The National Premier Soccer League announced Thursday that Cedar Stars FC, a division of Cedar Stars Academy, has joined the league as an expansion team.

The club, which is located in Chester, N.Y, will begin competition in the East Region in 2022.

“The North Atlantic Conference has been in search of the right team to represent the Hudson Valley, and we have found it in the Cedar Stars,” NPSL managing director Cindy Spera said in a statement. “This area is exploding with soccer growth. The CSA leadership team has tremendous experience developing successful soccer organizations throughout the U.S. and the world. We expect Cedar Stars FC to emerge as one of the strongest teams in the region.”

Cedar Stars FC is led by owner and president George Altirs, vice president and sporting director of CSA Anthony Nixon, and general manager Jim Lagarde.

Shortly after arriving in the U.S. in the late 1980’s, Altirs established GMA Accessories with his brother in 1990. GMA, doing business as Capelli New York, became a leading innovator in the fashion industry over the next 30 years. The company diversified and expanded internationally.

Altirs, who is a member of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, took his passion for the sport and established Cedar Stars Academy in 2011. CSA has more than 2,500 active male and female athletes amongst its 10 branches, including some reaching the MLS NEXT and GA leagues.

“The club is focused on helping each individual reach their personal goals on the field while nurturing the love and passion for the game,” Altirs said.

Cedar Stars Academy has several partnerships and affiliations with professional international and domestic clubs which include MLS Next, GA, MSV Duisburg of the 3. Bundesliga in Germany, Inter Allies FC of the Ghana Division 1 League and HB Køge of the Danish 1st Division.

Lagarde holds multiple national and international coaching licenses. In 2007 he became the founder and partner of Primo Sports Center and launched Primo FC in 2013. In 2016, Lagarde and Altirs came together to form the Capelli Sport Complex and Cedar Stars Academy Hudson Valley. Since the partnership, Cedar Stars Academy Hudson Valley has emerged as one of the top clubs in the region.

“We are extremely excited, prepared, and ready to create an exciting and talented organization within the NPSL for the greater Hudson Valley community,” Lagarde said. “Our expectation is to compete and challenge for local and national honors and become a major force within the league.”

Home matches will be played at Faller Field Stadium in Middletown, N.Y. It is a modern stadium that was commissioned in 2014. It is a FIFA-certified venue that seats more than 3,500 spectators and features a state-of-the-art press box, jumbotron video screen, scoreboard and locker rooms.