The National Premier Soccer League Monday announced it has added a team in California — the Stockton Football Club.
The expansion team will begin competition in the West Region’s Golden Gate Conference in 2019.
“We are very excited to bring the NPSL to Stockton,” NPSL managing director Cindy Spera saod. “This is the second team from California to join the NPSL for 2019 and we are looking forward to the continued growth of our West Region.”
The leadership of the club includes Chris Hernandez, Dr. Bennet Omalu, and Abdelrahman Kurdieh.
“We wish to bring the community of Stockton together,” Hernandez said. “There have been so many shortcomings that have divided our city in recent decades, but one sport remains true to unify us, and that is football.”
Hernandez, who will serve as president and CEO, was born and raised in Stockton and will be as the club’s coach. He has been involved in soccer since he was four. A graduate of Franklin High School and the University of the Pacific, Hernandez moved to the United Arab Emirates six months after graduating college. Finding a trial in Dubai, Hernandez signed with semi-professional club Al Nisr.
Omalu, who will be vice president, is a world-renowned neuropathologist that served as the inspiration for the movie Concussion.
Kurdieh, who is from New York and had been living in Dubai for about four years at the time of meeting Hernandez, was the owner of Al Nisr. For two seasons before permanently returning to California, Hernandez created a relationship with Kurdieh. That relationship continues today with this new venture. Kurdieh will be the club’s director of operations.
“Stockton Football Club chose the NPSL for a variety of reasons,” Hernandez said. “The professionalism, camaraderie, platform and attainable price tag led us here. The NPSL is a prestigious, respected and well sought American level of football that many clubs can only dream of entering. We here at SFC are very lucky and thankful to be part of such a league. The NPSL is the perfect league to jumpstart any club and help them dream big.”