he National Premier Soccer League has announced that the Iowa Raptors have joined the league as an expansion team.

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa club will begin play this year.

“The Raptors have a successful history in their community, and we are pleased to welcome them as our newest team in Iowa,” NPSL managing director Cindy Spera said in a statement. “The NPSL expansion team has concentrated their efforts in this area of the country, and we are pleased that it has resulted in bringing one of the top brands in the area into the NPSL’s Midwest Region.”

The club will be led by managing partner Bobby Hurwitz, general manager Gordy Gurson and head coach Hewerton Moreira.

Hurwitz is a former Major Arena Soccer League player who has been the managing partner of the Raptors since the club’s founding in 2019. He is focused on the player pathway between academy and senior teams along with day-to-day operations.

Gurson has been GM since 2019. The Utica City Fc forward is in his 10th season in the MASL and ranks among the leaders in career goals. Gurson is focused on both scoring goals as well as helping the Raptors continue to grow and enter new established national leagues, providing a pathway for the academy players.

Moreira enjoyed a 15-season career as a player, appearing in 301 games and recording 198 goals and 174 assists. He played with Utica City, Milwaukee Wave, San Diego Sockers, and St. Louis Ambush. He won three league championships during his seven years with the Wave. Moreira is the Utica City head coach and also has similar experience with the Ambush and Cedar Rapids Rampage.

“We feel that we bring a well-established organization that can compete for a national title,” Gurson said in a statement. “The NPSL is a recognized league that will give our players the highest level to compete.”

The Raptors also participate in the M2 (men’s indoor), WPSL (women’s outdoors), and PASL (women’s indoor). The club operates a youth program called the Raptors Academy.

Home matches will be played at Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids.