Columbus Stars announce PDL, W-League & Super-Y League Teams to Strengthen Columbus’ status as “America’s Soccer Capital”
“We want to continue making Columbus the model for American Soccer”
- Joe Milano, Jr.
COLUMBUS, OH- Joe Milano, Jr. unveiled the name, logo and coaches for the Columbus entries in the United Soccer Leagues’ amateur levels at Villa Milano today. The Columbus Stars will field squads in the top men’s and women’s amateur leagues in the country, the Premier Development League (PDL) and the W-League respectively, beginning with the 2003 season. The Stars will also field sides in the national Super Y-League offering the best competition at the youth level (U19-U14).
The teams will share a logo, name and desire to bridge the gap between the highly-successful youth soccer clubs in Central Ohio and the wildly popular Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer, in which Mr. Milano is an investor. The Stars offer a chance for the highest level of play and competition for elite soccer players in the region without moving away from the greater Columbus area.
“The Columbus Stars will fill in the pyramid of soccer and truly make Columbus the soccer capital of the United States,” said Milano, who is excited about what the Columbus Stars mean to the soccer community in Central Ohio.
“Soccer’s stars of tomorrow are Columbus Stars today.”
The red, white and blue color scheme of the Stars serves as a visible reminder of the All-American story of the Stars’ founder Joe Milano, Jr.
A member of an Italian immigrant family, Milano takes great pride in his civic contributions. Milano has been a fixture in the Columbus business community for over 20 years. After being born in Central Ohio and working in the restaurant business as he matured, he founded Villa Milano in 1982. This business in now one of the premier banquet, meeting and catering facilities in the region. A sports fan and a family man, Milano has dedicated himself to providing good entertainment and a place for special moments in peoples’ lives.
Milano is not a stranger to ownership of sports franchises. He owned the Waco Wizards of the Western Professional Hockey League for three seasons before divesting in 2000. He is also an investor in the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer.
"We are very excited that Joe took this step for soccer in Columbus," said Crew President/General Manager Jim Smith. "Beginning with his initial investment in The Crew, Joe has been committed to the growth of soccer in Columbus."
The Columbus PDL entry, the Shooting Stars, will play in the Central Conference’s Great Lakes Division. The historically strong division features established PDL franchises the Indiana Invaders, Kalamazoo Kingdom, Mid-Michigan Bucks and West Michigan Edge. The Stars will not be the only new kid on the block in 2003 campaign with the expansion Fort Wayne Fever and a Toledo franchise (details to be released in the weeks ahead) rounding out the Great Lakes division.
Intrastate rivalries and great regional opportunities are hallmarks of the W-League as well as the PDL. The Columbus Lady Shooting Stars W-League side will play in the Central Conference, Midwest Division. An intrastate rivalry for the Lady Shooting Stars could come via the Cincinnati Ladyhawks. The Stars will also compete with the Northern Kentucky TC Stars and two Chicagoland squads, the Chicago Cobras and the Windy City Bluez.
Perhaps the most compelling element to Mr. Milano is the opportunity to unite the region’s excellent youth soccer organizations under the Columbus Stars banner in the Super-Y League. Teams featuring the best youth players from all over the Columbus Metro area will compete on six teams over five age brackets. (U19, U17, U16, U15 & U14 Boys and U14 Girls)
“The Stars Super-Y structure will continue the process of making Columbus the model for American soccer,” Milano said. “Our youth programs are incredible. The Stars Super-Y teams will give Central Ohio clubs a chance to shine through their best and brightest.”
The Super-Y League allows the most advanced players at the youth level a chance to compete against the elite in the region with an opportunity to compete for national honors in late August. The Super-Y League has several programs that have been granted Olympic Development Programs to allow for all-season scouting of the nation’s finest young players.
The PDL is the top amateur level in the US Soccer pyramid. Major League Soccer is the top of the chart, followed by the A-League, Pro Select League and the PDL. On the women’s side, only the WUSA is set above the W-League. The Super Y-League supports both structures.
Dates, times and ticket prices will be announced in the coming weeks for all the teams in the Columbus Stars organization. Stadium commitments and player announcements will also be made as the season nears.
For more information contact Packy Moran at 937-238-4268 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mohamood Razack Tapped to Be Columbus Stars W-League Head Coach
COLUMBUS, OH- Mohamood Razack has been named the inaugural coach for the W-League Columbus Lady Shooting Stars. Razack, a native of South Africa, is the director of the Northern Columbus Athletic Association’s Blast Girls' Soccer Club and is a former professional player.
Razack (RAH-zak) has coached boys and girls at both the club and high school levels in the Columbus area for 18 years. Most recently he led the Blast Girls 83's to their second consecutive Ohio South State Cup Championship and to the title at the prestigious Dana Cup in Denmark. Many of Mohamood's former players have gone on to play Division I college soccer, with some now taking coaching positions in the area. Mohamood is head coach of the 83's, 85's, 87's and 91's, and is coordinator of the older age teams in the Blast.
Razack has also served as an assistant coach for the Ohio Dominican University varsity women's team. His coaching philosophy emphasizes basic skills and midfield play. An important point of emphasis is for players to learn how to read and also enjoy the game. Razack is also the director of the local organization of TOPSoccer that puts on an annual day of soccer activities for young people with disabilities.
The Lady Shooting Stars’ side will play in the Central Conference, Midwest Division. An intrastate rival exists in the Cincinnati Ladyhawks. The Stars will also compete with the Northern Kentucky TC Stars and two Chicagoland squads, the Chicago Cobras and the Windy City Bluez.
Thanks to the Blast FC for informational support. For more information contact Packy Moran at 937-238-4268 or e-mail email@example.com.