Des Moines United FC Joins the NPSL

The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), the only league designated by USASA as a Tier 1 national league, is proud to announce that Des Moines United FC (Des Moines, IA) has joined the league as an expansion team.  The club will begin play in 2023.

“Successful clubs have strong leadership,” NPSL Managing Director Cindy Spera said. “The Des Moines business partners are accomplished inside and outside the sports industry.  The synergies between their soccer and media and entertainment businesses attracts local sponsors, excites the community, and will serve to create a fantastic soccer experience for the community.”

The club will be led by President Darwin Salas, General Manager Joselo Mezquite, and Head Coach JR Fernandes.

With over 25 years of experience in the entertainment industry, Salas owns the largest Latino radio network in the state of  Iowa, LA Q Buena, as well as the professional indoor soccer team Iowa Demon Hawks.  

Mezquite has 11 years of soccer experience, most recently with Club Tijuana Xolitzcuintles de Caliente.  

Fernandes played for Paulista FC, Illinois Thunder, and Des Moines Menace.  He was an assistant coach for Grand View University and Simpson College before becoming the head coach for both Marshalltown Community College and the Iowa Demon Hawks.  

Des Moines United FC was founded in 2017.  The club began as a futsal project and evolved into men’s outdoor and indoor programs.  The Demon Hawks won the M3 national championship in 2021 and were promoted to M2 for the following season.    

“We hope to make the playoffs in our first season and make our city proud,” Salas said.

Home matches will be played at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines, IA. 

Supporters can visit or follow the club on Facebook (@desmoinesunitedfc), Instagram (@desmoinesunitedfc), and Twitter (@IowaDemonHawks).

“We are pleased that Des Moines United has chosen the NPSL to continue to grow their brand as they expand into the outdoor game,” NPSL Director of Membership Development Dina Case said.  “We are confident that they will have a positive impact on both a team and league level as the league looks to expand its footprint in that region and surrounding market areas.”

More information about expansion opportunities in the NPSL can be found at

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