teams competing in Cups like this who would love to know how they could get something like this going for their Cup competition.
The Perrin Cup is more where rivalries are made, with Majestic SC and Fury FC became more of a rivalry when Fury had an early upset against the team that had won four titles previous that season.
The Opportunity came for the Perrin Cup to become a region 3 Qualifier via the Georgia State Soccer Association and our leagues close affiliation and the fact that the Georgia Amateur Cup was not bringing enough competition. So the GSSA decided on letting our intraleague cup become a Qualifier since it brings more parity and ensures the quality of play from Georgia is top-tier.
This really began from the ground up with our leagues board, players, and managers all bringing out the best in each other and allowing for the GSSA to see our league as a viable state independent league that enables more competition between amateur teams.
Are there any rivalries that really stand out to you in the league, either in League play, or when teams meet in the Perrin Cup?
Rivalries are really found more in league play with teams such as Revily FC, Majestic SC, Wings SC, and Club ATLetic being more of older rivalries since they have been in the league longer than most other clubs. The Georgia Revolution FC and ATLetic rivalry seems real and they also have a rivalry with Terminus FC now since they lost to them in the Summer League.
How you describe the level of play in your league, and in Atlanta and Georgia as a whole?
I would personally describe the level of play being slightly lower level of play you see on the NPSL or USL2 level for our Division 1 teams. Games are very tight or very wide open with a lot of the players being former collegiate, professional, or semi-professional players. In Division 1, we have teams like the Georgia Revolution FC who use their club as a development team for their NPSL season and teams like Club ATLetic, Majestic SC, and Revily FC who all have veteran players and players who currently coach at the youth level playing either still in their prime or slightly past their prime. You can’t really tell that part of their game because the pace is still breathtaking and the tactics are there.
Where does the league hope to see itself in the next 3 to 5 years?
The league hopes to continue to grow in the next 3-5 years and build out our divisions as we have had in the past. Introducing more opportunities for amateur teams across the Metro Atlanta area. In the long term that means having up to three divisions, introducing more high level competition across the board, having our leagues players being recognized as the talent they are and possibly signing for professional teams (I.e. Clayton Adams of Austin Bold FC and Jordan McCreary of the Sacramento Revolution), and the best part of all of this is ensuring that we continue to reward teams for their play with paying for travel and entry fees into US Open Cup, USASA Regionals, etc.
What's the best for people to find out more about the league and the Perrin Cup?
The best way to find out more about our league is our website www.adasl.com, follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), watch our games of the week on MyCujooTV, and of course come out to any of our games during the season because they are free to the public! We host games across metro Atlanta from September to May and we can be anywhere from Peachtree City to Marietta to Alpharetta to Downtown Atlanta!