The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce that FC Arizona (Mesa, AZ) has joined the league as an expansion team. The club will compete in the West Region’s Southwest Conference.
“We are very excited to have FC Arizona as the newest member of the NPSL,” NPSL Chairman Joe Barone commented. “This announcement shows our continued commitment to growing the game in the West. It also allows us to build a presence in the state of Arizona. This is an exciting day for everyone involved in the NPSL.”
FC Arizona is led by Owner/General Manager Scott Taylor, Head Coach Aidan Davison, and Director of Soccer Operations Tim Barmettler.
Taylor has been an insurance agency owner for over 15 years in the East Valley, having built the largest MetLife Auto and Home agency in Arizona. He is incredibly involved in the community, serving on the Economic Development Advisory Board for the City of Chandler and as past president of the Chandler Rotary Club. He has also been active with the Mesa and Chandler Chamber of Commerce groups.
Davison played 20 years as a professional, including time in the English Premier League with Bolton Wanderers and Bradford City. He also represented Northern Ireland in European Championship and World Cup qualifying, retiring at the age of 40 with over 400 appearances at all levels. Davison has become a major figure in the coaching community, having served as Reserve Team Manager at Hull City and Head Coach at Jax Destroyers.
Bartmettler was the first men’s and women’s soccer coach in Benedictine University at Mesa history. He brings 27 years of coaching experience on both the men’s and women’s sides at various levels. Barmettler’s most recent coaching stop was at Mesa Community College, where he had been coaching since 2012. He also manages the Arizona Arsenal Soccer Club in Gilbert, AZ, one of the largest and most successful clubs in the state of Arizona.
“We chose the NPSL for several reasons,” Taylor added. “The level of play is very high and I was impressed with teams like NY Cosmos B, Chattanooga FC, and Detroit City FC and having the NASL reserve teams involved. We believe this pushes the league to get better as a whole. We also liked the structure of the league schedule and feel that the league is very organized and well-run.”
The Red Lions will play their home matches at John Riggs Stadium on the campus of Mesa Community College, one of the largest community colleges in the country with over 20,000 students. The stadium seats 6,000.
“We want to show the country that the talent that Arizona produces can compete with any market in the country,” Taylor concluded. “We feel like the league has raised the bar so we will be pushing ourselves to get better. We are excited to have the NPSL’s Southwest Conference competing in Arizona with quality California teams like Albion SC Pros and North County Battalion. We think the fans will be very happy with the product on the field.”
FC AZ had their launch party on August 5th, an event that had several hundred people in attendance. The club was thrilled with the support from the community, especially the interest from their own supporters’ group called The Rampants.