Where Are They Now: Junior Lone Star FC

Where Are They Now:  Junior Lone Star FC

The 2015 National Premier Soccer League season is upon us.  When the league released its 2015 division alignment a total of 19 clubs were missing from the previous season.  While that is not an earth shattering number for anyone who follows lower division soccer in the states, this season we at Non League America have decided to ask the question… “Where are they now?”

With state and regional leagues making waves in US Soccer, such as the Evergreen Premier League (Washington), Champions Soccer League (Florida), and the United Professional Soccer League (California), a number of clubs have left the NPSL in a cost cutting effort.  The defending and former NPSL champions Red Bull New York U-23’s, Lehigh Valley United Sonic, and the entity of DC United’s U-23 program have all left to join the USL Premier Development League to align with the USL and MLS partnership.

At the end of every season the inevitable happens, some clubs move to other leagues, some fold, and others like Junior Lone Star FC take a sabbatical to rebuild for the future and the betterment of the club. We caught up with President Paul Konneh of JLSFC to get a sense of what the future holds for the fourteen year Philadelphia club.

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NLA: Paul, what were the reasons for Junior Lone Star FC deciding it was best to sit out the 2015 NPSL season?

PK: We lost several first team players to semi-pro teams in the American Soccer League (ASL).  We also lacked finances to carry on at the NPSL level this season so we decided to take a hiatus and return for the 2016 season.

NLA:  JLSFC is a part of an academy, correct?  Or is it an independent clubs much like Detroit City FC and Nashville FC?

PK:  No, JLSFC is a club by itself.  Founded in 2001, we had a single team but now at the present time we have three teams consisting of over 100 players.  The first team competes in NPSL as well as the EPSA (Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer Association) State Open Cup competitions.  The U23’s compete in the U.S. Club Soccer National Adult League as well as the USASA U23 Cup competitions.  The U19’s compete in the USL Super -20 League as well as the EPYSA State U19 cup competitions.  We hope to create our own academy (U16’s, U14’s, and U12’s) by next season.

NLA:  When you heard the news that 19 clubs had left the NPSL, what were your first thoughts?

PK:  I don’t think it was real surprising. Clubs spend lots of money without any real benefit.  Most clubs can’t even pull 100 fans at games.  We fell under that bracket.   But, we have youth teams that need that first team to aspire to for progress.  Clubs either go join PDL (like NY Red Bulls and FC LVU Sonic) or go back to state leagues.—-

We wish the Junior Lone Star FC organization the best of luck in 2015.  For more information on the club be sure to visit their new website at www.juniorlonestarfc.org

Feature Submitted By: Seth (@tweetsfromseth)

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