United Premier Soccer League Announces North Carolina-Based San Lee FC as Expansion Team
Sanford (N.C.)-Based Pro Development Club Joins the UPSL for 2018 Fall Season
By: United Premier Soccer League
Based in Sanford (N.C.), San Lee FC will begin UPSL play in the Southeast Conference Mid-Atlantic Division, and host its home games at a site to be constructed and in compliance with UPSL's Minimum Standards.
United Premier Soccer League Commissioner Yan Skwara said, "We are very pleased to welcome San Lee FC to the Southeast Conference as the Mid-Atlantic Division continues to populate with quality clubs that fit into the UPSL's Pro/Rel Model. Owner Tim Blodgett brings a quality organization to the UPSL, and we know that San Lee FC is going to have great success both on and off the field. We wish San Lee FC the best as they prepare to kick off later this year."
Tim Blodgett is General Manager and Head Coach of San Lee FC. Blodgett, 33, currently is the owner and operator of San Lee Soccer Academy in Sanford (N.C.).
San Lee FC General Manager Tim Blodgett said, "I established a business plan several years back and opened up an indoor facility because of my passion for coaching and the beautiful sport! I felt as if it was long overdue here in the community. Soccer is loved by many people here locally; youth and adults deserve to experience the sport to the fullest! We're focusing on structure and professionalism here in Sanford, and I think the UPSL is going to play a huge part in that. Once structured, the system here we will be setting up players for the best opportunity to play soccer on the biggest stages regardless of their backgrounds or social upbringings. We want to prove a point that the pay-to-play model does not work. Players can receive the best training and opportunities without taking out loans in order to do so. The UPSL's Pro/Rel Model is going to change the game here in the United States, and I'd love for our talent pool here in Sanford to get the chance to play at a professional level in their own backyard."
Blodgett has reached agreements with the Lee County manager to cultivate and build the future home of San Lee Football Club's Stadium.
"I can't say enough about the support the City of Sanford and Lee County has given toward this project," Blodgett said. "They've really been behind us and have been great so far in helping us move forward with San Lee FC, we will be breaking ground in the next month or so in order to complete the stadium prior to the start of our season in September 2018!"
Blodgett was a youth soccer standout in his native Connecticut and was set to enroll on a soccer scholarship at University of Rhode Island before the events of Sept. 11, 2001, motivated him to enlist in the Marines upon high school graduation.
A Marine Corps Staff Sargent (Ret.) who served four combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Blodgett featured on the All-Marine Corps team during his 11 years of service but was injured during his fourth combat tour in Afghanistan and returned home.
"I was very blessed and fortunate to represent my country, not only in combat but on the international level in soccer," said Blodgett, who also has been capped in several international matches with the United States Men's National 7-on-7 soccer team.
Blodgett said, "My beautiful wife Jen is a native of Sanford and supports the project and vision of San Lee FC. We currently have two wonderful little boys Talin (6) and Ryker (3) who love the game!"
The club soon will announce tryout dates and its upcoming game schedule.
About San Lee Football Club
San Lee FC is an American Soccer club currently based in Sanford, N.C., and a new member of the United Premier Soccer League. San Lee FC plays in the UPSL Pro Premier.
Founded in 2017, San Lee FC can participate in the qualifying rounds for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup through their affiliation and membership with the UPSL, the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA).
United Premier Soccer League
The UPSL was formed in 2011 and currently includes more than 170 teams in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. UPSL is the fastest growing Pro Development League in the USA, with 200-plus teams targeted for 2018 Spring Season. Each UPSL team is individually owned and operated, and is responsible for maintaining either UPSL Pro Premier Division or Championship Division 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 (www.facebook.com/