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NPSL Continues Growth for 2013 Season
The National Premier Soccer League Adds 4 More Expansion Teams, Brings 2013 Total to 15 New Clubs
The new member clubs include CD Aguiluchos USA, CASL Elite, Liverpool Warriors, and Tulsa Athletics.
Aguiluchos USA, named after the most popular team in El Salvador’s history, will play home games at Kezar Stadium and Balboa Field in San Francisco. They will try to capitalize on the large number of Salvadoran players in their area.
“We joined the NPSL as an opportunity to expand our brand in an exciting league,” Executive Director Jorge De Leon stated. “We expect to have an immediate impact because of the quality of our coaching staff and players.”
The team is led by head coach Hugo Coria, an Argentine that made his name in El Salvador as a player and manager. Registering 105 goals for Club Deportivo Águila from 1989-1996, Coria claimed two scoring titles in El Salvador’s Primera Division. As a coach, he led his former team to three major titles, including the Copa President in 2000.
North Carolina’s CASL Elite brings one of the country’s largest youth programs to the NPSL. They have 700 youth teams, which support over 20,000 players, officials, coaches, parents, and fans. They also boast a partnership with Chelsea Football Club of the English Premier League, the first of its kind in North America.
Their new NPSL side will feature ex-CASL youth players and retired professionals from the their area. CASL is led by CEO Charles Slagle, former head coach for Davidson College and current candidate for NSCAA president, and General Manager Scott McGuinn.
CASL Elite will play home games at WRAL Soccer Center, a 24-field facility in Raleigh.
As their name suggests, Liverpool Warriors also share a partnership with an English Premier League side, Liverpool FC. The Warriors will be a flagship team for Liverpool FC America, the 3rd largest youth soccer organization in North Texas with over 110 teams.
“We wanted to provide a level of soccer between youth competitive and professional that would allow area players to be showcased in a competitive and professional league,” Owner/President Peter Brody commented.
Wilco Ravestijn will be their first-ever head coach. Ravestijn was a four-year starter at West Virginia Wesleyan College before turning pro with the Dallas Sidekicks and Richmond Kickers. He has over 12 years of coaching experience and possesses a USSF “A” license.
They will play their home games at Clark Stadium in Plano, Texas. The first-class facility can accommodate over 7,500 fans.
Under the leadership of Sonny Dalesandro and Dr. Tommy Kern, Tulsa Athletics will bring top-flight soccer back to Oklahoma.
“Tulsa has an extremely rich and colorful soccer past and our goal is to give the city a club it can support and be proud of,” Dalesandro stated. “We plan on recognizing and tying into that past, while giving our community an accessible club where the supporters have a voice.”
The ownership views this team as a grassroots project that will help promote the sport of soccer and at the same time, build on existing relationships with local youth soccer organizations.
Tulsa hopes to capitalize on one of America’s largest talent pools of collegiate players. There are two NCAA Division I programs, a nationally-ranked DII program, and a successful NAIA school in the area.
CD Aguiluchos USA, CASL Elite, Liverpool Warriors, and Tulsa Athletics join previously announced expansion teams like FC Sparta Michigan, Las Vegas Stallions FC, Zanesville Athletic FC, the Cape Coral Hurricanes, Tampa Marauders FC, Miami United SC, Chesterfield United FC, Rock City Soccer Club, the New Orleans Jesters, Virginia FC, and RVA Football Club for the 2013 NPSL season.
Yet another round of expansion teams will be announced at a later date.