The National Premier Soccer League announced Thursday that the Pittsburgh Hotspurs have joined the league as an expansion team.

The club will begin competition in the Midwest Region’s East Conference this year.

“The Pittsburgh area is home to one of the top soccer markets in the entire country,” NPSL managing director Cindy Spera said. “We are excited for the NPSL to have a strong presence there thanks to the Pittsburgh Hotspurs. We are confident that this club will have great success on and off the pitch this season.”

The Hotspurs began in Sewickley, Pa. in 1988. As the first club in Pittsburgh to launch youth teams, the organization was one of the founding members of the PA West Classic League. Through the early 2000s, the club restructured to form a true club culture and become a consistent program at all age levels in the Pittsburgh area.

The team is led by club director Tom Ovenden, head coach Tom Campbell and marketing and operations director Marikaye DeTemple.

“We want to enter this league and create something special for our youth team players to aspire to, while also influencing as many youth programs as possible to start adult teams to further the league’s growth in and around the Pittsburgh area,” Ovenden said. “Our goal is to provide a team which is at least 50% homegrown talent by the year 2023.”

Ovenden has helped the club grow to 450 players in three years. The club’s growth is attributed to its innovative practices, developing players differently than all of the other programs in the area.

“We are a progressive club and the fastest growing competitive club in PA West,” Ovenden said. “We hope to use this entry to the league to showcase a brand of football that is exciting and attacking — not forgetting that the sport was created to entertain. We strive to constantly evolve and drive the game forward in the Pittsburgh area with competitive team programs a well as through community-based development centers offered to athletes of all skill levels. Through our joining the league and conference we’re able to bring our style of play to an even larger soccer community — which will help us all shift the game forward both in Pittsburgh and in the United States.”

Campbell is a coach with a UEFA “B” license who is earning a degree in football coaching through the University of South Wales. Campbell, who moved to the Pittsburgh area in 2013, is a Manchester, England native with nearly 10 years of coaching experience.

“I’ve focused my career on this game that I love, so to take this next step in leading the Pittsburgh Hotspurs men’s team in the NPSL is a great opportunity that I’m honored to take on,” he said. “I have high expectations of the team we’ll field — the style of play, the level of competition in this first year, and, overall, how they represent the city.”

DeTemple, a soccer coach, has nearly 10 years of experience in marketing and business management.