The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce that NPSL Virginia Beach has joined the league as an expansion team. They will begin play in the Mid-Atlantic Conference of the South Region in 2014.
"With the addition of Virginia Beach, the NPSL’s Mid-Atlantic Conference will now have five strong clubs in Virginia who will help grow the game in the Old Dominion, on and off the field," NPSL Commissioner Michael Hitchcock commented. "Virginia Beach has always developed great players and with the addition of the NPSL team, these players will have the chance to play high-level NPSL soccer in their hometown."
The Mid-Atlantic Conference already includes Gate City FC (Greensboro, NC), CASL Elite (Raleigh, NC), Chesterfield United FC (Chesterfield, VA), D.C. United U-23 NPSL (Fairfax, VA), Myrtle Beach Mutiny (Myrtle Beach, SC), defending NPSL National Champion RVA Football Club (Richmond, VA), and Virginia Legacy SC (Williamsburg, VA).
NPSL Virginia Beach is led by owner Steven Wagoner and head coach Brian Hinkey. Wagoner is the founder and partner of Nexus Street, LLC, which owns and operates four companies, including D.C. United U-23 NPSL/ Federal City FC. Wagoner also serves on the Advisory Board for the George Mason University’s Center for Sport Management.
Hinkey has extensive experience as a coach and player at the professional, amateur and youth levels. Most recently he served as an assistant coach for the Norfolk SharX and the Northern Virginia Royals. Hinkey is currently the Director of Youth Development for Beach FC, which is an also an official partner club of D.C. United. He currently holds the USSF "B” coaching license.
The team will play their home matches at Virginia Beach Sportsplex Stadium, one of the premier sporting facilities in the region. It features a 3-level concrete stadium accommodating up to 10,000 fans with authentic bucket seating, along with concessionaires, a FIFA 1-Star approved turf surface, and 2,000 free parking spaces.
"We are excited to grow professional soccer in Virginia Beach and are looking forward to hosting NPSL Virginia Beach on Sunday nights," stated Chuck Thornton, manager of Virginia Beach Sportsplex Stadium. "This is an exciting time for professional sports in the City of Virginia Beach."
Wagoner and his staff have big plans for the team, including numerous community-oriented programs and events.
"We have a great respect for the Virginia Beach community, including the large active and retired military community and plan to work closely with them,” Wagoner added. “We also plan to recognize military members at our games to honor them for their service and to work with local youth soccer players, high school and college students to provide development opportunities both on and off the field. We will be providing summer programs for youth players to train and learn from our professional staff and intern opportunities for high school and college students interested in ultimately working for a professional sports team.”
The club hopes to be competitive as quickly as possible despite playing in one of the most difficult conferences in the country. Virginia Beach NPSL will have a complete club structure including a first team, reserve team, and summer academy program. All of this is done in the hopes that the game will grow in the region.
More information about the team can be found at www.NPSLVirginiaBeach.com.
Virginia Beach joins FC Bordo Saint Louis (St. Louis, MO), PA West Soccer (Pittsburgh, PA), Gate City FC (Greensboro, NC), Nashville Atlas FC (Nashville, TN), Virginia Legacy (Williamsburg, VA), Cincinnati Saints (Cincinnati, OH), Flower Mound FC (Flower Mound, TX), Temecula FC (Temecula, CA), Storm FC (Broward County, FL), and Lansing United (Lansing, MI) as expansion clubs for the 2014 season.
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 65+ markets across the country. Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs, D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls, operate U-23 squads in the NPSL.