Copa Joins USL
New Jersey Copa FC to Field a Men’s Preprofessional Team in USL Two League
FC Copa Academy Joins USL Academy National Structure
Joining the USL is a significant milestone in FC Copa Academy’s 17-year history. After months of planning, we have acquired the rights to a USL League Two team and simultaneously have accepted an invitation for FC Copa Academy to become a founding member of the USL Academy system. Both teams will begin to play in 2021. The USL Two team will be called New Jersey Copa FC while the USL Academy Team will play under the current FC Copa Academy moniker. We wanted to outline a few reasons why we are so excited about this development.
About USL - The United Soccer League (USL) is the largest professional soccer organization in North America. Based in Tampa, Florida, the USL oversees critical layers of the US Soccer competitive pyramid with The USL Championship, USL League One, USL League Two and USL Academy, resulting in more than 100 clubs in its membership.
The establishment of the USL Academy has started with a strong foundation through an incredible list of other prestigious academies across the country, many of which have direct ties to professional clubs. The USL Academy Cup and USL Academy League, scheduled to begin in 2021, will provide incredible competitive opportunities for FC Copa Academy boys teams against marquee regional opponents and opportunities at the national level.
USL League Two is the leader in men’s pre-professional soccer in North America. The League holds a vital role as it continues to provide the elite platform for those pursuing professional careers domestically and internationally. League Two franchises provide top pre-professional players the opportunity to train and compete at the highest level while maintaining their collegiate eligibility. In addition to the leading national pre-professional league, League Two is the defined and proven pathway for players to progress to the ranks of professional soccer #Path2Pro. More than 70 percent of all selections in the MLS SuperDraft since 2010 have League Two experience. Many League Two alumni have grown into representing the U.S. national team, too, with Werder Bremen’s Josh Sargent, Atlanta United’s Brad Guzan, the Seattle Sounders’ Jordan Morris, the New York Red Bulls’ Aaron Long, and Newcastle United’s DeAndre Yedlin a few current examples.
Timing - As we look ahead, we hold our tradition close to us. Established in 2004, FC Copa boasts 17 years of on-field accomplishment and dedication to the development of the complete player on and off the field. We have achieved a great deal in recent years, and this news comes at a critical time in the evolving landscape of the soccer environment across the country. This commitment will run in parallel with our significant growth and accomplishment as we continue to position ourselves as a premier soccer organization in the region.
Unity - Every aspect of our decision-making process throughout all levels of the Club is driven by our culture of inclusion, professionalism and success. The USL Academy’s League and Cup will allow our best players to showcase their talents in these prestigious competitions. At the same time, the USL Two and UWS teams will provide an example to all members of the Academy of the achievement to compete at the pre-professional level while implementing our comprehensive playing structure and coaching philosophy. Many of these players will go on to earn professional and national team opportunities. Match days will often provide doubleheaders in a great atmosphere. Home games will also give us an opportunity to connect with our community, promote our sponsors, recognize small businesses and, appropriately now more than ever, highlight worthy charitable organizations and community efforts.
Competition - USL League Two and USL Academy provide best in class platforms as important layers in FC Copa’s comprehensive pyramid. These teams will be pillared by FC Copa’s fundamental care structure of supporting every member of the FC Copa family through academic guidance, college placement, progression to the professional game, coaching opportunities and advancement in their post-Copa personal lives. FC Copa has one of the highest college placement rates in the country, both soccer and academic, having placed over 350 students into 181 collegiate programs and developed over 24 professional and national/international team players. We are confident that this investment will significantly aid in growing these numbers.
A lot of exciting announcements are coming in the new year around the details of both platforms, including League Two tryouts, our home venue, uniform unveilings and more. Please join me in following our League Two team through the social handles @NJCopaFC and FC Copa Academy through the existing @fccopa.
ROBERTO V. AGUAS Executive Director of Coaching | FC Copa Academy President & Founder | New Jersey Copa FC