The National Premier Soccer League announced on Tuesday night that Greenville United Football Club has joined the league as an expansion team.

The club, located in Greenville, N.C., will begin play this year.

“We are proud to welcome Greenville United to the NPSL,” NPSL managing director Cindy Spera said in a statement. “This region of the country has been an incredible growth area for the NPSL. We have found high-quality business-minded investors in this area, and the management team from Greenville United is no exception.”

The club will be led by president Michael McCarren, director of football Aaron Okwei, vice president of marketing Luke Staats and vice president of operations Fernando Zuniga.

“Greenville United is committed to bringing professionalism, passion, and sportsmanship to our conference and league as a whole,” Zuniga said in a statement. “We plan to provide a positive professional experience for all of our fans, players, staff, and opponents on matchday. We hope to also contribute to raising the level of competition in our conference.”

McCarren is a business leader with 24 years of cross-functional experience in areas of business development, engineering, supply management, program management, marketing and manufacturing. Okwei has been a strong advocate for the game of soccer in communities for more than 10 years. Staats and Zuniga have more than 10 years of soccer experience at the collegiate level.

The vision of bringing a football club to the Greenville, N.C. community began in early 2018 after recognizing the need for a semi-professional sports team in the city. With the city’s diverse population and the founders’ passion for football, the vision was solidified. In the spring of 2020, that vision became a reality when Greenville United FC was established.

“We chose to join the NPSL because of its competitive level of play and leadership structure,” Zuniga said. “The level of play is much higher than the league we currently compete in and would make for more entertaining matches for fans to enjoy as well as attract players from all over the country.”

Home matches will be played at John Paul II Catholic High School Athletic Campus in Greenville, N.C. The facility has a capacity of 1,090.