May 23 – National Independent Soccer Association has approved Irvine Zeta FC’s (IZFC) application to join US third tier professional league.
Based in Caifornia, IZFC currently play in the United Premier Soccer League’s SoCal South Division 1, and will begin professional play in 2024.
The team will play at the Championship Soccer Stadium in the Great Park in Irvine, also the home of Orange County SC, who play in the USL Championship, the second tier of the US professional men’s league system.
IZFC trades heavily on its USP that it will be the first Chinese-founded professional soccer club in the US and its mission under its slogan, ‘The Real Irviners’, to bring together different ethnic and community groups in Irvine.
“Irvine Zeta FC brings to NISA an expansion in our numbers, but also an expansion in our diversity,” says NISA Executive Vice President Josh Prutch.
“We are rebuilding a stronger West Coast presence. Importantly, with our on-boarding processes, we are building a stronger viability for clubs making the jump to the professional level.”
Only established in September 2022 by Cary Lyu, the owner of Zeta Sports Group, IZFC launched as a semi-professional club. Along with its senior team, IZFC, the club currently runs Zeta Academy, the club’s youth training program.
“I am absolutely thrilled to see IZFC being part of NISA next year,” says IZFC President Cary Lyu.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for our club to showcase our talent on a national stage, and it will reflect the dedication and hard work we have put into our craft.
“We are excited to embrace this new challenge, united in our passion for the community and the beautiful game. Together, we will strive for greatness and leave an indelible mark in the world of soccer. Irvine Zeta FC is ready for 2024!”
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