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FC Westchester and Soccer Elite Merge
Combination Creates Bigger, Broader Boys and Girls Premier Soccer Club

FC Westchester has announced that the Soccer Elite program of White Plains is being merged into FC Westchester, bolstering FC Westchester’s girls program, as well as adding a premier boys program to FC Westchester’s already-strong, nationally-ranked U.S.Soccer Development Academy and Pre-Academy programs.

The merger will take effect with the beginning of the Fall 2010 season, at which point the nine Soccer Elite Soccer girls and boys teams will take on the identity of FC Westchester, the two clubs said.

“Soccer Elite’s teams joining FC Westchester will create a bigger, more broad-based soccer club – with stronger and deeper coaching and administrative resources -- that serves the Westchester County and surrounding area, a club that will cater to both boys and girls and to Development Academy, Pre-Academy and Premier league players.” FC Westchester president Lonny Unger and Soccer Elite President Carlos Mejia said.

FC Westchester’s current Director of Coaching David McCollum will become the club’s overall Director of Coaching, with Mejia heading the FC Westchester girls program.

On the boys side, the combined club will consist of U16 and U18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams and U15, U14, U13 and U12 Pre-Academy teams, as well as a U12 Premier team, a U15/16 Premier team, a U16 Premier team, a U17 Premier team and a U18 Premier team. The boys program will also include FC Westchester’s Pre-Academy Training program for those born in 2000 and 2001/02.

“Importantly, players on the Premier boys teams will be given the opportunity to be rostered as Developmental Players on the FC Westchester Academy teams and thus be eligible to be added to Academy teams at any point and time during the season,” Unger said.

On the girls side -- in a program that will be known as FC Westchester Elite -- the teams will include a U13 Premier team, two U14 Premier teams,, two U16 Premier teams and a U18 Premier team. The girls program also plans on starting a Pre-Academy Training Program for girls born in 2000 and 2001/02 during the winter and spring seasons.

FC Westchester, a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization, was founded in 1984 and was one of the first premier clubs in the country. In the summer of 2007, the club was one of the first 11 clubs in the country to receive the prestigious designation as a U.S. Soccer Development Academy by the United States Soccer Federation. There are currently only 77 clubs in the country that have that designation. The club has won two youth national championships during the past decade plus and the club has won at least one State Cup championship -- and sometimes more than one -- each year for virtually the last 10 plus years plus. In 2008, the club’s U18 was a national finalist in the inaugural year of the U.S. Development Academy League, and during the past two years both its U16 and U18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams made it to the Development Academy national playoffs in Greensboro, N.C.

Soccer Elite Club is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) founded in 2006 by Carlos Mejia. The organization is dedicated to providing a positive learning environment for all youth, at all levels, who want to play the game of soccer. Soccer Elite staff use the game of soccer as a forum through which youth gain confidence, increase self-esteem and develop positive personal skills, all while enjoying the world’s most popular sport. Staff accomplish this mission through clinics, camps and other soccer functions. Over the past several years White Plains Elite teams have experienced success in both the Northeast Premier League and Premier Divisions and has won several major tournaments.