EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - After a successful inaugural season, United Women’s Soccer (UWS) is laying the foundation for their Summer 2017 season as four Midwest-based organizations have signed on to join the league in its first round of expansion. Detroit Sun F.C. (MI), F.C. Indiana (IN), Fort Wayne United F.C. (IN) and Grand Rapids F.C. (MI) will take part in UWS action next summer, with league management looking to add 1-2 more teams to form a Midwest Conference.
Detroit Sun F.C. is a newly formed semi-professional women’s soccer team and will host their home games at Ultimate Soccer Arenas: a facility based in Pontiac, MI that features a FIFA Compliant field complete with stadium seating for 2,500 spectators.
“The Detroit Sun franchise is excited to be part of the league's expansion plans,” said Detroit Sun President Steve Hawthorne. “We are especially looking forward to being part of Detroit’s growing community based effort to further the women’s game. Our roster will sport some great talent and we promise to play a very exciting brand of soccer.”
F.C. Indiana has been one of the most successful Division 2 organizations in American soccer history, winning two WPSL and U.S. Open Cup titles. The team is led by respected patriarch Shek Borkowski, who is the Technical Director for the Haitian Women’s National Team.
“F.C. Indiana is excited to partner with the United Women’s Soccer league and continue to grow the game at all levels,” said F.C. Indiana Director of Development Justin Crew. “For our club, the development of youth players is of prime importance. Now, with the ability to provide another path for player development, this represents an incredible step forward in our commitment to youth and developing the next generation of professional and national team players.
“This partnership creates a new and exciting environment for player development within our club structure. We now can offer the highest competitive level of female amateur soccer available in the country. Players in the developmental pyramid within the club will now be provided an unequalled pathway for serious youth soccer players in Indiana.”
“It is a testament to the U.S. women’s soccer model to see that the developmental pyramid created by F.C. Indiana provides a pathway from all the way from the junior developmental level to the professional level,” said F.C. Indiana Director of Operations Sharisse Yoder. “The strides F.C. Indiana and the F.C. Indiana Girls Academy are making to find the most competitive environment for players will serve to elevate the game at the local, regional, and national level.”
Fort Wayne United F.C. was created in 2013 via the merger of the Fort Wayne Fever and Citadel Futbol Club. The organization will be led by FWUFC Director of Coaching & Operations Bobby Poursanidis, who coached the Fort Wayne Fever (2003-09) when they were part of the now-defunct W-League.
“We are excited to bring back high level women's soccer back to the Fort Wayne area and to provide a top tier of our development pyramid,” said Poursanidis. “There is a strong group of local players that are now older and they will form the core of the team. The structure is in place for us to succeed and we look forward to playing these great organizations.”
Grand Rapids F.C. was formed in 2014 and has a men’s team in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). GRFC won the 2016 NPSL Great Lakes West Conference title and qualified for the playoffs by beating A.F.C. Ann Arbor in front of a club record 6,854 spectators.
“We are very excited to start a women’s side during the 2017 season,” said Grand Rapids F.C. President Matt Roberts. “One of our objectives is to continue to grow the game at the grassroots level and starting a women’s team will allow young female players in West Michigan the opportunity to watch, interact with, and learn from top college and post-college players.
“With the tremendous success of the men’s team during the 2016 season, we felt the timing was right to continue to push Grand Rapids soccer forward and this is one of the ways to do that. We believe that just like on the men’s side, West Michigan has produced some top talent on the women’s side and we want to give those players the chance to highlight their tremendous play and give younger players something to aspire to here locally.”
About United Women’s Soccer (UWS): UWS is a national women’s soccer league sanctioned by U.S. Soccer through the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). UWS is a professionally operated league created for teams that meet high minimum standards. The season runs from May until the end of July, culminating in a National Championship match. The UWS player pool is comprised of college players, aspiring & former professionals and international stars. You can follow UWS on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
UWS is managed by EDP, a leading soccer management company that runs a number of leagues and tournaments. In addition to UWS, EDP operates youth leagues that includes an NPL league, the EDP Super Club program, the EDP Premier League and the EDP Championship League. EDP also runs EDP Futures programs for U-7’s to U-12’s and it conducts more than 20 youth tournaments, including tournaments within its EDP Cup Series and EDP Showcase Series.
Media can contact UWS Director of Communications Jorma Kansanen by e-mail at Press@UWSSoccer.com. You can visit the league’s official website at UWSSoccer.com. Interested team applicants can contact League Commissioner Joe Ferrara by e-mail at Joe@UWSSoccer.com.