Written by Edward Smith
Fresno’s newest soccer team, the Fresno Football Club, was selected today by Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps as its affiliate for the 2018 season.
FFC President Ray Beshoff praised the Whitecaps organization as one of the premier teams in the MLS. “They have a wonderful organization from top to bottom… they have a great culture of soccer.”
The team, according to Whitecaps President Bobby Lenarduzzi, had a few options but found Fresno to be the “best fit.”
In addition to players selected during open tryouts, which happened over the weekend of Nov. 11,the deal between the two soccer teams means that Fresno has access to some of the players for the Whitecaps.
Unlike deals between the Grizzlies and its past affiliates, however, players with the Fresno Football Club will remain with the team for the duration of the season, according to Beshoff.
This means that players who began the season playing for Fresno FC will play throughout the year, without moving up or down.
Leading the team as its first head coach will be Adam Smith, who previously served as assistant head coach for three seasons with the Republic FC out of Sacramento, according to a press release on Nov. 7.
“He possesses all the qualities we were looking for in a head coach and comes from a fantastic football pedigree,” said FFC General Manager Frank Yallop. “His experience and familiarity with the USL makes him the right choice to lead the team in our inaugural year.”
Smith has spent almost all of his life playing soccer.
In England, he attended the Everton FC academy and has played professionally with teams across the world.
“I’m in sports because I want to win. I want to be successful, of course, and the foundation we lay over the next 12 months is going to be crucial,” Smith said.
Along with announcements of affiliates and coaches, Fresno FC also announced their team mascot—the fox—a native to Fresno known for being “crafty and smart,” according to a press release.
The team will begin playing in March 2018 in the United Soccer League.