NEW YORK- A pair of amateur leagues have joined the Eastern Premier Soccer League, which plans to have promotion and relegation, it was announced Thursday.

The Cosmopolitan Soccer League in the New York metropolitan area and the Baltimore/DC based Maryland Majors Soccer League have agreed to establish the first regional based multi-league promotion and relegation system in the United States. The CSL and MMSL have produced Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and National Amateur champions.

Unlike other national or multi-state leagues, entry into the EPSL will be based purely on merit with the champions of local state amateur leagues, with whom the EPSL has agreements, being promoted into the EPSL. At the same time, certain EPSL teams will be relegated back into the local feeder leagues. This will ensure the competition will always be top-notch and will end the days of “you-pay and you-stay.”

The EPSL has promotion and relegation agreements with two feeder leagues, the CSL and the MSSL, and is looking to establish other such agreements with amateur leagues throughout the northeast and, eventually, nationwide.

Unlike some other national and multi-state leagues, the EPSL is not owned by an individual and is not set up as a business to make money, the press release said. The EPSL is a 501(c) non-profit corporation, which is owned by the member clubs and the feeder leagues. The clubs and leagues will participate in the governance of the EPSL. This allows the EPSL to serve its clubs and players and allows the EPSL to keep entry fees at an affordable level. At the same time, the EPSL will have the same level of field and match-day standards and prize money as other recognized high-level amateur leagues.

To keep travel reasonable, the EPSL will be organized into geographical conferences with clubs playing regular season matches within their conferences. The EPSL will play the traditional fall-to-spring calendar and have a multi-conference playoff in June to crown the league champion.

The EPSL will make announcements on what clubs will complete in the 2020-21 season in the coming weeks. The season is expected to start in September or October, depending on current health considerations.