HICKORY, N.C. (WJZY) — There’s a new kid on the block regarding professional soccer in the region.
Hickory FC will join the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) as an expansion team for the 2024 season. The team will play at the 7,200-seat Moretz Stadium on the campus of Lenoir Rhyne University.
Other expansion teams for the upcoming season come from Wilmington, Bristol (Tennessee), Columbus (Georgia), and Marshfield (Wisconsin).
“We are excited to have Hickory FC as part of the NPSL family,” NPSL Director of Membership Development Dina Case said. “They bring a diverse investor group with extensive business and soccer experience who are already connected to their community. Their vision aligns well with the NPSL model, and we are confident they will have a positive impact from the start. We are looking forward to seeing Hickory FC become another success story within the league.”
The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is one of the most prominent established men’s soccer leagues in the United States, with over 90 teams. The NPSL has four regions and 14 conferences with Hickory’s possible closest rival being Appalachian FC from Boone. The Charlottetowne Hops FC is based in Charlotte and plays at the CSA OrthoCarolina Sportsplex in Pineville.
Owner/managing director Thomas Deeley, owner/managing Director Eric Levin, owner Brock Long, owner William Pleasant, and owner Dillon Smith lead the team efforts.
Deeley is a former All-American soccer player and NPSL alumnus.
“The expectation for our first season is to create an environment and atmosphere that the Hickory community can be proud of and to be competitive throughout the season on the pitch,” Deeley said.