The National Premier Soccer League will maintain a foothold in Ohio despite the off-season departures of both AFC Cleveland and Dayton Dynamo FC. The league introduced FC Columbus as a 2018 expansion team in a press release on Friday. FC Columbus will compete in the NPSL Midwest Region’s Great Lakes Conference.
“We are thrilled to bring the NPSL to Columbus, one of the truly great soccer markets in North America,” NPSL Chairman Joe Barone said in the press release. “We have been working with this group since early summer and we are excited to have them as part of the NPSL family. Ohio deserves great soccer and we are confident that FC Columbus will deliver an exemplary product on and off the field.”
Maziya Chete, FC Columbus owner/coach, played collegiate soccer at the University of Maryland and had a stint as a professional with Cavalier SC in Jamaica. Chete founded Santos Futbol Club of Columbus, which has grown to more than 300 youth players since beginning with a single team. Santos FC has sent multiple players overseas, and the NPSL team will provide a domestic path for players to continue their development domestically.
“We are looking to develop players who can dominate, at every position. We want to play an open game, not to park the bus. We won’t be the type of team that is playing not to lose,” Chete said in a recent interview with Midfield Press.
FC Columbus will host home matches at Bobcat Stadium in Grandview Heights. The stadium features a recently installed artificial turf and seats more than 1,000 spectators.
The addition of FC Columbus brings the total number of teams in the NPSL Midwest Region’s Great Lakes Conference to 7. Columbus will compete against AFC Ann Arbor, Detroit City FC, FC Indiana, Grand Rapids FC, Kalamazoo FC, and Milwaukee Torrent in the conference.