Ozark FC (Northwest AR) has relocated to Kansas City, KS and rebranded as Sunflower State FC.
“We are excited about relocating Ozark FC to the Kansas City area and rebranding under Sunflower State FC,” Ozark FC Owner Todd Carrigan said. “The rich soccer history of KC, depth of talent, and location all lend to a successful inaugural season in KC. We are excited about what the first NPSL team in the greater KC area can do to ignite more semi-professional teams in the region.”
Sunflower State FC is led by Joey Lipoff, Andrew Lentell, Salvatore Sesti, Charles Salazar, and Nick McDonald.
Lipoff, who serves as the club’s president, played with Kansas Rush, Avila University, Rockhurst University, and the Joplin Demize. He currently works as a biomedical data scientist and runs a STEM consulting practice.
Lentell, who serves as the club’s vice president, played for KCFC, West Texas A&M, and Drury University. He currently works as a Doctor of Physical Therapy and is the owner of MVP Physical Therapy.
“The entire Sunflower State FC family could not be more excited for this next chapter in our club’s history,” Lentell said. “Joining the NPSL through this opportunity with Ozark FC will allow us to continue to work toward our mission of creating high-level playing opportunities for players in Kansas City and the Midwest. We are looking forward to kicking off as the first NPSL team in the Kansas City area and for the possibilities that lie ahead.”
Sesti, who doubles as the club’s Director of Marketing and play-by-play announcer, played for KCFC BVN and Rockhurst University before becoming a Doctor of Physical Therapy.
Salazar, who serves as the club’s Director of Finance, played for Red Star Soccer Club, Bavarian SC, and Rockhurst University. He is now a licensed CPA and public auditor in Kansas City.
McDonald is the club’s Director of Coaching and head coach. He played collegiate soccer at Rockhurst University before spending time with the Kansas City Brass, Des Moines Menace, West Virginia Chaos, and Pierce County FC. He played professionally with the Tulsa Revolution and currently plays for the Kansas City Comets of the MASL.
The club started playing in local and regional Kansas City competitive amateur leagues and tournaments as KC Reunited and Queso Blanco. The club won 15 trophies, three regular season league titles, and two playoff titles in two years of competition. A partnership with YouthRISE KC was formed after rebranding as SSFC in late 2019. In 2020 Sunflower participated in the Minor League Soccer Championships regional tournament, winning the Kansas City region and finishing third in the tournament. The 2020-2021 MASL3 season led to their first championship appearance, eventually falling to the Omaha Kings FC in the playoff tournament finals. Over the past eight months, SSFC has launched Sunflower Juniors in an effort to expand soccer opportunities for players of all ages.
Home matches are played at Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park, KS.