Local soccer clubs merge to form largest youth travel club in West Virginia
Three local soccer clubs are merging in an effort to produce a developmental system seen in other countries and parts of the United States.
For families in the area like the Cipoletti's, soccer is a lifestyle. Rachael Cipoletti said the merge provides even more opportunities for her children to excel in the sport they love.
"It has taught them a lot," Cipoletti said. "It has taught them how to be resilient and how to work hard. We now have this great new facility going in at Shawnee Park. We will be having tournaments held here."
The Charleston Football Club, Fury Soccer Club and the West Virginia Chaos Professional Development League Team are merging to form The Alliance: West Virginia Alliance and Fury Charleston Alliance. The new club will be the first fully developed training system in the state and also will create the largest youth travel club in the state. The north and south divisions will be known as FC Alliance North and FC Alliance South.
Owner and director of the Charleston Football Club Adam Arthur said instead of competing against each other, the clubs are working together to create the largest youth travel club in the state.
"We slowly realized we have the same goal," Arthur said. "We want to develop kids in West Virginia. We want to develop teams in West Virginia and put the state on the map. We have just aligned. We trust each other. We have the same philosophies and mindsets. Putting that together just makes sense."
The merger will bring an all-encompassing system training kids from 18 months old into their adult years.
Local players tell said they are looking forward to more competitive play.
"Not only will the club get bigger but we might get more recognition with more players," PJ Garlow said. "Hopefully we can go across the nation, get more tournament wins and get more publicity for this great state."
The Alliance will officially launch with a new logo in 2019.
“This affiliation will be one of a kind in West Virginia,” West Virginia Chaos owner Joe Johns said. “An affiliation with West Virginia’s only Premier Development League franchise that has connections to a vast number of collegiate coaches and players as well as the United Soccer League will allow youth players a direct path to grow at every age and level.”
"Our organizations have been working hard for years to bridge the gaps between teams in the region," Fury SC Director Kernell Borneo added. "We have made competing at a higher level and playing collegiate soccer a reality for many of our players.