Morristown, NJ​—Ahead of its inaugural season in the National Premier Soccer League, expansion club FC Motown is making one of the biggest transactions the league has seen this offseason.

Former New York Red Bulls midfielder and United States U-23 international Dilly Duka will join FC Motown for the 2018 season as the club takes its first step in the NPSL. The 28-year old Duka grew up and played his high school soccer nearby in Montville, N.J. and now has the opportunity to play just minutes away from home.

A technical and creative midfielder, Duka has made 141 appearances and 97 starts over eight seasons in MLS. A former member of the United States U-20 and U-23 national team, Duka has 12 goals and 14 assists during that stretch. He played his college soccer locally at Rutgers where he was an All-Big East selection.

The move is a natural one for Duka to regain fitness and sharpness following offseason ankle surgery.

“This is an exciting move for FC Motown as we enter our first year in the NPSL,” said Dan Karosen, owner of FC Motown. “Dilly provides experience at both the MLS level, which is quite high, as well as playing internationally for the U-20 and U-23 national team. He’s a local player who played his high school and college soccer in New Jersey. This is an addition to our roster that clearly shows our ambition to step in and compete right away in the NPSL.”

FC Motown will play their first ever season in the NPSL at Drew University in Madison, N.J. The facility is home to one of the top Division III programs in all of college soccer on both the men’s and women’s sides. In 1994, Drew’s campus and fields were home to Ireland’s national team during the World Cup in the United States.

The addition of Duka to the roster is a local tie between New Jersey’s rich history of soccer as well as a boon to the club’s attacking pieces.

“Adding a player like Dilly is a great fit to what is already a solid roster we’ve pieced together,” said FC Motown head coach Sacir Hot. “He brings tremendous creativity and flair on and off the ball. The addition of a player with his resume and leadership abilities will raise the level of our whole team.”

Hot is in his third season as head coach of FC Motown. Is a former member of the Red Bulls and had four appearances with the U-20 national team.

Earlier this month, FC Motown beat Bethlehem Steel FC of the USL 4-3 in a preseason friendly. Bethlehem is the USL affiliate team of the Philadelphia Union in MLS.

FC Motown play in the Northeast Region’s Keystone Conference of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), the fourth tier of American Soccer. The NPSL is considered the fourth division in the soccer pyramid.

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