VSI Tampa Bay Joins USL PRO For 2013.
When VSI Tampa Bay FC takes the field for the first time in 2013 as a member of the USL PRO league, the club umbrella that was announced in 2011 will be completed.
The pro team joins VSI Tampa Flames teams that have been competing in the USL Premier Development League (PDL), women’s W-League and youth Super-20 League.
The club is part of a soccer development academy operated by VisionPro Sports Institute, a English organization that partnered locally in the Brandon, FL, area with the West Florida Flames.
Matt Weston, who played professionally in the UK with Ipswich Town, has been hired as the VSI Tampa Bay FC coach. Last season he led the Ocala Stampede to the PDL Southeast Division title in the club’s inaugural season.
The club also recently appointed Clay Roberts as its Director of Soccer. Roberts has 10 years of experience as a player with the Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO) and the MISL Philadelphia KIXX.
Roberts, who played collegiate soccer at Florida Southern, comes to VSI Tampa Bay FC from Brandon FC, where he was the DOC at the Tampa-area youth club.
Just before the end of December Kyle Hoffer became the first player signed to the new professional club. Hoffer started 22 of 23 games for the defending USL PRO champion Charleston Barrery last season.
Hoffer played 1,993 minutes last season, earning the #2 rating on the Battery for all defenders.
Hoffer turned professional in 2011 with FC New York after playing collegiate soccer at St. John’s University.
“I am really happy to be a part of a new franchise in VSI Tampa Bay FC,” said Hoffer. “I am looking forward to playing for Matt and helping this team achieve success within its first year.”
The club held its first open tryout in December at St. Leo University, and has its second open tryout scheduled for January 12-13, 2013. An invitational trial will follow on January 19-20, with additional player signings expected following that weekend.
Adrenaline Signs Two Players
The SW Florida Adrenaline (based in Fort Myers) of the Premier Development League, has signed former Florida Gulf Coast University defender Tyler Sharpe (Merritt Island, FL), and central midfielder Josh Butzke, a junior at Bucknell University. They are the first two player signees for the Adrenaline, which will begin play in 2013.
The Adrenaline will play its inaugural home games this season at Naples’ Barron Collier HS stadium.
The head coach is Mick Whitewood, who will hold open tryouts on Feb. 2-3 and Feb. 16-17. Whitewood previously worked with the Cape Coral Soccer Association.