Arizona is a true hotbed for the American game and has been the home of top-flight soccer for decades. The NPSL has been very active in the Grand Canyon State thanks to the continued success of FC Arizona, a veteran club that joined the league back in 2016.
A new owner and a new direction for the club has energized the soccer community there and expectations continue to be high moving forward.
“FC Arizona has always put a competitive team on the field, and that will not change,” FC Arizona owner Jamie Landreman said. “ I am hoping to bring the community together to support soccer at this level. We need kids to watch games and be part of something bigger than their youth team. We want to show them that it is more rewarding to stay with a club throughout their youth, build long-term relationships, and support the first team in their community. Not everyone will have the chance to go pro, but that seems to be what all the clubs focus on. Building character, being disciplined and being part of the community are all things that will stay with you forever, and that is what FC Arizona is all about.”
The players, coaches, staff, and ownership of FC Arizona are excited to continue their journey in the NPSL.
“The NPSL is a fantastic league to be part of,” Landreman said. “Everyone has been welcoming from the top down, but working with the other clubs in our league has been refreshing. Being able to have honest and open conversations about any aspect of the business has been eye opening on what soccer should be all about. There are no hidden agendas, and it has been great to work side by side with some of the biggest clubs in the U.S.”
FC Arizona now boasts a full youth setup that includes over 20 coaches and 30 teams. The youth program is active in the Open League, Arizona State Leagues, and Arizona Premier League. The club serves players and families in the communities of Queen Creek, Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Phoenix, Avondale, and Glendale.
Today the club is led by Landreman and Dave Rogers, who signed a three-year contract to serve as Technical Director and First Team Head Coach. Rogers worked seven years at Liverpool Football Club in positions such as International Head Coach throughout Europe, Academy Manager in India and South Korea, and Technical Director in the U.S.
Over the years Rogers has played a key role in the development and progression of over 40 current professional and international players around the world in leagues such as the EPL, MLS, and many others in Europe and Asia.
Rogers also played professionally for 20 years in England, Scotland, Netherlands, and Ireland. He appeared in over 500 games and won four league titles. Rogers also has extensive experience in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.
“He has a UEFA Pro license, played professionally for many years, and has a track record for developing players,” Landreman said. “Our coaching staff is very experienced and their outreach will allow us to do some pretty cool things in Arizona.”
But the club is more than just two people. Landreman has assembled a great team of coaches, players, and staff that will help FC Arizona flourish in the market.
“In order to grow the game I need to be surrounded with great people,” Landreman said. “The staff we have put together has been fantastic and without their hard work and expertise we will not grow the game. I am so proud of all the people who have come together, stepped up and working hard to help make FC Arizona stand out.”
The recent news has fans and supporters excited about the future.
“The excitement is really growing since the word on new ownership got out,” Landreman said. “The players and staff who started with FC Arizona years ago are all coming back to help FC Arizona grow and be the team to help bring the soccer community together. We will try and work with the state association and all the youth clubs to help improve everyone’s experience in Arizona.”
And that experience will be world-class thanks to a new owner and a new direction that will surely bring FC Arizona much success on and off the field.
Photo Credit: Arianna Grainey/FC Arizona