By Okon Ekpenyong
To give local soccer players a chance to reach the next level of their careers, the newly formed Lions Sports Club, based in Columbus, Ohio, which will play under the United Premier Soccer League, signed more than 30 players at the JSP Printing headquarters on Parsons Avenue, to give them a chance to progress.
The United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) is an American soccer league founded in 1992 that has teams from a wide range of states, cities, provinces, and countries throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Since its inception, it has grown to include over 400 independently owned and operated member clubs. The League’s home office is in Santa Ana, California, United States.
The League operates year-round, dividing itself into four conferences: Northeast, Southeast, West, and Southwest. In a calendar year, teams compete in two seasons, starting in March with the spring schedule and ending with the national playoffs in August. Fall schedules begin in September and end with a national weekend in February.
United Premier Soccer League announced on its social media page on December 15, 2022, that Lions FC has joined the League, competing in the UPSL Ohio Conference. The club now joins Fut Ohio SC, Global Raising SC, and Inter Columbus as the fourth team in Columbus to compete in the UPSL Ohio Conference. Other Ohio Conference teams include Pittsburgh FC United FC, Pittsburgh SC, and Youngstown Knighthawks.
Statement from Players
Lion FC’s Spring tryout occurred at the Bo Jackson Elite Sports in Hillard, Ohio, on December 10, 2022, and January 7, 2023, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“Signing Day was a huge success, and I am beyond blessed and honored to be selected by the coaches and management of Lion Sports Club. I thank God for everything, as I had always dreamt of days like this. I will be playing in the UPSL and can’t wait to showcase what I can do on the next level,” Stylezz Wiz Banger, one of the players, said.
“Man! I won’t forget this day,” Daniel Trujillo, another player, added.
President of Lion FC
“Growing up, every kid or adult needs support; that support may come from their team, families, administrators, management, and community.
One will feel more confident facing obstacles or following their passion after receiving that extra support,” said Mr. Kamara, the President of Lion FC.
Even though Lions FC will become the fourth Columbus team under UPSL, the President pointed out that it will give the local and immigrant players living in the area a taste of professional soccer. Through its community activities, the Lions FC team looks to mentor neighborhood kids and inspire them on a positive journey. “Our coaching staff members have attributes we value, especially IQ for the game as former players, which we see in them,” Lion FC President added.
“I will teach the players to understand that Fans will disrespect them, and they may receive heavy criticism from the public; however, I intend to create togetherness, bring unity, and develop brotherly love among the group, allowing them to keep their eyes on what lies ahead to build a winning culture,” Mr. Dunor, Lion FC Head Coach said.
The coaching staff also stated that everyone on the team must do their part to remain focused, including understanding that fitness is crucial if they want to reach the next level.
“Providing community services will be one of the cores of the Lions FC elite squad,” said Lions FC President and Head Coach.
Families of the signed players
The newly signed Lion FC players arrived at JSP Print dressed to impress with friends and family in tow. Each player’s family stood beside them and behind them as the administrators and members of the management called them to the podium. The crowd cheered after each signing, and the players posed for photos with their families and Lion FC’s President and Coach.
Founded in 2007, JSP Print has been helping clients reach their full potential in creative marketing and print fulfillment services to make their businesses stand out among the best. The founders are Alphy Tongor, who has a background in business, and his wife, Zari, a graphic designer and digital marketing expert. Since their establishment ten years ago, they have helped more than 10,000 businesses throughout Central Ohio achieve their goals and tremendous success, including Lion FC.
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