SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Strikers have joined the Women’s Premier Soccer League as an expansion club ahead of the upcoming 2020 season, the league announced Tuesday.
Ray Taila will serve as the club’s coach and executive director. Taila, who played for the men’s San Diego Sockers in the mid-‘90s, is the coaching director for the Strikers youth club and also serves as the coach for the men’s team at Mesa College.
“The WPSL has done a great job promoting, expanding and increasing the level of female participation in soccer in our region,” Taila said. “The San Diego Strikers are very excited to join this league and be part of its success story.”
The Strikers will play home matches at Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, the venue of a former WPSL founding club, the San Diego SeaLions.
“The SeaLions and its founder Lu Snyder set high standards and professionalism in the San Diego soccer community, and the San Diego Strikers wish to continue that legacy,” Taila said.
The club will play in the Pac South – San Diego Division, considered one of the most difficult divisions in the WPSL. It will have natural rivals in ASC San Diego and City SC (formerly LA Galaxy – San Diego), two rival youth clubs with established WPSL sides.
The WPSL is entering its 23rd season and is the largest women’s soccer league in the world with more than 119 clubs from coast-to-coast. WPSL rosters feature elite collegiate, post-collegiate, international and standout prep student-athletes. Many of the United States’ most accomplished women’s players have played in the WPSL, including household names such as Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Julie Foudy and Brandi Chastain.