The National Premier Soccer League announced Tuesday night that the Oakland Soccer Club has joined the league as an expansion team.
The team, located in Oakland, Calif. will begin competition in the West Region in 2022.
“Oakland Soccer Club has a long history in their community, and we are pleased to welcome them to the NPSL,” league managing director Cindy Spera said in a statement. “The club had been looking for the right league to top off their successful youth organization, and we are confident that the OSC and the NPSL will be partners for many years to come.”
The club is led by co-president Edward Stephen, co-president Iliana Rivera Ramos, treasurer Haydn Griffith and head coach Michael Muniz.
Stephen, who became co-president in October 2020, has been coaching all ages and levels of competition soccer in Oakland since 2002. He helps coach youth development players and the Oakland SC men’s reserve team. Stephen is also responsible for the club’s daily management and operations of the club.
“OSC is a community club with a long history of serving the community since 1972,” Stephen said. “We are attracting some of the best local players, demonstrating that the Oakland area can produce a very talented squad.”
Rivera Ramos has been a part of the OSC family since 2010 – first as a team parent, then as a team manager, and most recently as a board member and co-president. She believes in making soccer accessible for all players and using the sport to bring people from different communities together.
Griffith joined the board in November 2020, having coached for three years with America SCORES recreational program in Oakland, Richmond and San Francisco, and four years with East Bay United’s competitive program in Oakland.
Born to immigrant parents who moved to Oakland for a better life, Muniz began play with the Oakland Chivitas before moving on to Bay Oaks Soccer Club and progressing to represent both San Leandro and Castro Valley at the high school levels. A highly touted youth player, Muniz moved at the age of 16 to southern California to join the professional youth academy of MLS side Chivas USA, where he progressed to the first team as a reserve player pool trainee.
Following Chivas, Muniz spent a similar stint with the Chicago Fire before eventually moving to Mexico to pursue better first team opportunities. He played nearly five seasons between Liga Ascenso clubs Irapuato FC and Delfines del Carmen. He spent time with the Mexican Under-20 and U-21 national teams. After retiring from professional play, Muniz returned home and has spent the last several years working as a coach.