CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – Charlotte Lady Eagles, part of the longstanding successful Charlotte Eagles soccer club, is joining the Women’s Premier Soccer League for the 2019 season, the league announced Monday.
The Lady Eagles have provided two decades of high-level competition and community service to the Greater Charlotte area. The club is a full-time Christian outreach that seeks to serve and mentor youth through its various soccer clubs and programs.
Sam Hope, a former Lady Eagles player from 2010-12, is the WPSL club’s coach. Annie Speese, another former Lady Eagle, will serve as the assistant general manager and ministry director.
“We’re extremely excited to be a part of the WPSL this upcoming season,” Charlotte Eagles Director Mike Freace said. “The league provides us with a structured, competitive environment that we feel we can pursue authentic ministry through.”
The Charlotte Eagles have a successful track record of its men’s and women’s sides. The Lady Eagles played 16 seasons in the former W-League, winning the 2000 championship and qualifying for the national semifinals in 2006 and 2014. The men’s side, an active USL League Two club, won the 2017 championship and has been a finalist in four additional seasons.
The addition of the Lady Eagles gives the league four clubs in the Greater Charlotte area, making it one of the premier markets for competition and development in women’s soccer.
“As the Charlotte soccer community continues to grow at the youth level, especially on the girls side, it is great to have another option for female players in the area to play as they get older,” Carolina Rapids owner Ray Fumo said. “The Eagles are a great organization, and we are excited to have them join our conference.”
The Lady Eagles join CAFC Ospreys (Frederica, Delaware), EGA Omaha, Alamo City SC (San Antonio), Chatham FC (Savannah, Georgia), Wake FC (Raleigh, North Carolina), ASC San Diego, EPIC Sport Management (Victoria, British Columbia), Indios Denver FC and FC Arizona Women as announced 2019 expansion clubs.
The WPSL is in its 22nd season and is the largest women’s soccer league in the world with more than 100 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.