The AC Crusaders proudly announce its return to the American soccer scene as a professional team playing in the American Soccer League (ASL). The team is set to join seven others in the ASL’s inaugural season set to kick off in August of 2014.
“I believe South Jersey is the perfect home for pro soccer,” said Matt Driver. “The community is passionate about soccer and some of my players and management group hails from this area. It’s just the right fit for us and this marks the first step towards building a long-lasting and tightly-knit relationship with the region and its people.”
In addition to pro soccer and entertainment, Driver hopes to provide the community a team they can become emotionally invested in.
“I want this to be South Jersey’s team,” explained Driver. “I want our fans to become attached to us and our players because we believe it is an honor to represent them. Not only by playing out of their backyard, but by fielding a team that consists of players who grew up in the area and are committed to giving back to the soccer communities that helped them get to where they are now.”
Driver, who was named the USASA 2012 Coach of the Year, is no stranger to the area. Before forming the Crusaders’ parent company, Atlantic Soccer Factory, he worked for longtime friend, Dennis Gomes, at the Tropicana Casino & Resort as a VP of Marketing & Player Development.
After the Tropicana, Driver decided to focus on soccer and has owned and operated nine minor league or professional soccer teams including the former South Jersey Barons, Philadelphia Independence, Philadelphia Fever, and AC Diablos.
“I am truly dedicated to assimilating this team and this community,” claimed Driver. “I have several ideas for programs that will improve the surrounding communities by reaching out to schools and keeping kids committed to healthy lifestyle choices. I also plan to work very closely with the casino industry and provide its employees and their families a fun, affordable, and local entertainment venue.”
The Crusaders kick off their 2014 campaign in August. Their season schedule will be released in the upcoming weeks and anyone interested in more information can check out www.ACCrusaders.com.