The National Premier Soccer League announced Thursday night that Joy St. Louis Park has joined the league as an expansion team.
The club, located in St. Louis Park, Minn., will begin competition in the Midwest Region in 2021.
“We are thrilled to welcome Joy St. Louis Park as the newest member of our league,” NPSL managing director Cindy Spera said said in a statement. “This addition will strengthen the NPSL brand in Minnesota and throughout the Midwest. Their community-based approach to the game is one that aligns nicely with the NPSL’s values and beliefs.”
Joy St. Louis Park is led by Ted Kroeten.
Kroeten is the artistic director and founder of Joy of the People, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is building communities and health through unstructured soccer play. Joy of the People is committed to the idea that unstructured sport time is integral to the child’s social, physical, and emotional health.
“We bring a totally different methodology to development and play,” Kroeten said in a statement. “We will fill our team with homegrown players who are very good at producing entertaining play. They are good at entertainment. They have learned soccer that way and have always made it fun for themselves and others. You will see a different brand of soccer.”
Founded in 2009, Joy of the People, the parent organization of the new Joy St. Louis Park NPSL team, promotes the idea of free play as a way to build healthy kids and communities. Each year Joy of the People provides as much as 1,500 hours of safe, monitored free play soccer time at no cost to participants.
Joy St. Louis Park will be rostered primarily by homegrown players.
Home matches will be played at St. Louis Park High School.