After a captivating inaugural season, with an average of 2,000 fans per game, a playoff bid and a 3-3-6 record the Asheville City Soccer Club is ready to take the summer of 2018 by storm!
“We were blown away by the support the club received from the community. On the field, making the playoffs was a great achievement for an expansion team, but we certainly have some unfinished business,” says the club’s owner Ryan Kelley.
For those of you unfamiliar with the National Premier Soccer League, it started in 2003 as a regional league originally based in the western half of the United States. Now, though, the league has expanded to encompass teams across the country from 29 states. The NPSL is the highest league of soccer eligible for college players in the country. Kelley says the Southeast Conference Asheville City plays in is without a doubt the toughest in the league, “Without question, the Southeast Conference is the strongest in the entire NPSL. Every game will be a heavyweight bout, with no wins guaranteed. It will be a fight in every sense of the word, but we feel that we have assembled a roster prepared to come out on top.”
To add to the excitement, new this year the team announced the creation of the new women’s team. The team will be led by a familiar soccer face, Stacey Enos. Enos played for UNC-Chapel Hill under Anson Dorrance where the team won the first 3 of their record 22 NCAA Division I National Championships. She was a member of the inaugural US Women’s National Team from 1985-87. In 2001, Enos took the Head Coaching and Athletic Director position at Warren Wilson College. During this time, Stacey played for the Asheville Splash as the team’s captain from 2001-2003 and also served as the Highland Football Club Girls Director from 2001-2004.
“We expect to hit the ground running on the women’s side. I sincerely feel that we have assembled a roster capable of challenging for a national championship in year one. US women’s soccer is the gold standard worldwide and our partners, Stacey, Lydia and Meghann, have been integral in attaining that status. We have every intention of bringing that same standard and process to Asheville City across both teams,” says Kelley.
To get the ball rolling for the 2018 season, the team is hosting a Season Launch Party on April 19, from 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., at Hi-Wire Brewing in Asheville. Fans are encouraged to come out and meet the players, staff and fellow Blues enthusiasts. Like last year, the team is offering a free jersey to all season ticket holders. Those jerseys are used as the ticket holders “ticket” to every home game. Those pre-purchased jerseys will be available at the Launch Party.
“I can’t wait for the energy of a capacity Memorial Stadium on opening night on May 4th and throughout the summer. It is such a special environment, I’ve got chills just thinking about it,” says Kelley.
For more a complete look at the men’s and women’s schedules, click here.