Summer soccer in 2017 is returning to Asheville and Western North Carolina. The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) has announced that Asheville City Soccer Club (Asheville, NC) has joined the league as an expansion team. The club will compete in the South Region.
“We welcome Asheville City Soccer Club with great excitement,” NPSL Chairman Joe Barone commented. “The NPSL is proud to provide a platform for Asheville City Soccer Club to grow and support the game within their city and Western North Carolina.”
Asheville City is led by a group of six owners: Chairman/CFO Jimmy Wheeler, President Ryan Kelley, General Manager Allen Bradley, Director of Revenue Management Jordan Vance, Director of Community Outreach Josh Yoakum, and Director of Communications Andrew Hunter. All members of the ownership group are natives of Western North Carolina.
ACSC has already secured Gary Hamel to serve as head coach. Hamel is the head coach of the Mars Hill University men’s soccer team. During his tenure at MHU Hamel has coached five All-Region players and a Daktronics All-American. He was named the SAC Coach of the Year following the 2012 campaign that saw the Lions claim the SAC regular season title and an NCAA tournament appearance. He also spent four seasons as an assistant coach with the Oregon State men’s soccer program.
“We want to bring the city of Asheville together under one set of colors to support the game at the next level,” Wheeler added. “We expect to build a strong roster consisting of the region’s top talent and elite players from across the country and around the world with the intention of competing at a high level right away.”
Asheville City will play its home matches at Memorial Stadium in Downtown Asheville. The 3,000-seat venue was built in 1925 as a memorial to the area’s war veterans and to serve as the region’s premier sports venue.
“The club is committed to downtown Asheville and making Memorial Stadium our home,” Wheeler continued. “We are investing in a restoration of the playing surface for the 2017 season and look forward to the full renovation of the stadium as approved in the bond referendum.”
More information about the club can be found at www.ashevillecitysc.com or by following the club on Facebook (@AshevilleCitySC), Twitter (@AshevilleCitySC), Instagram(AshevilleCitySC), Reddit (r/AshevilleCitySC), and Snapchat (AshevilleCitySC).
“Our club brings an exciting and growing market with a long history of love and support for the game,” Wheeler concluded. “We have a beautiful downtown location that is a short walk from Asheville’s best restaurants and breweries. We are strongly committed to the growth and development of soccer in the United States.”