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United Premier Soccer League Announces Florida's Fan-Owned Gold Coast Inter AFC as Expansion Club
Founded in 2017, Palm Beach (Fla.)-Based Pro Development Club Joins UPSL
Based in West Palm Beach (Fla.), Gold Coast International AFC will begin UPSL play in the Southeast Conference Florida South Division. Founded by Christian Franek, the club is owned by its supporters and players.
United Premier Soccer League Commissioner Yan Skwara said, "The UPSL has been committed to Connecting American Soccer and its grass-roots, local and international clubs, and we're really pleased to welcome Gold Coast Inter AFC to the Florida South Division. Founder Christian Franek has a vision for a fan-owned club and the Palm Beach community has responded positively at every step, both on and off the field. It's inspiring to see, and we wish Gold Coast Inter AFC continued success."
Franek, 47, played varsity soccer at Rome (Ga.)'s Darlington High School and a season at Kentfield (Calif.)'s College of Marin. A long-time amateur player in South Florida, Franek formed the first Gold Coast Inter team from a group of free agents in Florida's popular Beaches Adult Soccer League (BASL).
With a little inspiration from international soccer legend Thomas Rongen, Franek created Inter Community Trust, Inc., a fan-owned non-profit organization, and the team came up with its iconic green and gold color scheme.
The club has quickly grown to two field teams, with Gold Coast Inter AFC 'Gold' claiming the BASL Spring 2018 championship.
Gold Coast Inter AFC General Manager Christian Franek said, "We've built upon some steady success and now here we are. We've got great sponsors in Icarus FC and Mellow Mushroom, and we're ready and excited to join the UPSL and get going this Fall. The UPSL took notice of our efforts in the community, and now we want put our best foot forward."
David Johnson is the Head Coach of Gold Coast Inter AFC. Johnson, 45, is a native of Jamaica and a former professional player and coach in Jamaica's Premier League.
"We were presented with the option of joining the UPSL and everyone was saying, 'Let's just figure out how to do it,' and that just made it an obvious choice," Franek said. "It's the right fit for us, and is the best choice amongst the leagues that exist currently."
The club is currently exploring its venue options in compliance with UPSL's Minimum Standards. The team soon will announce its upcoming tryout and game schedule.
About Gold Coast Inter AFC
Gold Coast International Association Football Club is an American Soccer club currently based in West Palm Beach, Fla., and a new member of the United Premier Soccer League. Gold Coast Inter AFC plays in the UPSL Pro Premier.
Founded in 2017, Gold Coast Inter AFC 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/