COLUMBIA, Mo.- AFC Columbia, St. Louis Maritsa, Ajax St. Louis and Santa Fe Wanderers, have partnered to change the landscape of lower-league soccer in Missouri and in the Midwest. This partnership will be beneficial for each of the four member clubs in the future as it pertains to scheduling, building the game in each respective area, providing more opportunities for local players to get into high-level competition and future projects.
More information regarding these four clubs and their plans for the future will be released at a later date.
“We are excited to join this group of four clubs that all bring their unique histories” AFC Columbia president Zach Fisher said. “Santa Fe is one of the oldest adult clubs around while Maritsa brings with it a long history of excellent soccer in Saint Louis and Ajax has excelled at the youth level so it’s exciting for us to bring these clubs to Columbia. Ultimately it’s about a like-minded approach to sustainability off the pitch and an excellent competitiveness on it. This group fits that perfectly.”
The biggest goal of the four clubs is to grow soccer in the area and better provide opportunities for players in the present and the future.
“We are excited to join with these four clubs to provide a great platform for players to continue to have an opportunity to compete at a high level,” Ajax director of coaching Charlie Noonan said. “Ajax St. Louis is proud to be chosen as a representative club and looking forward to helping continue the growth of soccer in this area.”
Each club brings its own respective history to this partnership. Ajax has two O30 USSF National Championships and several open and state amateur championships. Maritsa has twice now participated in the historic U.S. Open Cup. Santa Fe has three regional championships and KCKASL Copa and Champion championships. AFC Columbia is a brand new club looking to reach the heights of competing for regional championships and competing in the U.S. Open Cup.
“SF Wanderers is thrilled to be back in regional competition for 2022,” Santa Fe Lorenzo Cadena said. “We are honored to play alongside Columbia, Ajax, and Maritsa. After 26 years since our club’s founding, we look forward to joining these great clubs in building for the future.”
AFC Columbia is a soccer club founded with the goal of bringing high-level soccer to the heart of Missouri. The club competed in the local CPISL this summer to build a better brand and get a stronger foothold within the community. For more information, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.