FC Tucson announces women's team - Tucson News Now

FC Tucson announces women's team

Tucson, AZ - FC Tucson is proud to announce its new Women's Premier Soccer League franchise, FC Tucson Women.

The program was initially founded by the Tucson Soccer Academy as TSAFC in 2013. With this year's partnership, TSAFC will now wear FC Tucson's crest and continue playing its matches at Kino North Stadium.

"Moving under FC Tucson's umbrella will enable us to provide an even better experience for our players and a more formidable team on the field," said FC Tucson Women general manager, Charlie McCabe. "The FC Tucson managing group of Greg Foster, Rick Schantz and Jon Pearlman has clearly demonstrated its commitment to women's soccer and the growth of our sport in Southern Arizona."

As the only WPSL club in Arizona for the 2015 season, FC Tucson Women is part of the seven team Pacific South Division. The WPSL was founded in 1998 as an independent league, now affiliated with the United States Adult Soccer Association and United States Soccer Federation.  

From May 1-Aug. 1, FC Tucson Women and more than 70 other teams across the country will compete in the 2015 WPSL season. A league championship tournament will be played the final week of July.

In its only two seasons part of the WPSL, TSAFC accumulated a 10-9-3 record and won a 2013 Big Sky North Division championship. Last season the club finished 3-7-2.

The coaching staff will be led by TSAFC head coach, Amy Garelick. Formerly the head coach of the '95 Girls Red squad from 2010-2011, she was also on the staff of Arizona ODP, New Mexico ODP, Region IV, Paradise Valley Community College, Scottsdale Blackhawks and Horizon High School. Garelick earned her bachelor's degree at the University of New Mexico and master's at Northern Arizona University.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for local players to experience soccer at an extremely high level," Garelick said. "In the past, Tucson players who aspired to play collegiately had few options beyond that. Now they can take their game to another level."

Todd Garelick and Becky Barry will aid Amy Garelick this season as her assistant coaches.

A two time Adidas Far West Region and four time Arizona High School Coach of the Year winner, Todd Garelick has been part of the TSA since 2009 and TSAFC's assistant coach since 2013. He led Horizon High School to State Championships in 2001, 2003 and 2004 as its head coach.

Barry, former captain of the Arizona Wildcats and Salpointe Catholic High School women's soccer programs, has been a TSA Youth Academy coach since 2006. She also has coached as an assistant alongside Amy and Todd Garelick for TSAFC the past two years as well.

FC Tucson Women is primarily a combination of Southern Arizona's youth, college and adult level talent. Open tryouts for a roster spot will be held in early May, with exact dates and times to be announced.

"We have had an overwhelming response from both local and regionally based players," Amy Garelick said. "We anticipate a number of Tucson players making an impact on this team. As Tucson soccer continues to grow, FC Tucson Women will be an integral part of us moving forward as a community."

FC Tucson Women will be captained by former Salpointe Catholic and Pima Community College standout, Kelly Kearns-Pierce. The 33-year-old has worn the TSAFC captain's armband since its 2013 establishment.

"We see where FC Tucson started and how much they have grown its success over the years and all our players aspire to that same kind of success," Kearns-Pierce said. "To be a part of this organization will create exciting new possibilities for the team and up-and-coming female players in Arizona."

Before the WPSL season kicks off, FC Tucson Women will play a friendly match against Portland Thorns FC on Wednesday, March 25 at Kino North Stadium at 6:30 p.m.

Thorns FC, an elite National Women's Soccer League club, will also face the Arizona Wildcats NCAA Division I soccer squad on Saturday, March 28 at Kino North Stadium at 6:30 p.m.

"This is a wonderful example of two highly respected programs, each bringing what they do best, and joining together for the good of our young people and the Tucson community," said Pima County Junior Soccer League president, Ted Schmidt. "Eliminating overlap and competition for the same limited resources, this marriage means Tucson is providing excellent soccer for our young women and men, and more quality soccer entertainment for the rest of us."

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