FC Delco is back.
Local youth soccer club Continental FC is returning to its roots with a name change to FC Delco, which was the previous name of the club prior to its merger in 2013 with the Chester County-based Spirit United.
“Going back to FC Delco allows us to tap into a long-standing legacy and empowers us to honor that history as we build toward the future,” FC Delco General Manager Rob Elliott said in a news release. “FC Delco’s well-respected, nationally recognized brand will help us achieve our mission of evolving soccer in the region and in the U.S. When players put on the FC Delco jersey, they will become a part of something bigger than themselves.”
Originally founded in 1989 (Spirit United originated in 1982), the FC Delco name was associated with youth soccer success on the local and national level throughout the ‘90s and 2000s prior to the name change in 2013.
Among its more well known former players are former U.S. men’s national team midfielder and current D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen, Atlanta United defender/midfielder Jeff Larentowicz, USMNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen and Nicole Barnhart two-time Olympic gold medalist and current keeper for the Utah Royals FC in the NWSL.
“I am extremely happy to hear about the renaming of the club back to the original ‘FC DELCO.’ It is a name that means so much to me and is connected to all of my memories of youth soccer in southeastern PA,” Larentowicz said in the news release. “It was the name of the club I always dreamed of playing for, and is the name of the club I was fortunate enough to win two national titles with.”
The name change is effective immediately, but current teams — like those in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy will keep the Continental FC name until the end of the spring 2019 season.
“Growing up everyone knew what FC Delco represented,” Nicole Barnhart, current goalkkeeper for Utah Royals FC said in the news release. “To play for FC Delco was the next big step a youth player made to help propel her career as a Collegiate, National Team Player and Pro Player. When you came to FC DELCO you knew that you were going to be playing with high level players, against high level competition and you would develop and be prepared for play at the next level, whether it was college, the national team, or professionally.”