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The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), the only league designated by USASA as a Tier 1 national league, is proud to announce that Hickory FC (Hickory, NC) has joined the league as an expansion team. The club will begin play in 2024.
“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.”
Hickory FC is led by Owner/Managing Director Thomas Deeley, Owner/Managing Director Eric Levin, Owner Brock Long, Owner William Pleasant, and Owner Dillon Smith.
Deeley is a former All-American soccer player and NPSL alumnus. A former youth club Director of Coaching and collegiate coach, Deeley is now the Director of Strategic Growth for national mortgage lender Top Flite Financial.
“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.
Levin is the co-founder of Model Match, a cutting-edge SaaS platform revolutionizing business development and talent acquisition processes. He has also served as a dedicated community advocate, contributing 15 years of volunteer and leadership experience on the Catawba Valley YMCA Board of Directors.
Long is a former administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and currently serves as the executive chairman of a nationally recognized emergency management and homeland security consulting firm. He has over 25 years of both public and private sector leadership.
Pleasant has more than 25 years of experience as a business lawyer, ethics and compliance officer, and sustainability professional. He currently works with Bridge House Advisors as a consultant and leader of the firm’s corporate services group.
Smith is a mental health provider in private practice. He is a military retiree and continues to serve his community as an active member of the United Way Board of Directors.
“The location itself presents the opportunity to establish rivalries out of the gate with nearby conference matchups, which is a big advantage,” Deeley said. “We think the foundation we have laid out has the potential to generate a spectacle that can be one of the best environments at this level in the country.”
Home matches will take place at Moretz Stadium on the campus of Lenoir Rhyne College in Hickory, NC. The facility has seating for 7,200.
Supporters can visit www.hickoryfc.com or follow the team on Facebook (@hickoryfc), Instagram (@hickoryfootballclub), and Twitter (@hickoryfc).