TAMPA, Fla. — Cedar Stars Rush will join the Premier Development League for the 2019 season, the league announced Wednesday.

The fourth new member to join the league for next season, the squad will compete in the Mid Atlantic Division.

“The Mid Atlantic Division was one of the strongest divisions in the PDL last season,” PDL co-director Chris Madden said. “With two of four Eastern Conference playoff teams hailing from the region, the addition of Cedar Stars Rush simply adds to the strength of the league in the area and New Jersey in particular.”

Born out of collaboration between Cedar Stars Academy and Rush Soccer, the Bergen County-based PDL club will strengthen collaborative ties between the two strong youth programs, adding another platform to the Cedar Stars Academy Player Development Pathway and offering players and current Rush alumni in college a chance to continue their growth. The club’s administration will also be a joint effort, with Rush alumni and current Rush Soccer director of operations Justin Miller serving as general manager and Cedar Stars technical adviser Juan Santamaria serving as technical director.

“The objective is to help run a strong first-year PDL team,” Miller said. “This league is growing, and there are many programs around this area. The key this year will be to help build a strong foundation for our future goals of being the top PDL team in the division, and then the country.”

Added Santamaria: “We are very excited to be bringing a PDL club to all of our CSA and Rush families. This is just another step added to our growing player pathway system. We want to keep giving our players opportunities for growth within the game and the PDL is a great platform for that.”

Cedar Stars Rush became the fourth new member club for the 2019 season, joining Discoveries SC, Florida Elite Soccer Academy and Wake FC. It also became the league’s third New Jersey-based club, joining the nea Red Bulls Under-23 and Ocean City Nor’easters in the Mid Atlantic Division.

“A partnership like the one between CSA and Rush is incredible not only for the PDL, but for American soccer, with two elite organizations coming together to offer a bridge to professional soccer for their elite talent,” PDL vice president Joel Nash said. “Each of these organizations are leaders in building their club’s communities and we’re excited to see the impact on each club’s pathway as this team comes to fruition.”