PDL News Release
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. – The PDL announced today that SW Florida Soccer Club will join the league for the 2013 season. Southwest Florida SC was created to provide an elite-level men’s club so the many talented players developed in the soccer hotbed of southwest Florida will have a chance to represent their home region while pursuing their goals of playing at the professional level.
The club is owned by Naples, Fla. resident Jeff Butzke, President of Advantage, Inc. Butzke announced longtime area college and youth coach Mick Whitewood as head coach, with Felix Acosta serving as assistant coach and Teresa Howe serving as general manager. Butzke also announced a “Name the Team” contest, offering the local community the chance to choose the club’s nickname from “Adrenaline,” “Thunder” or “Dynamite” by visiting www.swfloridasoccer.com to vote by September 30.
“We are excited to welcome SW Florida SC to the PDL,” USL President Tim Holt said. “Southwest Florida has a great history of producing talent and is a natural fit for this fast-growing and highly competitive PDL region. Jeff Butzke has demonstrated a level of commitment and passion for the game that makes us confident SW Florida SC will be a strong addition to the PDL.”
SW Florida will play a 16-game schedule between the months of May-August, and will aim to compete in the U.S. Open Cup. The top supplier of talent for professional soccer in North America, the PDL saw another large group of its alumni make the move into professional soccer in 2012 with 26 of the 38 players selected in the 2012 Major League Soccer SuperDraft having previously played in the PDL.
A total of six of the first 10 selections in the draft had PDL experience, including No. 1 overall selection Andrew Wenger, formerly of Reading United AC and the Carolina Dynamo.
“We are excited to launch this new opportunity for young men here in SW Florida,” Butzke said. “Our PDL team will be the showcase for players to work toward the professional ranks and learn about all aspects of building a soccer program. The PDL provides a foundation for a professionally run organization that will give community members a family activity that is reasonably priced for all to enjoy.”
Tryouts for SW Florida SC have been scheduled for February 2-3 and 16-17, 2013. Additional details will be provided in the coming weeks, including an announcement of the club’s home stadium. Visit www.swfloridasoccer.com to stay up to date.