The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce thatSyracuse FC (Syracuse, NY) has joined the league as an expansion team.  The club will compete in the Midwest Region.

“We are very excited that the Midwest Region continues to grow,” NPSL Chairman Joe Barone commented. “We’ve seen incredible growth all across the country and now we’re adding to one of our league’s strongest conferences.”

Syracuse FC is led by Jaro Zawislan (President), Matt Tantalo (GM/Head Coach), Joe Papaleo, (Vice President, Soccer Operations), Marcello Vitale (Vice President, Business Operations), and L.J. Papaleo (Director of Sales & Marketing).

Zawislan was an NCAA Division I coach for over 16 years, most recently as head coach at Cornell University and previously as assistant coach at Creighton University, Stanford and Syracuse University. A former NCAA Division I collegiate player at Clemson University, Zawislan also played professionally in Europe and North America.

A former collegiate, PDL, and USL Pro player, Tantalo served as the head coach of the soon to be conference rival Rochester River Dogz in 2016. Tantalo has nearly two decades of college coaching experience and is currently the head men’s soccer coach at Nazareth College.

Joe Papaleo has been head coach at Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse for 21 years, and has led the team to numerous regional and state titles. As a player, he was an All-American goalkeeper at Syracuse University and played professionally across North America for 12 years.

Vitale has been coaching soccer for more than 30 years at the youth and high school levels, and he has helped to establish numerous soccer clubs in the Syracuse area. He played NCAA Division I soccer at Syracuse University, where he was the program’s leading scorer for all four years. He is SU’s current all-time leading scorer.

L.J. Papaleo is the head coach of the Fayetteville-Manlius JV Boys Soccer team, and he has also coached at the youth and collegiate levels. An All-Star player at Christian Brothers Academy, he went on to play at Albany and Syracuse University. He also played professionally in Europe and for the Syracuse Silver Knights, helping take the team to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

“Syracuse FC will give people the opportunity to follow an outdoor soccer team competing in a national league,” Zawislan noted. “Our fans will be able to experience a professional soccer environment, with all of the rivalries, passion and excitement enjoyed by soccer fans around the world.  Syracuse FC will cater as much to the passionate soccer fan who wants to watch high level, nationally competitive play, as to the casual sports spectator who wants to cheer on a local favorite.”

Home matches will be played at David W. Murphy Field at Onondaga Community College. Murphy Field is a lighted field equipped with a FieldTurf playing surface, a press box, a ticket and concession booth, and seating for up to 2,000.

“We have high expectations for our inaugural season in the NPSL,” Tantalo concluded. “Our region is rich in soccer talent to draw from and our roster will be comprised of high level players with local ties as well as talented players from outside the area. We are building and expect to be a dynamic and exciting team that is competitive among the NPSL’s elite.”

More information about the club can be found at or by following the club on Facebook (@SyracuseFC), Twitter (@Syracuse_FC), and Instagram (@Syracuse_FC).

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