Joe Barone from Brooklyn Italians SC was voted Chairman of the Board of Directors after serving as Secretary for the past two years. Barone was a four-year letterwinner on the St. Francis College men’s soccer team, a squad guided by legendary coach Carlo Tramantozzi. An active member of the Brooklyn Italians’ leadership, Barone has served as the Director of the PUMA Christopher Columbus Cup, a youth soccer tournament help every October in Brooklyn, New York. He also started the New York City Indoor Classic, a futsal tournament held at Pratt Institute in downtown Brooklyn.
Barone started coaching Brooklyn Italians youth teams at the age of just 24, while he continued to play in the local amateur leagues of New York. Just five years later, he coached the Brooklyn Italians Men’s first team that included soccer stars like Carlos Llamosa, Giovanni Savarese, Juan Carlos Osorio, Richie Williams, and Shalrie Joseph.
In 2010 Barone convinced the board at the Brooklyn Italians to join the NPSL. Later that year he coached the team to a 10-1-1 record in their inaugural season. Two years later Barone was voted as Secretary on the Executive Board of the NPSL.
Cindy Spera from New York Athletic Club was retained as Treasurer, while Barry Dixon from Jacksonville United was voted into the role of Secretary on the NPSL’s Executive Board.
Spera’s playing career began at Cornell University, where she was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year (1988) and All-Ivy League First Team (1991). She went on to play for the Long Island Rough Riders from 1994 through 2001, claiming two national championships in 1995 and 1997. Spera would gather two more national championships with New York Athletic Club in 2007 and 2010. She currently serves as the Chairman of Soccer Programs for New York Athletic Club.
Dixon, a graduate of Florida State University, is the current CEO of True House Inc, a company he has been with for 25 years. He is also the founder of Jacksonville United FC, a club that has experienced great success at the state, regional, and national levels.
JUFC youth sides have won three U.S. Club state championships and two USYSA state championships. Jacksonville United also won the 2011 NPSL National Championship before advancing to the 2nd round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2012 and securing the Sunshine Conference Championship in 2013.
The regional board members now include Kenny Farrell (New Orleans Jesters), Sean McDaniel (Chattanooga FC), Terry Lawriw (AFC Cleveland), Cristian Brei (Madison 56ers), Clent Alexander (San Diego Flash), William Forte (San Francisco Stompers FC), Kabba Joof (Rhode Island Reds FC), and Matt McTish (FC LVU Sonic).
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 65+ markets across the country. Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs, D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls, operate U-23 squads in the NPSL.