BYU men's soccer experiment in PDL is over

Like many NCAA Division I schools, BYU doesn't have a varsity men's soccer program and may never will because of Title IX compliance issues, but it did do something no other school has done and launched a team in the PDL. But after 14 seasons, the Cougars have dropped out of the national summer league to play a local club schedule in the fall.

In 2017, BYU played FC Tucson, FC Boulder U23, Colorado Rapids U23 and the Albuquerque Sol. The year before, it was in a PDL division with the Fresno Fuego, Burlingame Dragons, San Francisco City FC and Las Vegas Mobsters.

Now it will play a fall schedule against other club teams in Utah. Only Utah Valley in Utah has a Division I men's soccer program -- Dixie State and Westminster are Division II -- so the eight-game regular-season schedule is dotted with club programs from BYU rivals.

The competition might be a step down, but the atmosphere should be higher. The PDL team drew few fans during the summer when students are away. Players and coaches are not only looking forward to the challenge of trying to win a national club title -- the Cougars won six in nine years before they joined the PDL -- but to the student support.

BYU men's coach Brandon Gilliam to The Daily Universe: “Excitement is at its highest when everyone is coming back to school. We want to give the opportunity to the students to come out and have another event on campus.”
13 comments about "BYU men's soccer experiment in PDL is over".
  1. frank schoon, September 19, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.

    I just find it appalling that a big time college is unable to have a Men's soccer team due to Title 9 . University Tenn. likewise is a victim to this ridiculous ruling....

  2. Eric Mills, September 19, 2017 at 9:54 a.m.

    Don't blame Title IX. Blame football. Football is expensive and takes more than its fair share of scholarships.

  3. Wooden Ships replied, September 19, 2017 at 12:04 p.m.

    Agreed Eric. My masters thesis years back was on Title IX. Its easy to fall within acceptable definitions with regard to compliance. The Worlds most played sport isn't widely supported at the collegiate level, due to it not being wanted. Eggball budgets are just one of a few reasons why.

  4. frank schoon replied, September 19, 2017 at 12:37 p.m.

    Univ of Maryland has football, men's and women's soccer and men's and women's basketball, lacrosse. What is so different with Maryland as compared to other major universities who perhaps don't have a men's team but do have a women's team

  5. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, September 20, 2017 at 12:03 p.m.

    Frankie is hostile to women's soccer. It's clear in every post he makes on the subject.

  6. Wooden Ships replied, September 20, 2017 at 12:08 p.m.

    I can't speak for all universities, but I think the eastern seaboard has a more accepting view of diversity, the world, and also an established tradition of playing soccer. The NCAA and many universities are still run by, alumni included, traditionalists. That isn't bad in and of itself, but the world does move on and forward. Modernity is met with resistance in most fields/organizations. I've heard from some that they don't want another men's sport going at the same time as eggball. Whatever reasons given, their all lame. Believe me, there are even more sinister motives for not having men's soccer at every university. Times are changing though, where I once referred to it as geologic, its now a little quicker.

  7. Fanfor soccer, September 19, 2017 at 4:33 p.m.

    Ships in most big name colleges the football program is self supporting. If University of Texas wanted a tiddly winks team the football program would support it. They have womens soccer which over the years has been succesful. Just think what they could do if they had a mens team.

  8. Wooden Ships replied, September 20, 2017 at 12:19 p.m.

    Fanfor, you and I are from the same place. It was always a head scratcher as to why the Big 8, now the Big 12 doesn't allow men's soccer. Its all about whose in control and there had been and continues to be an establishment bias/prejudice against soccer and those that play it. These dinasoures, some I'm friends with, will gradually lose influence-positions and we might see Soccer for men fully embraced. Ran into an athletic director recently that was from the St. Charles area and I couldn't believe the contempt for soccer and those that played. Geographic osmosis alone should have provided respect for the sport, but not with him. It bordered on hate, I was shocked. He's in his young 50's. Now, one thing that needs to happen for college soccer, to really legitimize the game, is make it a two semester sport.

  9. frank schoon replied, September 20, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.

    Ships, about "contempt" , I ran into that kind of stuff back in the early 70's when most the Athletic directors in high school were Football are Baseball types. But were talking 40 years later, soccer has been around long enough to being a subculture. I can't believe these dinosaurs are still roaming around in the educational field. I remember my first year when coached Varsity soccer at a HS and I was $250 for a budget to buy uniforms ,balls....can you believe that..The way I got around that was to offer the players to buy their uniforms.

  10. frank schoon replied, September 20, 2017 at 12:34 p.m.

    Ships, does the Big 12 offer women's soccer ?

  11. Wooden Ships replied, September 20, 2017 at 7:25 p.m.

    Yes, the Big 12 has had women's soccer for many years now. Rarely, are they of a quality to be excited about though. For years, when I was recruiting along side them, their coaches had limited backgrounds in my opinion. It was all about kickball and heigth and physicality.

  12. frank schoon replied, September 20, 2017 at 7:48 p.m.

    That's unbelievable, WOW

  13. Kent James, September 22, 2017 at 11:44 p.m.

    As Eric said, don't blame Title IX, blame football. If schools have enough women's sports without an equivalent men's sport (field hockey, sometimes diving or gymnastics e.g.) they can make room for a men's soccer program (the disparity in scholarships between men's and women's soccer helps some: 9.9 for men, 14 for women). Wrestling programs have been hammered by this (since there is no women's equivalent). The biggest problem I have with football is that DI has 85 scholarships! For a game that only 11 people can play at a time. That is absurd...

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