Association Football Club Ann Arbor will be adding a women’s team to the club, set to compete next summer in United Women’s Soccer (UWS). The team will begin the search for a head coach immediately to take the helm for the inaugural campaign next summer.
“I’m excited to see us take the obvious next step to truly becoming a soccer club. This is something we’ve been wanting to do for a while now, and I’m glad we’ve made it happen,” said club founder Jamey Amrine, who planted the seeds for The Mighty Oak in 2014.
“Providing a platform for female footballers to be a part of the AFCAA family is an important step in the evolution of our club. The United Women's Soccer League is a growing league both nationally and here in Michigan, with a proven track record of facilitating a competitive diet of competition during the summer months. I'm excited to see the local rivalries grow for the women's team as they have done for the men over the years,” added Head Coach & Sporting Director, Eric Rudland.
The women’s season will run alongside the men’s with training expected to begin in late April with matches beginning in May. The men’s and women’s team will train at the same location, will both be wearing Capelli Sport, will share home venues and will be working together in the community, but the new coach will oversee recruiting and team management while operations will fall to the responsibility of a new general manager.
The nationwide league founded in 2015 boasts a Midwest Region that includes seven teams (five from the state of Michigan) with AFC Ann Arbor being the eighth. Although this will mark the inaugural season for Ann Arbor’s women’s side, fans won’t have to travel far for road matches and will be familiar with certain clubs including Grand Rapids FC and Lansing United (GRFC won National Championship in 2017).
“For me personally I'm a husband to a former player and have two young daughters, so this is huge for both my family as well as our local community. Our local team will give the future generation of female players positive role models and possibly spark a dream of playing for the AFCAA Women one day. For the current amateur and college players this provides an immediate opportunity in 2019 to suit up for the Mighty Oak women and we are excited to see the team take shape,” said Rudland.
About United Women's Soccer
UWS is a national women’s soccer league sanctioned by U.S. Soccer. UWS is a professionally operated league created for teams that meet high minimum standards. The season runs from May until the end of July, culminating in a National Championship match. The UWS player pool is comprised of college players, aspiring & former professionals and international stars.