Be A Part of History – Don’t Miss San Diego’s New NPSL Team Kick Off
Albion Pros First Game in the NPSL Kicks Off @ 5 PM- Game played at Mission Bay High School – 2475 Grand Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
Head Coach Ziggy Korytoski will lead his NPSL team in their first match against Real San Jose — a team that was established in 2007. Andre Schmid is the Assistant Coach. Albion Pros is led by Executive Director/General Manager Noah Gins, Director of Operations and Marketing Nick Surface and Director of Soccer Wayne Crowe.
“The Albion Pros will be San Diego’s most professional men’s soccer team and our tryouts were hugely successful,” said Gins. “More than 150 players attended the tryout for the Albion Pros – it was a monster response and we have signed excellent players.”
“We are really excited about today’s launch,” said Surface. “The Albion Pros have been practicing 4 times a week and have played a number of closed-door games to get into match sharpness and create the team chemistry for our home opener.”
The Albion Pros team roster includes players from all over the world as well as a few local favorites. Homegrown talent include Oscar Ortega, Luis Cardona, Jose Merlo, Johnny Zurita and Marquis Brooks.
San Diego native Felipe Liberia, who played for the USL’s OC Blues in 2015 and in the US Open Cup has also joined the roster. In addition, Albion Pros also selected Luke Staats whose experience includes playing professional soccer in Holland. Other players with international experience include goalie Jean Antoine who played professionally in Haiti, Ricky McKenzie who played professionally in Honduras and Luis Cardona who played professionally in Italy.
“Albion Pros Head Coach Ziggy Korytoski and Assistant Coach Andre Schmid have worked tirelessly to get the team ready,” said Surface. ” Martin Johnson has been brought on as the goalkeepers coach and has been working with Antoine and Carlsbad United product Yayo Olvera to make sure we have safe hands at the back.”
As soccer becomes more popular in America, the pre-game show becomes more important. While die hard soccer fans may only seek the excitement of the on-field actions, newcomers to the beautiful game — especially those who bring their families — enjoy the pre-game ceremony and Albion Pros pre-game celebration should thrill fans of all ages. Title sponsor, G-Form, has arranged for stunt diver Matt Blanket to deliver the match ball from 30,000 feet in the air via sky diving into the stadium. G-Form shin guards are innovative shin guards worn by LA Galaxy’s Robbie Keane.
“Once the game starts, we have our Supporters Group, the Deep End, bringing a European style atmosphere and leading the crowd in chants,” said Surface. “They will have their own section right in the heart of the main stand.”
Albion Pros will offer young soccer fans a kids zone with juggling competitions, foot golf, balloon man and face painter.
Primo’s Mexican food and concessions available throughout the game as well as chair massage and Albion Pros fan gear will be on sale.
In Europe, fans usually gather at a pub before the game starts. Although the game is played in Southern California, starting at 3 PM, fans can enjoy the same European festivities and head to the Tap Room on Garnet Avenue to enjoy food and drink with the supporters group. Post game, all players and staff will be return to the Tap Room to meet with fans, answer questions and take pictures. This really fun pre and post game activity will be held for every home game.
Albion Pros has also launched the Student of the Game Program, an initiative to give back to the community. Head Coach Korytoski and 3 Albion Pros players visit schools in the San Diego area to talk about good life choices, the importance of doing well in school and living a healthy lifestyle. The Albion Pros perform juggling tricks and play soccer with the kids, offering tips on how to improve a players performance. Albion Pros offers complimentary tickets to the participating schools.
Our Student of the Game school visits are a massively important part of what we are doing as an organization,” said Korytoski. “Talking to kids about the importance of good life choices and healthy living and then showing them examples in the players really gets the message home. It’s great to give back to the community and we have a lot of fun being at the schools.”
First Home Game: March 5th at Mission Bay Stadium
Head Coach Ziggy Korytoski holds a UEFA “A” license, USSF “A” license, NSCAA Premier Diploma and a KNVB coaching certificate. Along with currently coaching at San Diego State and previously at the University of Hawaii, he was also the head coach for professional clubs in Guatemala’s top league with Deportivo Coatepeque and Antigua GCF.
The NPSL is a national league that operates in the 4th Division of the U.S. Soccer pyramid. NPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup through their affiliation with the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). The NPSL remains one of the largest national leagues in North America.
Related Article: SAN DIEGO’S ALBION PROS JOIN THE NPSL