A former New York Cosmos B player is now a team owner.

Lucas Mendes, who played for the team in 2017, is the owner of the Virginia Dream Football Club, which was announced as an expansion team by the National Premier Soccer League on Wednesday night.

The club, which will be based in Arlington, Va., will begin play in the East Region in 2023.

“The NPSL is focused on expanding throughout Virginia and the announcement of Virginia Dream leads that effort,” NPSL managing director Cindy Spera said in a statement. “We have great expectations for the club and are confident that their unique model will enable them to penetrate untapped aspects of the Arlington market. We anticipate that the announcement of Virginia Dream will bring attention to the area, and the NPSL will continue to see growth in Virginia and North Carolina.”

Mendes, 24, was born and raised in Arlington and has deep connections to the local soccer community. In his youth he competed for Arlington Soccer Association, D.C. United Academy, and was selected to play for multiple U.S. Youth National Teams. In 2016 he chose to leave D.C. United Academy to play for Washington-Lee High School, where he won a state title. That same year he was selected as the Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year, the only Arlington native to ever win the award. He played one season at the University of Virginia before leaving to play professionally with the Cosmos and Richmond Kickers. Mendes has also played for the USA567 men’s national team.

“Our expectations for our first season in the NPSL are to not only show our beautiful brand of soccer on the field but off the field show how unique our club is with the power of community, creativity, and dedication,” Mendes said in a statement.

Home matches will be played at Meridian High School in Falls Church, VA. The facility offers seating for 2,000.

Virginia Dream is a start-up soccer club founded in 2022 that has aspirations of bringing Arlington’s rich multicultural community together through soccer.

“Virginia Dream brings a beautiful brand of soccer that will make the conference and the league stronger and more competitive,” Mendes said. “Strong conference competition will raise the level of excitement and interest in each community and increase attendance at each game. Our goal is to make every home gameday an event beyond just soccer but rather to make it an exciting, fun, and community-building experience.”