Westfield Youth Soccer Association (WYSA) and the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) today announced a new relationship between the two soccer entities. Beginning in the summer of 2014, WYSA will field an NPSL expansion team, to be known as Westfield Select. WYSA is located in suburban Indianapolis, 20 miles north of downtown in thriving Hamilton County.
“WYSA is excited to contribute to the growth of the National Premier Soccer League and expand our reach in the local soccer community,” said WYSA Executive Director Mark Webber, who will also serve as the General Manager for Westfield Select. “Currently, college talent from Midwest powerhouse Indiana University, as well as local Division I athletes from Butler University and IUPUI, have committed to the team. We are able to expand the club’s footprint thanks to our relationship with the City of Westfield and the world-class facility it has developed at Grand Park.”
The formation of an NPSL squad marks a major step in WYSA’s post-high school soccer offerings. WYSA already has a flourishing youth soccer program, with strong recreational and travel leagues, as well as an adult social soccer league, and this will be competition at a whole new level. Westfield Select will play a 14-game schedule in the NPSL’s Great Lakes Conference, featuring well-supported clubs such as AFC Cleveland and Detroit City FC.
The team will be coached by two of the area’s best coaches: Head coach John Simmonds will be assisted by Joe Sochacki. Simmonds has coached youth soccer for 20+ years in Indiana, becoming the WYSA Boys Technical Director in 2009. He’s known success at every level of soccer. He holds a USSF National "C" License. His coaching resume includes one Region II Championship with U23 Men (USASA); he’s also taken two teams to the Region II semi-finals. He has coached eight teams to state championships and four teams that were state runners-up. In 2003 he was named Indiana Youth Soccer Boys Coach of the Year. In 2003 he was an assistant coach for the Indiana Blast.
Sochacki also has an impressive list of accomplishments. In 2011 he was recognized as Director of Coaching of the Year by Indiana Youth Soccer. He has coached 10 state championship teams, most recently in 2012 with U13, U14 and U19 teams. He also has taken two teams to the Region II finals. Sochacki organized the USSF Academy Program in Indiana and helped guide that program to two national championships. He worked with and helped develop 10 players from the area who have played for the U.S. Youth National Team. Sochaki also worked with and helped develop more than 100 players who went on to play college soccer. He spent 10 years coaching men’s soccer at Butler University, first as an assistant and then as head coach. In those 10 years, Butler's men’s soccer team made four trips to the NCAA Tournament. Sochacki has his USSF "A" License.
“The formation of Westfield Select allows a platform for many of the college athletes and recent college graduates who grew up in central Indiana to come home and play on during the summer,” Sochacki said. “We look forward to working with the players and providing an environment that prepares the young men for their upcoming college seasons and beyond.”
“We are very excited to offer these NPSL games to our local soccer community,” Simmonds said. “Between Westfield Select and Indy Eleven, Indy area soccer fans will have multiple opportunities to watch high caliber soccer play across the summer months. NPSL will feature some of the top local talent playing in their own backyard.”
Westfield Select will begin their tenure in 2014 at Westfield High School, while the team’s long-term plan will involve a move to Grand Park upon the complex’s completion. The squad will play seven home matches in Westfield between May and July, with the regular season to be followed by the Great Lakes Conference Tournament and the NPSL National Playoffs.
The NPSL is a national league that operates in the Fourth 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 70+ markets across the country.