The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce that Oakland Soccer Club (Oakland, CA) has joined the league as an expansion team. The club will begin competition in the West Region in 2022.
“Oakland Soccer Club has a long history in their community, and we are pleased to welcome them to the NPSL,” NPSL Managing Director Cindy Spera said. “The club had been looking for the right league to top off their successful youth organization, and we are confident that the OSC and the NPSL will be partners for many years to come.”
The club is led by Co-President Edward Stephen, Co-President Iliana Rivera Ramos, Treasurer Haydn Griffith, and Head Coach Michael Muniz.
Stephen became Co-President of Oakland Soccer Club (OSC) in October 2020. He has been coaching all ages and levels of competition soccer in Oakland since 2002. Stephen currently helps coach youth development players and the Oakland SC men’s reserve team. In addition to developing and implementing a common vision and plan for OSC, he is also responsible for the daily management and operations of the club. He looks to strengthen and build OSC into a club that the Oakland community can be proud to support.
“OSC is a community club with a long history of serving the community since 1972,” Stephen said. “We are attracting some of the best local players, demonstrating that the Oakland area can produce a very talented squad.”
Rivera Ramos has been a part of the OSC family since 2010 – first as a team parent, then as a team manager, and most recently as a board member and co-president. She is a natural leader who is always willing to help the club and families in any way that she can. She believes firmly in making soccer accessible for all players and using the sport to bring people from different communities together.
Griffith joined the Oakland Soccer Club board in November 2020, having coached for three years with America SCORES recreational program in Oakland, Richmond, and San Francisco and four years with East Bay United’s competitive program in Oakland.
Born to immigrant parents who moved to Oakland for a better life, Muniz began play with the Oakland Chivitas before moving on to Bay Oaks Soccer Club and eventually progressing to represent both San Leandro and Castro Valley at the high school levels. A highly touted youth player, Muniz moved at the age of 16 to southern California to join the professional youth academy of MLS side Chivas USA, where he ultimately would progress to the first team as a reserve player pool trainee. Following Chivas, Muniz spent a similar stint with the Chicago Fire before eventually moving to Mexico to pursue better first team opportunities. He would go on to play nearly five seasons between Liga Ascenso clubs Irapuato FC and Delfines del Carmen. He would also spend time with the Mexican U-20 and U-21 national teams. After retiring from professional play, Muniz returned home and has spent the last several years working as a coach.
A community-first club, founded in 1974, OSC exists to provide opportunities for people to develop through soccer regardless of playing ability, age, or economic resources. Committed to high-level achievement both on and off the field, OSC seeks to support its members as they strive to succeed in sport, school, and life. In working closely with our partners, we desire to implement safe spaces, including parks and green space for recreational and athletic play, in order to build social capital and strengthen the bonds of our community. OSC currently fields youth teams in NorCal Premier, Cal North, and the Jack London Youth Soccer League. They additionally field reserve men’s teams in the San Francisco Soccer Football League (SFSFL).
“We are excited that Oakland Soccer Club has joined the NPSL,” NPSL Director of Membership Development Dina Case said. “Oakland Soccer Club has a rich history as a youth club which has been well ingrained in the Oakland community for decades. Their community-first philosophy is what guides them and is perfectly aligned with the philosophy of the NPSL and its grassroots platform. Adding a senior team was a natural progression for their youth club, and we look forward to many years of success for this group in the NPSL.”
More information about expansion opportunities in the NPSL can be found at npsl.com/expansion.