The National Premier Soccer League announced Friday that FC Columbus (Columbus, Ohio) has joined the league as an expansion team.
The club will compete in the Midwest Region’s Great Lakes Conference.
“We are thrilled to bring the NPSL to Columbus, one of the truly great soccer markets in North America,” NPSL chairman Joe Barone said in a statement. “We have been working with this group since early summer and we are excited to have them as part of the NPSL family. Ohio deserves great soccer and we are confident that FC Columbus will deliver an exemplary product on and off the field.”
The leadership of the team will include owner-coach Maziya Chete, co-founder-coach Seymour Alleyne, general manager Darrell Hughes and game day manager Analisa Trares.
Chete, who played in Jamaica’s Major League from 1979-1981 for Cavaliers FC, attended the University of Maryland on a soccer scholarship and received honorable mention All-American honors in 1983. In 1995, he established Santos Futbol Club of Columbus, where he has shared his knowledge and understanding of soccer with youth and adult soccer players in Central Ohio.
Alleyne played on the junior and senior national teams for Barbados at 17 and was named national player of the year in 1977. In 1980 he was offered a scholarship to attend Long Island University to play varsity soccer, where he earned several awards. He was then invited to train with Real Madrid and that experience gave him some intriguing insights into player development.
Hughes was a two-time NCAA All-American distance runner at Indiana University. He attended law school and became a business transactional attorney in Central Ohio. He has been involved with FC Columbus since 2012 and was an integral part of FC Columbus’s opening of its indoor soccer facility.
Trares is a member of the Grandview Heights community. For the past nine years, she has organized club tryouts, managed the uniforms for all teams within the club and has assisted with the planning and preparation of all club events.
FC Columbus has enjoyed success developing youth players, placing several in Spain and Sweden. There are 300 youth players as part of the club.
“FC Columbus wants to put a competitive team together and be in a position to challenge for the NPSL championship for this upcoming season,” Chete said. “We found the NPSL to be a great opportunity to develop elite athletes who aspire to play soccer at a professional level.”
FC Columbus will be playing its home games in Grandview Heights, a suburb of Columbus.
The local stadium seats 1,500 fans and has a newly installed turf field.