United Premier Soccer League Announces Maryland's World Class Premier Elite as Expansion Team
Founded 2017, Montgomery County (Md.)-Based Pro Development Club Joins UPSL
Based in Montgomery County (Md.), World Class Premier Elite will begin UPSL play in the Northeast Conference and play its UPSL home games this season at Blair High School Stadium (51 University Blvd E., Silver Spring, MD 20901) in compliance with UPSL's Minimum Standards.
United Premier Soccer League East Coast Director Jim Antonakas said, "We're excited to bring on World Class Premier Elite out of Maryland to participate in the Northeast Conference in 2019. They're going to add quality to the Northeast with their recent success in Maryland Majors and in qualifying for the 2019 U.S. Open Cup. They have a lot of offer in terms of talent and organization, and we look forward them bringing to the table in the Northeast Conference starting with the Spring Season."
World Class Premier Elite is operated by Kokou Assigbe, Jay Saba, Idrissa Sesay and Daniel Ankrah. Growing from a private training academy and two men's amateur teams playing in separate areas of the metro Washington D.C. and Baltimore areas, the club now features 11 youth teams ages U-10 to U-19 and one of the most successful Pro Development men's teams on the East Coast in 2018.
World Class Premier Elite is currently competing in the Qualifying Rounds for the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, defeating Rochester Lancer 2 (USASA), 3-1, on Nov. 18 in a Qualifying Round 3 game.
Assigbe serves as President and Head Coach of World Class Premier Elite. A native of Togo, Assigbe, 31, played collegiately at University Maryland-Baltimore County (NCAA) and helped lead the team to the American East Conference title in 2010.
World Class Premier Elite President and Head Coach Kokou Assigbe said, "I assessed that based upon the success that we've had and the players that we have, we have players who want more and think that we can achieve even more. We have the group to compete and a desire to be taken more seriously as time goes on so we think that the best time to join the UPSL is now. Let's challenge ourselves even more and see what else can be achieved."
Jay Saba serves as Assistant Manager for World Class Premier Elite. A native of Nigeria, Saba is the CEO of Committed to Change FC, a healthcare company based in Western Maryland.
Idrissa Sesay, better known as "Sesay", is Manager and Co-Captain of World Class Premier Elite. A native of Sierra Leone, Sesay played four years of varsity soccer earning team MVP and All-Gazette honor following his senior season (2008) at Silver Spring (Md.)'s Springbrook High School.
As a freshman at Washington Adventist University – formerly known as Columbia Union College – Sesay earned team awards for Rookie of the Year and Best Midfielder before transferring to Washington D.C.'s Howard University (NCAA) on an athletic and academic scholarship.
World Class Premier Elite Manager and Co-Captain Idrissa Sesay said, "The team is made up of a group of friends. We've known one another since high school (and) the idea was to combine a Washington D.C. and Baltimore team to compete at the highest level. After both teams won their leagues in the same season we came together and realized we have the potential for more, especially with the caliber players and former professionals that we have on this team. I feel like we can still achieve a lot more and the UPSL is the next step."
World Class Premier Elite were the 2018 Spring Season champions in both the Washington Premier League (USASA) and Maryland Majors Soccer League (USASA).
Co-Captain Daniel Ankrah, 29, a former D.C. United (MLS) Under-23 and Christos FC (USASA) player, and Omar Ballo, 25, a former MLS SuperDraft pick by Houston Dynamo, lead World Class Premier Elite on the field.
The club is hosting its next tryout on Dec. 21, 2018, and will announce its upcoming game schedule.
About World Class Premier Elite
World Class Premier Elite is an American Soccer club currently based in Montgomery County, Md., and a new member of the United Premier Soccer League. World Class Premier Elite will begin play in the UPSL Pro Premier.
Founded in 2017, World Class Premier Elite 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 300 teams in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, 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 400-plus teams targeted for 2019 Fall 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/