One of the most successful clubs in Philadelphia history is the latest expansion team in the National Premier Soccer League. The Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals will join the East Region for the 2022 season, the league announced on Thursday.
“The NPSL holds the same culture and model that our club lives by,” Dan Harmon, the club’s director of soccer development stated in a news release. “This game has given so much to so many. It’s our obligation to give back. There is no better way than a partnership with a like-minded organization like the NPSL.”
Decorated coach Mike Gorni will be the team’s head coach. Gorni has 40 state championships with Lehigh Valley United and FC Delco, 25 national final 8 appearances and seven national championships to his name.
“We bring decades of Philadelphia soccer history to the table,” Harmon stated. “Mike (Gorni) is one of the most respected soccer minds in the game and brings a wealth of experience to our club. We know the other NPSL clubs very well and have nothing but the highest respect across the board. We look forward to continuing the healthy and respectful local rivalries that we’ve built with many of the clubs in the league.”
One of those rivalries will certainly be West Chester United, which they already play in the United Soccer League of Pennsylvania. Though the conference alignments haven’t been announced for 2022, other teams from the region in the NPSL include Atlantic City FC, Electric City Shock, First State FC, Hershey FC, Philadelphia Lone Star, Torch FC and 2022 expansion team PA Classics. Jackson Lions are another new team from the region joining the league for the 2022 season.
The club was founded in 1950 and won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup four times in the 1960s. They offer youth programs from age 5-18 and are active in the adult amateur leagues with teams competing in state cups and the USLPA.
Leadership of the club includes executive director Steve Krysko and director of coaching Brian Rowland, who is the head coach of the Temple men’s soccer team.
“It is very exciting to have a club as accomplished as the Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals join the NPSL,” stated Dina Case, the NPSL’s director of membership development. “They have a rich and successful history as a club on the local, regional and national levels. They embody the spirit of developing and growing the sport of soccer through a strong sense of community.”
The club is breaking ground on a turf stadium at their Horsham facility this spring.
“The club and the league are aligned in our philosophy of building soccer through engagement with the local community,” stated Cindy Spera, NPSL’s managing director. “The management team runs the club as a business, with a professional staff and organizational and corporate structure.”
More information can be found by visiting www.ukrainiannationals.com or by following the club on Facebook (@ukrainiannationals) Instagram (@philadelphiaukrainiannationals), and Twitter (@UkrNationalsSC).