The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce that the Cincinnati Saints have joined the league as an expansion team. The Saints will begin play in the Great Lakes Conference in 2014.
The Great Lakes Conference already includes AFC Cleveland, Zanesville Athletic, Detroit City FC, FC Sparta Michigan, Erie Admirals, and FC Buffalo.
"Part of the NPSL expansion strategy is to strengthen existing conferences and regions with the right owners in the right markets,” NPSL Commissioner Michael Hitchcock said. “The Cincy Saints have a great ownership group in a terrific market and will be a great new member in our Great Lakes Conference in the Midwest Region where we have a strong foundation of teams. We would like to welcome Cincinnati to the NPSL family."
The Cincinnati Saints Soccer Club was founded in 2009. The club consists of men's and women's semi-professional teams. The men’s team is refer red to as the Cincy Saints, while the women’s team is called the Lady Saints. The Cincy Saints cur rently
play year-round participating in the Premier Arena Soccer League and the Midwest Soccer League with the Lady Saints playing in the WLS (Womens League Soccer).
The Cincinnati Saints Soccer Club has developed partnerships with three local soccer clubs: Northern Kentucky Soccer Academy, Star Soccer Club, and Thunder United FC. These partnerships bring 1,600 players under the Cincinnati Saints youth development umbrella.
The Saints are led by Owner David Satterwhite, General Manager Mackenzie Long, and Head Coach Gavin MacLeod.
"Our club is extremely excited to be taking this next step in our mission to bring professional soccer to Cincinnati,” Satterwhite stated. “We have spent the last four years building our infrastructure to make this jump to the NPSL. We are also very excited to play in a competitive and enthusiastic conference like the Great Lakes.”
They will play at Withrow High School, an 8,000 seat stadium that was renovated with a FieldTurf surface in 2007.
“This is an important step for Cincinnati's talented, dedicated, and growing soccer community,” Long commented. “Joining the NPSL creates an expectation of excellence not only for the level of competition, but for our quality of players, coaches, fans, front office, youth development programs, and community involvement.”
The Cincinnati Saints are the second expansion team to be announced for the 2014 season, joining Virginia Legacy as new teams in the NPSL.
“We are not coming into the NPSL just to make up the numbers,” MacLeod concluded. “We are coming to win from day one and I know we have enough talent in Cincinnati and the surrounding area to make this a realistic goal. My challenge to elite players is to stop talking the talk and start to walk the walk. If you believe you have what it takes to play at this level then come out, prove it, and represent your city as we look to showcase the best of Cincinnati soccer.”
The NPSL is a national league that operates in the 4th Division of the U.S. Soccer pyramid. NPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup through their affiliation with the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). The NPSL operates in 60+ markets from across the country and is cur rently one of the fastest-growing soccer leagues in the U.S. Two Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs, D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls, operate U-23 squads in the NPSL.