METAIRIE, LA (Jan 3, 2016) – The Gulf Coast Premier League’s Director of Operations Jonathan Rednour announced today that clubs from Pensacola, Florida, Mobile, Alabama, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana will enter the GCPL for the 2017 Summer Season. The new teams will be regional youth club powerhouse the Gulf Coast Texans (Pensacola, FL), supporter-founded AFC Mobile (Mobile, AL), and newly formed Baton Rouge United FC. Additionally, the Lake City Gamblers will rejoin the GCPL for the summer campaign.
“[The GCPL] couldn’t be happier about the addition of the three new clubs and the return of Lake City,” said Rednour. “Our goal was to always involve these areas and continue to grow from there. We’re enthusiastic to see Lake City back and to further our growth to Louisiana’s capital. It will also be exciting to see how Alabama and Florida stack up with the competition in our [expanding league].”
The Gulf Coast Texans are the largest youth club in Pensacola, FL and currently field a women’s team in the Women’s Premier Soccer League. In 2013 they had a men’s team in the National Premier Soccer League’s Southeastern Conference. In 2015 they fielded another men’s team in the now defunct United Soccer League’s Super-20 League.
“We want to work closely with our community to provide a great family atmosphere for our home games and also use the team as a developmental tool for some of our younger players with college ambitions, just like our women’s team,” explained Texans Director of Coaching David Kemp. “Adding a Men’s component at the top of our youth club Pyramid to mirror the Women’s and also provide a true summer league experience for all the soccer fans in our club and community [is important to us]. We are so thankful for the vision of this league to expand its operating area to include the Florida Gulf Coast and provide us with an opportunity to bring Men’s soccer back to Pensacola for the summer. Can’t wait for it to start!”
AFC Mobile was founded in 2015 by a group of soccer fans who felt that Mobile, Alabama had the talent and resources to compete at a higher level. This group has spent the past few years working to promote the South Alabama Soccer Association, Mobile’s local amateur adult recreation league, as well as volunteering and sponsoring teams in the city’s youth leagues. The club has garnered interest from the National Premier Soccer League, but instead chose the GCPL believing it was a better model for them.
“We believe in local soccer,” said Mitchell Kahalley the Communication Director for AFC Mobile, “[and] it doesn’t get more local than the GCPL. Being a part of a league like this allows for the soccer community along the coast to connect and continue to grow. We want to have something that the city can rally around and be proud of. There are many ways people consume and participate in soccer in the area. Hopefully, AFC Mobile can act as a focal point and connect those various strands of the soccer community together, and give Mobile’s large pool of players a chance to be seen and hopefully take their game to the highest level possible.”
Baton Rouge United FC, founded in December of 2016, will be the newest team from Louisiana to join the GCPL. Leading the charge for the newly formed club is, Russell Cacho, a familiar name in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans soccer scene. The Cacho name is a familiar name in the division 4 realm as well with his eldest son, Rossell Cacho, playing with the New Orleans Jesters this past summer along with being invited to the NPSL combine happening this upcoming weekend.
“Baton Rouge is a city with so many good players.” said Cacho. “ It only makes sense that we try to build a club to showcase the talent we have.” When asked about their mission to help grow the club culture in Baton Rouge, Cacho stated “The Baton Rouge community are passionate about their sports; you can see that with their support for LSU. We hope to tap into that energy and passion and translate it to our games. We want to show the people of Baton Rouge a quality product so we can get their support.”
In addition to three new teams, Rednour was also pleased with the return of the Lake City Gamblers to the GCPL. “We are ecstatic to see the Gamblers back in the mix. We were sad to see them have to sit out of our fall season but feel confident they will be back in full force for the summer,” stated Rednour.
The Gamblers were one of the founding members of the Louisiana Premier League and competed in both it’s seasons. “We have had some good runs and solid results in our previous seasons” stated club bowner Chris Shearman. “Lake Charles is a small football and baseball town, so we will always have to play our best to compete [and] fight for every fan we’ve got. Soccer in Lake Charles is progressing quickly, If we can get the right group of guys all on the same page, and dedicated to the club, the fans will follow.”
The Gulf Coast Texans will play their home games at Ashton Brosnaham Stadium in Pensacola, AFC Mobile’s home field will be Herndon Park in Mobile, Baton Rouge United and Lake City Gamblers are currently solidifying their home fields for the 2017 season.
The structure on how the 2017 summer season will be played is still being determined and will be realeased after the fall season is completed. “We still have a line out to a few clubs about joining our summer season so once we know the final number of confirmed teams we will finalize the format and share it with our fans.” said Jonathan Rednour.
ABOUT THE GULF COAST PREMIER LEAGUE
The Gulf Coast Premier League is a non-profit organization founded in 2016. The GCPL’s mission is to offer high level competitive soccer in the gulf coast region while creating a football culture. Currently sanctioned as an USASA Elite Amateur League, the GCPL sits on the 4th tier of the USSF soccer pyramid. The GCPL is partnered with the Louisiana Soccer Association, United States Adult Soccer Association and the Louisiana Referee Association.