UPSL Announces New Team Expansion with San Gabriel Valley's USA Soccer Stars FC
Southern California's World-Wide Traveling Soccer Club to Debut in UPSL's Pro Premier Division for the 2017 Season
By: united premier soccer league
USA Soccer Stars FC will begin play in UPSL's Pro Premier Division beginning with the 2017 Spring Season.
United Premier Soccer League Commissioner Yan Skwara said, "USA Soccer Stars have developed a proven Southern California-based Pro Development soccer model with an emphasis on International match play for their top teams. The club felt that the UPSL was a perfect extension to their soccer program and we are pleased to welcome the club into the league. USA Soccer Stars has succeeded at high-profile tournaments in Barcelona, Portugal and in Mexico, and have a squad of players with international experience and competitive quality that is sure to find success in the UPSL Pro Premier Division. We look forward to a long term relationship with USA Soccer Stars and wish the club the best of success in the upcoming 2017 season.
USA Soccer Stars is led by Juan M. Lopez and Jari Holopainen.
Lopez is an electrical engineer with contracts in the airline industry. Holopainen is a professional coach and scout. The duo together own USA Soccer Stars. They initially founded FC Barcelona Penya in Los Angeles in '09 as a travel team with their sons, Manuel Gio Lopez and Lucas Holopainen, as players.
The group, assisted by Chris DeLaFuente and physical therapist Takuya Yumori among others, has formed talented Pro Development teams with nation-wide tryouts, and delivered some of the best results from an American team in International Tournament competition.
USA Soccer Stars finished among the final eight teams three consecutive years (2011-'13) at the prestigious Mediterranean International Cup in Barcelona, Spain.
The club was a Cal South State I.D. Pool league champion in 2008 and a State Cup winner in 2009. USA Soccer Stars trained at FC Barcelona and was the first American youth academy to defeat a FC Barcelona youth team at the fame 'La Masia' training ground.
USA Soccer Stars Head Coach Juan M. Lopez said, "We've had teams play against some of the biggest youth academies in the world – FC Barcelona, Ajax, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United. We've competed at big tournaments and now it's time to gather all these players and make a national name for ourselves. We want to grow, and we want to help grow the UPSL as a Pro Development league."
The club has been a Cal South member and a veteran of Coast Soccer League. It currently operates three boys teams (Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18) in the Southern California Developmental Soccer League.
Manuel Gio Lopez, Lucas Holopainen and former USA Soccer Stars teammate Damian Vasquez have all spent time training with Tijuana, Mexico's Xolos professional soccer club.
USA Soccer Stars FC
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United Premier Soccer League
The UPSL was formed in 2011 and currently includes more than 50 teams in California, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho and Colorado. UPSL is the fastest growing Pro Development League in the USA, with 60-plus teams targeted for 2017 Winter/Spring Season. Each UPSL team is individually owned and operated, and is responsible for maintaining UPSL minimum standards.
UPSL teams are all eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup Qualifying Rounds through the leagues affiliation with the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA).
More information about UPSL can be found at www.upslsoccer.com or by following the league on Facebook and Twitter.