Newest member of the Southeast has signed Colombian WNT player
METUCHEN, NJ – Further expansion has come to the Southeast Conference of United Women’s Soccer (UWS) with the addition of Louisiana Fútbol Club for the 2021 season. Based out of the Greater Baton Rouge area, the new organization joins Atlanta Panthers SC and the recently-announced Pensacola FC Women & Academy teams in the burgeoning conference. Stay tuned for more expansion news in the UWS Southeast in the coming days.
Louisiana FC will strive to increase the visibility of soccer throughout the Pelican State and the Gulf region. Formed in 2021, the team will host their home games in the Baton Rouge area (venue TBA). The organization operates under the umbrella of the Gulf South Texans: a youth club based out of Baton Rouge and an affiliate of the Dallas Texans Soccer Club, one of the best youth clubs in the country.
“We are thrilled to welcome our first team from the state of Louisiana into United Women’s Soccer,” said UWS Commissioner Joe Ferrara. “The vision conveyed by Louisiana FC aligns with that of UWS and we are excited about this expansion. The Southeast got off to an impressive start with Atlanta and Pensacola and we continue to add high level teams from the region.”
“We are grateful to be able to be able to bring a high level of women’s soccer to the Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Louisiana area,” said Louisiana FC Founder & Head Coach Orlando Cervantes. “There has always been a high level of men’s soccer in this state. It’s now time that we showcase the women’s game with players that have played in FIFA World Cups and Olympic games. The purpose of creating this program is to give all players in Louisiana an ability to see what can be achieved after high school, during college and after college as a professional player.”
The organization’s first-ever signing mirrors that attitude as Colombian Women’s National Team player Oriánica Velásquez will join Louisiana FC for their inaugural season. The former Indiana University star has been capped 41 times for “Las Cafeteras” and played in the 2012 & 2016 Summer Olympic Games and the 2011 & 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cups. Velásquez has most recently competed professionally with Club Deportivo Popular Junior Fútbol Club S.A. in the Liga Femenina Profesional de Fútbol Colombiano.
Louisiana FC was created in 2021 by Cervantes and a handful of soccer parents & fans who felt there was a deeper need for women’s soccer at higher levels. Cervantes’ experience in women’s soccer at the NCAA, NAIA, professional and international levels provides LFC with immediate recognition. Orlando has served as the State Technical Director for the Louisiana Soccer Association and was the Head Women’s Soccer Coach at Lamar University (Division I).
“Many players in our state are good enough to play in college, semi-professionally and professionally but do not know those opportunities exist,” continued Cervantes. “Good enough has simply been the status quo here for too long. It is time that the women’s game take a giant leap forward in Louisiana and we are confident that Louisiana FC will provide impetus for that to happen. We cannot wait to take the field and represent Louisiana with pride!”