UPSL’s Ginga Atlanta, Brockton FC United, Olympians FC and Capital City SC Head Coaches Speak Out
#UPSL #LetsGoUpSL #ConnectingAmericanSoccer
The United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) first kicked off in 2011 and now includes more than 300 teams nationwide. With the UPSL National Finals less than two weeks away at Silverbacks Park in Atlanta, GA, it is time to take a look at the teams left standing and start cheering for your favorite.
The UPSL National Semifinals is on Friday, March 5 with the Championship Match played on Sunday, March 7.
Reflecting the entrepreneurial spirit of America, each UPSL team is individually owned and operated. Today, the UPSL is the largest Pro Development League in North America, the UPSL competes in the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA).
“Being that we were the only national pro development league that competed during the pandemic, we’re extremely excited about the final four as these are the top teams that weathered the COVID-19 storm in 2020 during our fall/winter season,” said Yan Skwara, UPSL Commissioner. “We are very excited to see who will be crowned the new UPSL champion.”
“Playing semi professional soccer in America is an opportunity for players who are overlooked to follow their dream.”Joao Garcia, Owner & Head Coach Ginga Atlanta
UPSL 2021 NATIONAL FINALS: TEAM PREVIEWS
UPSL: GINGA ATLANTA (19-0-0 overall)
“We have already had players who have been offered professional contracts,” said Garcia whose team is on a 19-game winning streak.
Joao Garcia is the Owner & Head Coach of Ginga Atlanta, the highly successful UPSL team that is on a 19-game winning streak in their 2021 inaugural season.
“It has a been a fantastic season and it is great to be able to cap it off at home in Atlanta, the city we represent,” said Garcia. “The only thing that matters are the last five games and our ability to stay at this level of performance. We hope the ball bounces our way.”
Garcia, who is from Brazil and moved as a child to the USA started the club in August and has players from 20 different countries on his roster. With a diverse and international squad from Iran, Ghana, Brazil, Italy, Liberia, Mexico, Greece, Costa Rica and the USA as well as other countries, Ginga Atlanta represents the beauty and the passion of the global game of soccer.
- UPSL Georgia Division champions
- UPSL Southeast Region champions
- Ginga Atlanta outscored the Georgia Division 65-10 this season
- Regular Season record: UNDEFEATED with 14 wins out of 14 games
- Divisional Playoffs: Defeated FC Matata 3-2 and Seas Jamaica United 1-0 to win Georgia Division Championship
- Regional Playoffs: Defeated AFC 615 1-0, Charleston United 2-1, and OFC Barca 1-0 to win Southeast Region Championship
Key player: Deon McCaulay, Ginga Atlanta’s top scorer with 23 goals, 2nd in the league. Deon is two-time UPSL Player of The Week. The Belize Men’s National Team’s all-time leading scorer with 17 goals in 50 career games, McCaulay participated in qualification for the 2010, 2014 and 2018 World Cups and was the worldwide top goal scorer in 2014 with 11, tying Luis Suarez (Uruguay) and Robin Van Persie (Netherlands)
UPSL BROCKTON FC UNITED (12-0-1 overall)
Owner & Head Coach of Brockton FC United, Herminio Furtado, is proud of his players and his team’s successful season. “To be in the UPSL National is an amazing event for Brockton, our players have been waiting for this for a long time,” said Furtado who has been coaching the team since 2014.
“We will have to be at our best to become national champions, but we are confident we can do it.”Herminio Furta, Owner & Head Coach of Brockton FC United
“The opponents are really good and we haven’t had a game in two months so we are not game fit, so we will have to prepare well,” said Furtado. “We were the first region to qualify in December 2020, and because of the snow that has been falling … and the shortage of indoor facilities, we have not competed recently.”
With all the players and coaches from Cape Verde Islands, off the coast of Senegal in West Africa, this is unique roster that shows the depth of diversity of the UPSL.
- UPSL Patriot Division 2nd Place
- UPSL Northeast Region champions
- Brockton have won six consecutive games to reach UPSL National Finals
- Regular Season record: 7W – 0D – 1L, second place of Northeast Conference Patriot Division.
- Divisional Playoffs: Defeated Unations 2-0 and Mass United 3-1 to win Patriot Division Championship.
- Regional Playoffs: Defeated Syracuse FC 2-1, Detroit United 2-1, and New York Contour United 2-1 to win East Region Championship.
Key player: Ronaldinho Mendes Diniz, who is Brockton’s top goal scorer in 2020. Ronaldinho scored 9 goals in the campaign, including in 3 of the 4 playoff games in the UPSL Fall Season, with two winning goals in the 2-1 win against Syracuse FC and Detroit United FC
UPSL OLYMPIANS FC (12-1-0 overall)
OLYMPIANS FC Head Coach Adrian Gaitan has coached the Glendale based UPSL team since July when the team was formed.
“The UPSL National Final … Anyone can win it. It is going to be a great event.”Adrian Gaitan, OLYMPIANS FC Head Coach
“This year presents challenges because of the terrible pandemic, you have too keep everyone safe,” said Gaitan. “The first challenge it to make sure everyone stays healthy. The soccer part becomes easier in face of the Coronavirus.”
Like so many professional and semi-professional teams, the Olympians FC have had six player who tested positive over the summer. There have been no new cases reported since then and the coaching staff tests the players twice a week with the focus on staying ahead of the curve.
Born and raised in New York, Gaitan has played professional soccer in both USA and in Europe. Prior to coaching this UPSL team, Gaitan was coaching the San Roque Lepe which plays in the Tercera División in Spain. The Tercera División is directly under LA LIGA.
- UPSL Arizona Division champions
- UPSL West Region champions
- Olympians have allowed just 10 goals against this season
- Undefeated regular season (9W-1D-0L) before defeating East Valley FC and FC Arizona in the Playoffs
- Won, 2-2 (3-2), over San Juan FC, the two-time Mountain Division champions, in the Quarterfinals
Key player: Gustavo Vargas – 2020 UPSL Spring Season MVP. Olympians FC’ Center Back has led team to 6 shutouts and just allowed 10 goals allowed in 13 games. He’s also scored 2 goals this season
UPSL CAPITAL CITY SC (10-1-3 overall)
Capital City SC Head Coach Marc Dobrenel is in his first year coaching the team and describes the experience as great. “It is a fantastic experience, the competition has been great,” said Dobrenel. “I turned 40 last year and I was the goalkeeper, and I knew it was time for me to stop playing and I became the coach.” Dobrenel played professional soccer in France for four years and said, “The biggest challenge being a goalkeeper is dealign with a mistake that could cost the game, and you need to stay focused so you can save another shot.”
“As a goalkeeper it is important to stay strong mentally, in every situation.”Marc Dobrenel, Capital City SC Head Coach
“In the USA, you have the opportunity to play in a league like UPSL which allows you to see the level of soccer in other parts of the country,” said Dobrenel. “The level of competition in the UPSL is very tough and pushed me to keep the team humble and focused. One of my goals is to always have the players work hard for the team and be united.”
- UPSL Heart Division champions
- UPSL Central Region champions
- Cap City has scored 43 goals this season
- Central Conference Heart Division Champions: (6W-1D-3L) before defeating San Antonio Surf and Round Rock in the Playoffs.
- Won, 4-3, over Foro SC, the defending Central Region Champions, in Round of 16, then defeated La Maquina FC, 3-2, in the Quarterfinals.
Key player: Parker Fyfe, who has scored 4 goals in 3 consecutive playoff matches. Parker has 7 goals in total this season.
It has been a long road to the UPSL National Championships. Here is the road to the final: