METUCHEN, NJ – Five Florida-based teams will make up the Sunshine Conference in United Women’s Soccer (UWS) League Two this summer. Jacksonville FC, Atletico Miami Union Deportiva, Unity FC, Soccer Paradize and Orlando FC Royals will take the pitch and compete for the conference crown. Jacksonville FC and Atletico Miami UD are new additions while Orlando and Unity FC competed against each other last summer in the inaugural UWS League Two game.
Based in Jacksonville, Florida and the surrounding region, Jacksonville FC is a non-profit, 501(c) 3, youth soccer organization that provides both recreational and competitive soccer experiences for boys and girls ages 4 to 19. The JFC girl’s program competes at the highest level in the youth landscape in the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL). For more information, visit their official website at JFCSoccer.com and follow them on Facebook & Twitter.
“We are extremely proud to announce our membership in the UWS,” said Jacksonville FC Executive Director Pat Cannon. “Our UWS team will sit on top of our girls pyramid and offer a place for our current youth high level performers and recent alumni to play and compete in the summer months. This is a vital piece for our club as we continue to build our girls program.
“This will give our players and alumni – who are currently competing in the best college programs in the nation – an opportunity to continue to develop in the summer months in their home club and city. We believe in what UWS stands for and are excited to be a part of this conference and the potential growth inside of the UWS platform.”
Atletico Miami UD was recently formed as a merger between UD Miami & Atletico Miami CF, each dedicated to offering local players the opportunity to compete in a professional atmosphere and further their careers. This club was created for the players in their community: whether it be the college standout, overlooked talent or diamond in the rough of which all could be future National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) stars. For more information, visit their official website at AtleticoMia.com and follow them on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.
“We created Atletico Miami UD with accessibility as a key tenet, however, the club wasn’t accessible to all players until now with UWS,” said General Manager Carlos Budyszewick. “We are excited and humbled to be joining UWS League Two as they expand more into Florida and assist in furthering the careers of talented players in Miami. Together we will provide our community the women’s club they deserve.
Unity FC is located in Winter Haven & Polk County and the club’s mission is to provide the opportunity for women to play elite level soccer and further their collegiate & professional aspirations at no cost. Other than player passes, Unity FC covers 100 percent of the costs to play soccer. Last year, they were victorious over Orlando FC in the first-ever UWS League Two game and in 2019 were Florida State Classic champions. For more information, visit their official website at UnityFCWomen.org and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
“We look forward to continuing the development of our players and the culture of our club building upon the progress that began in 2020,” said Unity FC Director of Soccer & Head Coach Kris Ford, who holds an overall record of 20-3-1 for UFC across all competitions. “We believe that the collaborative effort between UWS and its member teams will continue to grow and strengthen in 2021 and beyond.”
SportsParadize Soccer Academy was formed in 2006 and is based out of Orlando, Florida. It operates youth programs for players aged 4-19, along with amateur men’s and women’s programs. SPSA currently fields a men’s team in the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL). In addition, the club hosts tournaments throughout the year including state level competitions and national events. For more information, visit their official website at SoccerParadize.com and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
“Our passion for helping our players grow and develop both on and off the field weighs into every decision we make regarding our programs,” said Executive Director Malcolm Alexis. “We know this new partnership with United Women’s Soccer will continue to foster the growth and development that we strive for. We are looking forward to a great season and future.”
Orlando FC Royals was founded in 2017 and is based in Altamonte Springs. Owned & operated by former Trinidad & Tobago Men’s National Team player Marcus Phil Don, the club’s mission is to give an opportunity for players with professional/national team aspirations to realize their goals and also provide a training ground for top level club and college players during the summer. For more information, visit their official website at TheOrlandoFCRoyals.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
“We wanted to play on a national scale in a quality league,” said Phil Don. “We have talented young and experienced players who wanted quality competition on a national stage to maximize their potential and have the opportunity to play professionally. We decided to join UWS because of its standards and quality leadership.”