The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce that SO Samba FC has joined the league as an expansion team. They will begin play in the new Northwest Conference of the West Region in 2014.
“The launch of the Northwest Conference is an important milestone for the NPSL which would not have been possible without the vision and leadership of SO Samba FC,” NPSL Commissioner Michael Hitchcock added. “Samba is not only bringing NPSL soccer to Hood River, Oregon but the club led the way to help bring the NPSL to the soccer hotbed of the Pacific Northwest.”
SO Samba is a Brazilian-style soccer team led by Thiago Samba, Head Coach and Technical Director of SO Samba Futebol Club and SO Samba Academy. Coach Samba is a Brazilian native who started his soccer career with the Corinthians Junior Academy in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He’s been playing and coaching soccer in the U.S. and Brazil for more than two decades.
Melissa Brandao is General Manager of SO Samba FC and SO Samba Academy. Brandao oversees the day-to-day operations of the club and the SO Samba Youth Academy and The Samba School, SO Samba’s Player Incubator program,
which provides training and career development courses for their soccer players. An entrepreneur and business executive, she sees soccer as a transformative force in the lives of players and their community.
“SO Samba is so pleased to be a founding member of the new Northwest Conference,” Brandao stated. “We are exceptionally proud of our region and our new team. The Northwest is fertile ground for soccer; both the players
and the fans are crazy about the game.”
The club has ambitious plans to retain local talent, raise the level of play in Oregon, and eventually build a Soccer Center for Excellence in their community.
“We have a unique format for training, player development, and game strategy,” Coach Samba said. “The Brazilian style is very new here in the Northwest. Teams will underestimate us because we’re rural, but we fully embrace our Brazilian and Latino influences, which have created a very unique playing style that can win games. At the end of the day exciting soccer is what our fans want to see!”
SO Samba will play their home matches at Hood River High School. Hood River itself is in the middle of a National Scenic Area, one of the most beautiful regions in the United States.
The club is hosting tryouts for the 2014 NPSL season on January 25 and 26 in Hood River. More information can be found at www.sosambafc.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/sosambafc, or follow them on Twitter and Instagram @sosambafc.
SO Samba FC joins FC Carolina Discoveries (Rock Hill, SC), BCS Clash (Bryan-College Station, TX), Minnesota United FC Reserves (Blaine, MN), Greater Lowell United Football Club (Lowell, MA), Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves (Atlanta, GA), NPSL Virginia Beach (Virginia Beach, VA), FC Bordo Saint Louis (St. Louis, MO), PA West Soccer (Pittsburgh, PA), Gate City FC (Greensboro, NC), Nashville Atlas FC (Nashville, TN), Virginia Legacy (Williamsburg, VA), Cincinnati Saints (Cincinnati, OH), Flower Mound FC (Flower Mound, TX), Temecula FC (Temecula, CA), Storm FC (Broward County, FL), and Lansing United (Lansing, MI) as expansion clubs for the 2014 season.
The NPSL is a national league that operates in the 4th Division of the U.S. Soccer pyramid. NPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup through their affiliation with the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). The NPSL is the fastest-growing national soccer league in the U.S., operating in 70+ markets across the country. Two Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs, D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls, operate U-23 squads in the NPSL.