BRONX – New York Surf Soccer Club will play its first match as part of United Women’s Soccer, hosting the Western New York Flash at SUNY-Maritime University at 2 p.m. Sunday.

“We are very excited to kick off our inaugural season in United Women’s Soccer,” Surf president and founder Matt Popoli said in a statement. “Establishing a UWS team creates an important element in the pathway to the professional ranks for our players. In particular, our relationship as an official amateur reserve team for Sky Blue FC means that our athletes are able to showcase their abilities for professional coaches, which plays a critical role in their pursuit of reaching the next level.”

The Surf is directed by head coach Michele Canning, who is joined by assistant coaches Salma Tarik, Jen Leaverton, Scott Waddell and goalkeeper coach Emily Morphitis.

Canning is also the head coach of the women’s soccer program at New York University, where she led the Violets to their first appearance in the NCAA College Cup tournament in 2014. She spent six years as an assistant coach at St. John’s University. As a player, Canning enjoyed a successful career at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J.

“We are very much looking forward to getting started with our first season in United Women’s Soccer,” Canning said. “We are presented with a great challenge right away in the Western New York Flash, which is sure to be an exciting match for our fans. As we continue to implement our system of play throughout the season, we will remain focused on providing our fans with a very entertaining brand of soccer.”

The Western New York Flash is also playing its first season in UWS after spending the previous four years in the National Women’s Soccer League, where they won the 2016 league championship before the professional club relocated to North Carolina this past offseason. The Flash also has captured league championships in the USL W-League, Women’s Professional Soccer and Women’s Premier Soccer League Elite.