The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce that the Elm City Express (New Haven, CT) has joined the league as an expansion team. The club will compete in the Northeast Region’s Atlantic Conference.
“We’re very excited about adding another team in Connecticut,” NPSL Chairman Joe Barone commented. “We are also enthused by this ownership group, one that has international connections and massive experience. Our fans and supporters will be treated to an incredible rivalry between Elm City Express and Hartford City FC. There is no question that it’s an exciting time for NPSL soccer in Connecticut.”
The Elm City Express is led by President Zack Henry, Vice President Luiz Henrique Martins Ribeiro, General Manager Brian Neumeyer, and Head Coach Teddy Haley.
“One of the interesting and differentiating characteristics of the Elm City Express ownership organization is that for roughly two years we have owned and managed a professional soccer club in Brazil: Clube Atlético Tubarão,” Henry noted. “Through that experience, we have learned a lot: including the importance of being as engaged as possible with our local fan base and community. We expect that in the months and years ahead, we will have ample opportunity to exchange ideas and best practices between the U.S. and Brazil, ranging from training techniques to matchday planning.”
In 2015, Henry and his partners founded K2 Soccer USA, a sister company of Brazil-based K2 Soccer SA. On a personal note, Henry has worked or studied in Spain, Puerto Rico, Mexico, France, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, and has done business in more than 35 countries. Through that journey, he has gained related experience managing multicultural teams, building consensus around innovative ideas, bridging cultural gaps, and finding creative solutions. Henry grew up playing youth soccer in the tri-state area and played soccer at Amherst College, where he earned Adidas Scholar-Athlete All-America and New England Intercollegiate Soccer League All-Star honors.
Elm City Express Vice President Luiz Henrique Martins Ribeiro is also Partner and Vice President of Brazil-based K2 Soccer SA, and is the President of Clube Atlético Tubarão, which competes in the First Division of the State of Santa Catarina in Brazil.
“Our Brazilian club has become known as the first start-up soccer club in Brazil,” Martins Ribeiro said. “In that regard, one of our main objectives is to innovate in sport on as many fronts as possible. We’re excited about the potential avenues for cooperation and opportunities for innovation that will surely come from the Elm City Express.”
Elm City Express General Manager Brian Neumeyer recently completed his 19th year as the head coach for the boys’ varsity soccer team at Newtown High School. The soccer program, under Neumeyer’s direction, was named one of the top ten sports programs of the decade by TheNews-Times of Danbury, CT. NHS finished the season ranked nationally after their 2004 LL State Championship. He was a member of the 1990 national championship team at Southern Connecticut State University, is the former coaching director of Newtown Soccer Club, and a former ODP staff coach. Neumeyer is now working closely with local youth clubs in a coaching advisory role.
Elm City Express Head Coach Teddy Haley is a three-time Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Coach of the Year, and is entering his 12th season as head coach of the Post University men’s soccer. He was named NSCAA East Region Coach of the Year in 2013. In both 2014 and 2015, Haley helped lead the Eagles to ECAC Championships. Since Haley joined Post University in 2005, he has mentored 18 All-CACC and 17 CACC All-Tournament selections.
Elm City Express home matches will be played at Yale University’s Reese Stadium, formerly known as the university’s Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium. It features permanent stadium seating for roughly 1,250 as well as bleacher seating at field level. Reese Stadium also features a press box and covered viewing areas at the top of the stadium.
“We chose the NPSL in large part because of the business-friendly nature and collaborative spirit of the NPSL and its club owners,” Henry concluded. “One case in point is the freedom the league imparts upon club owners to run their organizations as they think best. We appreciate how the league leadership encourages an open dialogue and sharing of ideas with owners.”
More information about the club can be found at www.elmcityexpress.com or by following them on Twitter (@elmcityexpress), Facebook (@elmcityexpress), and Instagram (@elmcityexpress).