The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) has accepted FXBG FC (Fredericksburg, Va.) into the league, with it beginning play as an expansion team for the 2015 season.
During 2014, the team will be training and playing friendlies while building its player pool and getting its name out in the community in anticipation for its official entrance into league play next year.
The team would enter the Mid-Atlantic Conference, which is the home of reigning 2103 NPSL National Champion RVA Football Club.
“NPSL is excited to add FXBG FC to the NPSL for the 2015 season. The Mid-Atlantic Conference is adding another great club in a great market. With a 16 month runway to preparing for the 2015 season, Fredericksburg will be a successful addition to the NPSL, on and off the field,” NPSL President Michael Hitchcock said via email. “The City of Fredericksburg is a great location—filling the void between Washington D.C. and Richmond, Va.—providing an option for local players to develop and local supporters to have a team in their own backyard. ”
FXBG FC will be under the control of the Grover Gibson Soccer Foundation (GGSF), which also owns and operates RVA FC. The teams will be affiliated, but FXBG FC will be coached and operated by its own separate staff. The full staff will be announced at a later date.
GGSF founder and RVA FC coach Grover Gibson is proud to be able to bring a team to the area he grew up in and thinks this will only help NPSL continue to grow.
“I believe what we are trying to provide is a revolutionary way of thinking in how to help develop young players beyond their typical youth soccer environments,” Gibson said. “Fredericksburg is very capable of being a hotbed for supporting a NPSL team due to the central Virginia location and accessibility to Interstate-95.”
RVA FC’s success in 2013 also played a part in forming the new team according to Gibson, who added that it will also help the program grow by providing a more smooth transition for youth players hoping to play at the collegiate level.
“We wanted to form this new team because we felt there was a need for younger players who are not yet able to make the jump into the RVA FC program, but still need to be in a proper nationally competitive league where they gain exposure to playing against older more mature players,” Gibson said.
Gibson said that he plans for this team to take over the role of the current RVA Reserve team and to serve as a feeder to the RVA First Team.
“The team will be focused on mostly regionally-base high school-aged players, along with collegiate freshmen, but will also add some older more mature players to balance out the environment accordingly,” the former German professional added about the talent pool for the team. “I don’t see many upper-level collegiate upperclassmen playing in this environment, as those players need to be playing for RVA FC at that stage of their career in order to be on a path that is professionally minded.”
FXBG FC is the first announced expansion team for the 2015 season, building on the exponential growth the league has shown heading into the 2014 season. Already, 20-plus new teams have joined the league following the 2013 campaign.
The 2013 NPSL season ended with RVA FC defeating the Sonoma County Sol 2-0 in front of a vibrant crowd at Sports Backers Stadium on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va.
The NPSL is a national league that operates in the 4th Division of the U.S. Soccer pyramid. NPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup through their affiliation with the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). The NPSL is the fastest-growing national soccer league in North America, operating in 80-plus markets across the country. Two Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs (D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls) and four North American Soccer League (NASL) clubs (Minnesota United, Carolina Railhawks, Atlanta Silverbacks, Oklahoma City FC) operate teams in the NPSL. Mitre USA recently signed a multi-year agreement to become the league’s Official Match Ball Sponsor.