METUCHEN, N.J. — AC Syracuse Pulse will join United Women’s Soccer for the 2022 season.

The newly launched team will be led by former UWS star and head coach Brooke Barbuto.

“We are excited to add the Syracuse market to our conference alongside Buffalo, Rochester and Albany,” league commissioner Joe Ferrara said in a statement. “What is most rewarding is to see Brooke Barbuto appointed as head coach. One of the pillars in UWS is to provide opportunities for females across all levels of the sport. To see Brooke go from UWS player of the year to a managerial position last season and now to head coach of the Pulse is great news.”

AC Syracuse Pulse is a community-based soccer club in Syracuse, N.Y. The club has an academy youth program, along with amateur and professional men’s teams.

“I am extremely excited for this opportunity with AC Syracuse to bring a top level Women’s team to the Syracuse area,” Barbuto said in a statement. “Syracuse is filled with so much great talent and it will be a fantastic opportunity for players to compete at a high level during the summer. Thank you to the UWS for an amazing career as a player. I am excited to be transitioning from a player to a coach in such a high level league. It will be great to share my passion, knowledge and experience with the current and future team.”

Barbuto is a recognizable name in Central New York and beyond, from her playing and coaching career. A Syracuse native, Barbuto has earned numerous accolades from her high school and Division 1 career at Stony Brook University. She also has an extensive professional playing resume that began in 2009 with the Buffalo Flash.

In 2011, she began a successful seven year stretch of playing professional soccer overseas with Haukar (Reykavik, Iceland) Kokkola, Finland where she earned a promotion from Ykkonen (Division I) to Naisten Liiga, was a one year captain, and the 2013 MVP. From 2014-2016 she played for NiceFutis (Pori, Finland) in the country’s highest professional soccer league. Her professional career came to a close in 2017 as she guided the Peninsula Power (Brisbane, Australia) to a National Premier League Queensland Championship.

Following her professional career, Barbuto began playing in the UWS in 2018 with the Rochester Lancers and was named the league MVP that season. She then played for Syracuse DA, earning UWS East Conference first team honors the past two seasons.

Barbuto has experience coaching at the youth club and college levels as an assistant at SUNY Cortland, head coach at Bryant and Stratton College (two years), and has been the head women’s coach at Utica College since 2019. She has led the Pioneers to two straight Empire 8 Championship game appearances, including the program’s first Empire 8 tournament title and NCAA tournament appearance in 2019. She has piloted the squad to a record of 14-9-4 over that span.