The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), the only league designated by USASA as a Tier 1 national league, is proud to announce that Charlottetowne Hops FC (Charlotte, NC) has joined the league as an expansion team. The club will begin play in 2023.
“Charlottetowne Hops FC is the most recent success story for the NPSL as we continue to invest in North Carolina,” NPSL Managing Director Cindy Spera said. “The club has developed a unique marketing strategy that connects them to local business partners while engaging soccer enthusiasts throughout the community.”
The club will be led by Casey Carr, Michael Hitchcock, and Matt Spear.
Carr has built on his previous banking positions and wealth management relationships for a portfolio of soccer-related businesses. The former NCAA Division I player and Charlotte area resident has assisted in organizing and launching numerous professional clubs.
“The league is well established and expanding year by year thanks in part to the sport’s explosive growth and from the league’s support for the clubs’ intentions to positively impact their communities, harness our sport, and build upon a sustainable business model,” Carr said.
Hitchcock is a soccer management executive with 12 years of experience in Major League Soccer (MLS) with D.C. United, Colorado Rapids, LA Galaxy, and FC Dallas. Hitchcock’s Playbook Management International (PMI) has worked with over 90 professional soccer teams, leagues, venues, and soccer events all over the world and has investments in multiple sports properties.
Spear, a Charlotte area resident for over 30 years, captained Davidson College to the NCAA Final Four in 1992. He was the head men’s soccer coach for Davidson College from 2001-2018 and a finalist for National Coach of the Year. Spear served as the President and GM for the Richmond Kickers (USL League One) in 2019-2020. He is also the founder of Love United FC.
“We are excited and poised to launch, establish and grow a new soccer community and experience for the greater Charlotte area that has a surging football culture and a rapidly expanding, diverse population,” Spear said. “The world’s beautiful game and globe’s most popular sport bonds people together. And our brand leans into the region’s craft beer excellence to harvest the grassroots focus and festival gameday experience.”
Home matches will be played at the OrthoCarolina Sportsplex in Pineville, NC. This is the primary venue of the Charlotte Soccer Academy, the seventh largest youth club in the nation. The stadium features seating for 1,000, while the Hops Biergarten will showcase local beers from up to 45 breweries.
Supporters can visit www.charlottetownehopsfc.com or follow the club on Facebook (@charlottetownehops), Instagram (@charlottetownehops), and Twitter (@CLTtowneHops).
“We are excited for the NPSL to have a presence in Charlotte,” NPSL Director of Membership Development Dina Case said. “Charlotte has grown tremendously over the years and has become a hotbed for soccer at all levels. Charlottetown Hops brings an experienced and creative ownership group to the table. They have taken a unique approach to engaging the supporters in their community, and we look forward to seeing their plans become a success.”
More information about expansion opportunities in the NPSL can be found at npsl.com/expansion.