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Tuesday , September 18 2018
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Home | Tag Archives: el paso usl

Tag Archives: el paso usl

El Paso USL Continues to Expand Roster, Signs Defender Navarro

El Paso USL has signed defender, Daniel Navarro of Hyannis, Massachusetts, who saw his most recent action playing with Miami United (NPSL).

Prior to his time with Miami United, Daniel played for SC Sao Paulo in Campeonato Brasilerio Serie D and Campeonato Gaucho in Brazil.  Daniel also brings with him NASL experience where he played with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

Daniel Navarro joins Omar Salgado and Derek Gebhard, pending league and federation approval, bringing the roster to three signed players thus far for the 2019 season.

This defensive addition to the team, as stated by El Paso USL Coach Mark Lowry, “will be a crucial part of the group we are putting together here in El Paso.  He played at a good level in Brazil and spent time in the NASL, so he is familiar with playing in the US.  As a center back, he is a fierce competitor who is strong in the air and good in 1v1 situations, but even more importantly for us, he is comfortable with the ball at his feet and playing out of the back.  He will add a healthy competition for places within our squad.”

The 27-year-old defender was born in the United States of America and returned to his family’s home country of Brazil at age two, where he spent much of his life and professional career.

“I am so glad to have signed with El Paso USL,” said Daniel.  “I already have experience playing in the USA, but this will be my first time in the USL and seeing a new club come together is exciting for me as a player.  I believe the El Paso community has a lot of expectations for us.  Combining our work and their support will be important for us to have a great first season.”

El Paso USL Reveals Team Name Finalists; Public Voting on Name Underway

El Paso USL revealed the top five finalist nicknames for the team to be voted on by the public beginning today.  In April of this year, the community was invited to submit team name ideas.

El Paso USL fans submitted more than 1400 name ideas for the team.

The finalist names include:

  • Estrellas
  • Lagartos
  • Locomotive
  • Stars
  • Tejanos

“We had a lot of fun reviewing the list of names submitted by El Paso USL fans,” said Alan Ledford, President of MountainStar Sports Group. “There was certainly a great deal of thought put into the submissions, and the region’s passion for soccer was definitely evident.  Based on the feedback we received, we know our local fans are quite creative, but that tradition is equally important to them.”

The public is invited to vote on the finalist names online beginning Tuesday through midnight on Tuesday, July 17, 2018.  The final team name selected will dictate the team’s colors, crest, uniforms, and mascot.

The team name announcement later this year will include the team’s colors and crest.  Uniforms and mascot reveals will be scheduled subsequently.

“This is definitely an exciting time to be an El Paso soccer fan.  It’s been thrilling to follow the unpredictable World Cup matches with local soccer supporter groups and fans.  It is really rewarding to witness the enthusiasm for El Paso USL,” said Andrew Forrest, General Manager for El Paso USL.  “We look forward to announcing the official team name, along with all the other design elements.”

Each of the finalist names was submitted by multiple individuals during the name entry period. As part of the Name the Team contest, those who submitted the winning name will be entered in a drawing. The person selected as the winner will win the grand prize, which includes 2 season seats for the 2019 season, 2 official jerseys, and the winner’s picture taken with the team during the 2019 season.

The criteria for selecting a team name includes name popularity based on public entries and voting, creativity, how well the name represents El Paso, and family-friendliness.

While the public input is an important element of the decision-making process, MountainStar Sports Group will make the ultimate name selection based on the aforementioned criteria and USL approval.

El Paso USL soccer will debut in March of 2019.  Those interested in placing a Season Seat Deposit to be among the first to select their Season Tickets can do so with a $50 per seat deposit online or may call 915-235-GOAL.  Ticket prices and packages will be announced in the coming months.

Video+Gallery+Story: City’s Own Omar Salgado Signed by El Paso USL

At a Wednesday news conference, Officials with El Paso USL announced that Omar Salgado has signed as the first player of the newly launched club, owned by MountainStar Sports Group (MSSG).

Salgado will be part of the inaugural 2019 squad with El Paso USL, which is one of four teams to join USL for the 2019 season.

“We are thrilled for Omar to join the team and be the first ever El Paso USL player.  He is a terrific young man who I believe will be a tremendous asset both on the field and in the community — the community he grew up in — and he is excited to return to as a professional soccer player,” said Andrew Forrest, General Manager of El Paso USL.

Salgado was raised in El Paso and holds dual citizenship in the United States and Mexico. The striker was active in youth soccer in the Sun City, playing for the Texas Fire Soccer Club. Salgado attended St. Joseph School and Cathedral High School.

The terms of Salgado’s contract with El Paso USL include his being loaned to Las Vegas Lights FC for the remainder of the 2018 season. The signing and loan are pending league and federation approval.

Salgado, who plays as a Forward, comes to El Paso USL with an impressive background, having played for both the United States U20 and U23 National Teams, and in both Major League Soccer and Liga MX. Previously the No. 1 selection in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft by Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Salgado has also spent time training with multiple English Premier League clubs.

“We are proud to welcome Omar home as the very first player of the very first El Paso USL team.  This is El Paso’s team and nothing symbolizes that more than bringing a true El Pasoan on board as our first signing,” said Josh Hunt, Chairman and CEO of MountainStar Sports Group.

“This was a remarkable opportunity for us to sign a world-class player with international experience whose roots are firmly planted in El Paso.  Omar is a wonderful person who will represent El Paso well both on and off the pitch,” said Alan Ledford, President of MountainStar Sports Group.  “We are happy to welcome him home.”

A former Cathedral High School student, Salgado left El Paso at the age of 15 to further his career with soccer giants Club Deportivo Guadalajara, better known as Chivas.

With Chivas, he scored seven goals in 10 appearances and was named Player of the Tournament in South America’s U-17 Copa Liberatores competition. Salgado left Chivas when he accepted a call-up for the United States U-20 team, and also has represented the United States at the U-17, U-18, and U-23 levels.

Salgado, now 24, was selected first overall in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft by the Vancouver Whitecaps FC after training with current English Premier League sides Everton FC and Fulham FC. He started in four of his first 14 appearances as a rookie, scoring Vancouver’s lone goal in his first start against the Columbus Crew.

The striker suffered two fractured foot injuries in 2012 and 2013, the second of which sidelined Salgado for the entire 2013 MLS season. After a successful loan to USL club Charleston Battery in 2014, the striker was recalled by the Whitecaps first team before being traded to New York City FC and purchased by Tigres UANL of Liga MX three weeks later at the end of that year.

Gallery by Alicia Renteria, Multi-Media Photographer, El Paso Herald-Post

Andrew Forrest Named General Manager, Business Operations for El Paso USL Team

On Wednesday, MountainStar Sports Group President, Alan Ledford, announced that Andrew Forrest has been hired as General Manager, Business Operations for the new El Paso USL organization.

“Andrew’s accomplishments in professional soccer team business management and his extensive experience in sales and operations will drive an effective organization for El Paso USL,” said Alan Ledford, President of MountainStar Sports Group. “We are excited to have Andrew join our organization as we prepare for the inaugural season of professional soccer in El Paso in March of 2019.”

Mr. Forrest comes to El Paso from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he was most recently employed as General Manager for Learfield Sports.

Prior to that, he worked for the San Antonio Scorpions Professional Soccer Team as Director of Sponsorship and then as Vice President and Assistant General Manager.  He held previous positions with Playbook Management International, as Senior Account Executive with the San Antonio Scorpions and as Consultant with FC Edmonton and in the cities of Baltimore and Dallas.

Mr. Forrest is a graduate of Roanoke College (Salem, Virginia) and he earned an M.S. in Kinesiology – Sport Leadership from James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Virginia).

“With the help of Marquee Search, we conducted outreach nationwide to fill this critical position for El Paso USL,” added Ledford.  “We believe Andrew’s experience and background make him an excellent choice to get our organization up and running.”

Mr. Forrest joins Sarah Nollner, Manager of Business Operations, who was the first hire for MountainStar Sports Group’s USL operation earlier this year.  She joined El Paso USL from Major League Soccer/Soccer United Marketing in New York City where she was the Marketing and Media Consultant for the Mexican National Team, Copa America Centenario, and Gold Cup.

Prior to that, she worked with Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles in US Business Operations.  Ms. Nollner is a graduate of University of Kentucky and earned her MBA in Sports at San Diego State University.

The El Paso USL staff also includes Ryan Schmitz, Sales and Service Representative.  Mr. Schmitz came to El Paso from Boulder, Colorado, where he worked in sales for Xfinity and Assurance Wireless.  Before that, he was employed by the Reno Aces (MiLB) and Reno 1868 (USL) as Communications Coordinator.

Mr. Schmitz held previous public relations positions with the University of Florida Athletic Association, the Seattle Mariners and the Denver Broncos.  Schmitz is a graduate of the University of Missouri.

El Paso USL fans interested in placing a Season Seat Deposit can do so online or by calling 915-235-GOAL.  Prices and packages will be announced soon.

El Paso USL’s ‘Name the Team’ Contest Extended

The Name the Team Contest for the El Paso United Soccer League (USL) team has been extended by 15 days.  Soccer fans have about two more weeks to log in  or to enter their ideas for the name of El Paso’s new USL Team here.

The entry period will conclude at 11:59pm on Friday, April 20, 2018 and will be followed by a second phase of the process in which select names will be voted on by the public.  The team name will be announced this summer.

The person selected as the winner will win the grand prize, which includes 2 Season Seats for the 2019 season, 2 official jerseys, and the winner’s picture taken with the team during the 2019 season.

“We are having fun engaging fans in the Borderplex with the team naming process.  The responses we received to date are thoughtful and playful, and reflect the region’s enthusiasm for professional soccer.  We’d like to hear more from the community, so we encourage everyone to participate,” said Alan Ledford, President of MountainStar Sports Group.

Official Rules for the contest are online and require that participants must be at least 18 years of age to enter.

In addition, participants who are under 18 years of age are encouraged to participate as long as they and their parents or legal guardians comply with the Official Rules.  Multiple entries are permissible.

Those who do not wish to enter online can also submit an entry by sending a standard size postcard with name, address, city, state, and zip code, day and evening phone number, and email address to El Paso USL, Name the Team Contest, 1 Ballpark Plaza, El Paso, Texas, 79901.

The criteria for selecting a team name include name popularity based on public entries and voting, creativity, how well the name represents El Paso, and family-friendliness.  While the public input is an important element of the decision-making process, MountainStar Sports Group will make the ultimate name selection based on the aforementioned criteria and USL approval.

In the case that the final name was not submitted by the public, all those qualified participants who submitted names will be entered into a drawing for the grand prize.  Fans are encouraged to visit the USL Team Page to see a full list of USL teams from across the country.

The final team name selected will dictate the team’s colors, crest, uniforms, and mascot, all of which will be revealed later this year after the team name is announced this summer.

“The hometown pride of soccer fans is evident in the entries we’ve seen so far.  We are getting a true sense of how the team name will shape the entire brand of El Paso USL.  From the team crest to the mascot, we envision that the tradition of the game will blend with the cultural feel of the Borderplex,” added Ledford.

El Paso USL soccer will debut in March of 2019.  Those interested in placing a Season Seat Deposit to be among the first to select their season tickets can do so with a $50 per seat deposit online or may call 915-235-GOAL.  Ticket prices and packages will be announced in the coming months.

El Pasoans Get Opportunity to ‘Name the Team’ for City’s New USL Franchise

Officials with Mountain Star Sports officially kicked off the Name the Team Contest for the El Paso United Soccer League (USL) team which will debut in 2019.

“Since we announced USL Soccer was coming to El Paso, we have been asked repeatedly about the name of the team,” said Alan Ledford, President of MountainStar Sports Group. “It’s time to engage El Pasoans in the process and we are excited to launch the Name the Team contest.  The team’s name should reflect the tradition of the sport, yet also be genuinely representative of El Paso – whether it be inspired by the community’s history, unique culture, landscape, or aspirations for the future.”

The contest is open through April 5, 2018, fans can log in to enter their ideas for the name of El Paso’s new USL Team.  Fans are also encouraged to visit the USL Team Page to see a full list of teams from across the country.

The final team name selected will dictate the team’s colors, crest, uniforms, and mascot, all of which will be revealed later this year after the team name is announced this summer.

“This is El Paso’s soccer team and it is very important to us that El Pasoans play a role in helping us select the right name,” added Ledford. “And based on the support the community has demonstrated for its Triple-A Baseball team, we certainly expect they will embrace this team, its name, and the spirit of USL.  This is about hometown pride.”

The criteria for selecting a team name include name popularity based on public entries and voting, creativity, how well the name represents El Paso, and family-friendliness.

Officials add, “While the public input is an important element of the decision-making process, MountainStar Sports Group will make the ultimate name selection based on the aforementioned criteria and USL approval. In the case that the final name was not submitted by the public, all those qualified participants who submitted names will be entered into a drawing for the grand prize.”

“The response we’ve had to date for El Paso USL has been tremendous.  Opening Day 2019 will be here before we know it, and we look forward to the inaugural season and all it will offer to soccer fans not only in El Paso, but throughout the region,” added Ledford.

The entry period will conclude at 11:59pm on Thursday, April 5, 2018 and will be followed by a second phase of the process in which the top-ranked names will be voted on by the public.  The selected name will be announced this summer.

The person selected as the winner will win the grand prize, which includes 2 season seats for the 2019 season, 2 official jerseys, and the winner’s picture taken with the team during the 2019 season.

Official Rules for the contest may be found online and require that participants must be at least 18 years of age to enter.  In addition, participants who are under 18 years of age are encouraged to participate as long as they and their parents or legal guardians comply with the Official Rules.  Multiple entries are permissible.

Those who do not wish to enter online can also submit an entry by sending a standard size postcard with name, address, city, state, and zip code, day and evening phone number, and email address to El Paso USL, Name the Team Contest, 1 Ballpark Plaza, El Paso, Texas, 79901.

 

 

Those interested in placing a Season Seat Deposit to be among the first to select their season tickets can do so with a $50 per seat deposit online or may call 915-235-GOAL.

Ticket prices and packages will be announced in the coming months.

USL, MountainStar Sports Announce Outdoor Professional Soccer Franchise for El Paso in 2019

United Soccer League (USL) officials announced Wednesday that El Paso will be the next addition to the league for the 2019 season, continuing the USL’s growth in the Southwest United States.

The new club will be led by MountainStar Sports Group (MSSG), which also owns and operates the El Paso Chihuahuas, the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball. The group is also a minority owner of FC Juaréz of Mexico’s Liga Ascenso.

El Paso is the fourth team to join the USL for the 2019 season, and the second this year after the announcement on January 8 of the addition of Memphis, Tennessee to join Birmingham, Alabama and Austin, Texas in the league next year.

El Paso’s addition to the league bolsters the USL’s expanding footprint in the Southwest, and adds another respected, experienced ownership group to the league’s world-class leadership.

“It is with distinct pleasure and great enthusiasm that we welcome the illustrious city of El Paso to the USL family,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis. “The distinguished ownership group comprised of Woody Hunt, Josh Hunt, Paul Foster and Alejandra De la Vega-Foster add to the world-class ownership groups already present in the USL, and in MountainStar Sports Group President Alan Ledford the group includes one of the most admired executives in professional baseball, whose leadership helped the El Paso Chihuahuas to be recognized as one of MiLB’s most successful teams and to average in the top five in attendance in the Pacific Coast League each of the past four seasons. Add to that the group’s experience in building FC Juarez of Mexico’s Liga Ascenso into a strong organization over the past three years, and the tremendous passion for civic responsibility MountainStar Sports Group has shown throughout its history, I have no doubt this group will propel its new USL team to remarkable achievements both on and off the field in the coming years.”

Josh Hunt, MSSG Chairman and CEO, said, “Since our inception, improving the quality of life in our region and promoting economic development have been our core objectives. We’re very proud to bring this high level of professional soccer to El Paso and to be a part of the USL.”

“Our market has demonstrated the extraordinary way it supports its sports teams, and given the popularity of soccer throughout this region, we expect Division II USL soccer to be very popular,” said Alan Ledford. “MountainStar Sports Group is excited about this opportunity to bring some of the best players in the country to play in front of some of the best fans in the country.”

As part of a regional economic development initiative, MountainStar Sports Group launched a successful effort to bring Minor League Baseball to El Paso in 2011. In 2012, the Group acquired the Tucson Padres, the Triple-A Baseball affiliate of the San Diego Padres.

The team began play as the El Paso Chihuahuas in a new, $78 million state-of-the-art Ballpark in the heart of downtown El Paso in the spring of 2014. In 2015, MSSG and a group of Mexican investors acquired an expansion franchise from the Mexican Futbol Federation. The Ascenso MX club began play as Los Bravos de Juarez in the Benito Juarez Olympic Stadium the same year.

Woody Hunt is Executive Chairman of the Board of Hunt Companies, Inc. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Complete College America, is a foundation trustee of the College for all Texans Foundation, and a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center-Houston.

He previously served as Chairman of the Texas Business Leadership Council, where he now serves on the Executive Committee. He is co-chair and PAC chair for Texas Aspires (formerly Texas Institute for Education Reform and Texans for Education Reform); a member of the Board of Directors for El Paso Electric (Nasdaq: EE) and WestStar Bank; and is a member of the Executive Council of No Labels. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Borderplex Regional Economic Alliance.

Paul Foster is the President of Franklin Mountain Management, LLC. He is the founder and former Executive Chairman of Western Refining, Inc., and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Andeavor, a premier U.S. refining, marketing, and logistics company. He is also on the Boards of Jordan Foster, Vomaris, Inc., Westar Bank, and the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, El Paso Branch. Mr. Foster previously served as Chairman of The University of Texas System Board of Regents, and currently serves as Vice Chairman.

Previously, he served as the Chairman of the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO). He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Borderplex Regional Economic Alliance, and a member of the World Presidents’ Organization.

Alejandra De la Vega-Foster is the Vice President of Almacenes Distribuidores de la Frontera, owner and operator of convenience stores in Ciudad Juaréz and northern Chihuahua, Mexico. She also owns the Domino’s Pizza franchise in Juarez and holds the franchise rights for La Madeleine Country French Café in El Paso, southern New Mexico, and Arizona. She is currently a member of the Hospitals of Providence Governing Board, and a member of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors.

She is involved in Desarrollo Economico de Juarez, serves on the Executive Committee of the Borderplex Regional Economic Alliance and is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization. In 2016, Mrs. De la Vega – Foster was appointed by the Governor of the State of Chihuahua, Mexico to serve as Secretary of Innovation and Economic Development for the electoral period of 2016-2021. She also serves as the Chair of Los Bravos, and is the past president and CEO of Club de Futbol Cobras of Ciudad Juarez, a team promoted to the Primera Division in its first season. Mrs. De la Vega-Foster also previously served on the Board of the Mexican Futbol Federation.

Josh Hunt serves as Executive Vice President and Member of the Board of Directors for Hunt Companies, Inc. He is also President of the Hunt Family Foundation. Josh Hunt is also on the board of directors of Minor League Baseball’s Pacific Coast League, and is a board member of the Borderplex Regional Economic Alliance; member of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) President’s Athletic Advisory Council; Hospitals of Providence Governing Board; a founding board member of the El Paso Children’s Museum; chairman of the Medical Center of the Americas Foundation Board and Texas Tech Foundation Board; Board Chair of WestStar Home Loans (a subsidiary of WestStar Bank); and currently co-chairs the Center Against Sexual & Family Violence Capital Campaign. Josh Hunt is also a member of the Young Presidents Organization.

Alan Ledford is President of MountainStar Sports Group, and President of Leg Up Entertainment, a division of MountainStar Sports Group. He is a former Vice President of Business Operations for Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics, and the former President, Chief Operating Officer, and General Manager of the Sacramento River Cats and its home ballpark, Raley Field. During Ledford’s nearly nine-year tenure with the River Cats, the team led all Minor League Baseball in attendance and revenue generation.

In 2006, Ledford was named Minor League Baseball Executive of the Year by Baseball America. Alan Ledford previously worked in professional soccer, helping the Portland Timbers (then a USL club) become successful on and off the field before its ascent to Major League Soccer.

***Expanded Coverage: What is the USL?  by Diego Sanchez – Special to the Herald-Post 

H-P Info: What is the USL?

On Wednesday the city of El Paso got some pretty exciting news. Mountain Star Sports group made an announcement today that they will bring a United Soccer League team to El Paso in 2019. The city was awarded one of the expansion teams for 2019. The team is currently know as El Paso USL.

So what is the USL? Major League Soccer or MLS is where the big time professionals play, the United Soccer League is only one step under that. This is Division 2 professional soccer. The USL is the fastest growing league in the United States. With more than 100 million dollars being invested in 2016. They currently have a partnership with world wide leader in sports, ESPN. They also have a partnership with Sirius XM radio.
The league has doubled in size since 2014. With four expansion teams set for 2019 including:

Birmingham, Alabama

Austin, Texas

Memphis, Tennessee

El Paso, Texas

Apart from league play, the USL also regularly features international exhibition games against Premier League, Liga MX, and the Bundesliga clubs.

The schedule is highlighted by a regional approach to create rivalries. The USL has a western and eastern conference. At the end of each season, the top 8 teams from both conferences make the playoffs. In the next 4 weeks are used to crown a champion.

This is a list of the current teams:

With two teams set to join after the 2019 expansion. Chicago in 2020 and East Bay in 2021

  •    Atlanta United 2
  • Bethlehem Steel FC
  • Charleston Battery
  • Charlotte Independence
  • Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
  • FC Cincinnati
  • Fresno FC
  • Indy Eleven
  • LA Galaxy II
  • Las Vegas Lights FC
  • Louisville City FC
  • Nashville SC
  • New York Red Bulls II
  • North Carolina FC
  • OKC Energy FC
  • Orange County SC
  • Ottawa Fury FC
  • Penn FC
  • Phoenix Rising FC
  • Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
  • Portland Timbers 2
  • Real Monarchs SLC
  • Reno 1868 FC
  • Richmond Kickers
  • Rio Grande Valley FC
  • Sacramento Republic FC
  • Saint Louis FC
  • San Antonio FC
  • Seattle Sounders FC 2
  • Swope Park Rangers
  • Tampa Bay Rowdies
  • Toronto FC II
  • Tulsa Roughnecks FC

Fans for the United Soccer League fall under two major categories. 64% are ages 18-44, and 79% are male. This falls perfect with the demographic of El Paso, Texas with a median age of 32 in the Sun City.

The USL has a partnership with the MLS since 2013 designed to enhance the development of professional players in the United States.

The name, the colors and the mascot is still to be determined but El Paso is as excited as ever. Fans in the Sun City proved that the Chihuahuas was a perfect choice for the city. USL shouldn’t be any different.
El Paso are you ready for 2019?

***

Author – Diego Sanchez – Special to the Herald-Post

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