NEW YORK – NJ/NY Gotham FC and Downtown United Soccer Club announced Monday a joint partnership to launch a Women’s Premier Soccer League team.

The WPSL team will operate under the name NJ/NY Gotham Reserves, and serve as the National Women’s Soccer League side’s official reserve team. NJ/NY Gotham Reserves will begin competition this season, which starts in May.

“Having the opportunity to extend our reach within the women’s game and develop a pipeline of talent towards the pro team is an important step for us as a Club,” Gotham general manager Alyse LaHue said in a statement.

“Collaborating with DUSC on this endeavor expands our resources to be able to provide the best experience possible to players within the club. This project also provides us further extension into New York City, where we’ve had a tremendous fan base and support over the years. As a club we are fully committed to being a part of the development of women’s soccer within NYC.”

DUSC serving approximately 5,000 participants annually. Founded in 1982, DUSC has programs for ages 3-23 through its recreation leagues, camps, classes and Travel Academy program.

“We’re excited to be working with NJ/NY Gotham FC in this venture as it’s a huge step for our girls and women’s program at DUSC,” DUSC technical director of NJ/NY Gotham Reserves Leanne Campbell said in a statement. “A WPSL team shows how dedicated DUSC is to growing the women’s game in NYC and offering our youth players a clear pathway towards the professional game. It’s something that has been missing for a long time in the greater NYC area.”

The Gotham Reserves coaching staff will be comprised of representatives from NJ/NY Gotham FC and DUSC. Becki Tweed, NJ/NY Gotham FC assistant coach, and Eleri Earnshaw, DUSC girls academy coach, will serve as co-head coaches of the reserve squad.

The team will compete in the WPSL Metropolitan Conference – South Division with a seven-game regular season, followed by playoffs. All home games will be played at Randall’s Island in New York City. Fans will be able to attend three limited capacity home games in early summer. Tickets to be announced at a later date.