The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce that Lansing, Michigan will field an expansion team in the Great Lakes Conference in 2014.
"As the sport of soccer continues to grow in the Midwest; the Great Lakes Conference in our Midwest Region continues to expand with the addition of Lansing,” NPSL Commissioner Michael Hitchcock stated. “The NPSL is proud to welcome a quality ownership group who will successfully engage the local community as they launch the club for the 2014 NPSL season. Lansing will be a great addition to an impressive conference."
The Great Lakes Conference already includes AFC Cleveland, Zanesville Athletic, Cincinnati Saints, Detroit City FC, FC Sparta Michigan, Erie Admirals, and FC Buffalo.
The Lansing team is led by owner Jeremy Sampson. He is a former sports reporter for WLNS-TV and weekend sports anchor for WILX-TV. Sampson also brings experience from the Michigan State Athletic Department.
The head coach, who will also serve as the player personnel director, will be announced at a later date.
“We want to build on the success of what the NPSL has accomplished over the years,” Sampson commented. “The sport of soccer continues to grow in Mid-Michigan and we believe that the people of this community will band together to support their team.”
The soccer community has a unique opportunity to support this new team in a big way.
Beginning today and running through October 10th, fans will be able to submit their own team name. They can do so in several different ways:
Those that submit a team name and leave an email address will be invited to the logo and team name launch party. The overall winner will receive 2 tickets to each home game for the 2014 season. They will also receive an autographed jersey and ball, signed by all the members of the inaugural 2014 squad.
“We are excited to be apart of the fastest growing soccer league in the country,” Sampson added. “The NPSL has a tremendous track record of growing the game of soccer in the United States and we are honored to be a part of that tradition.”
The Lansing team has already done their part in growing the game. They have formed a partnership with Michigan’s Capital Area Soccer League (CASL), an organization that serves 23 local communities with youth soccer programs. The goal is to have these communities come together to support the team in Lansing.
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 is the fastest-growing national soccer league in the U.S., operating in 60+ markets across the country. Two Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs, D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls, operate U-23 squads in the NPSL.