Erie FC is the newest member of the WPSL, the strongest women’s league available for collegiate and amateur players in the United States. The WPSL operates in 35 U.S. states with an all-time high of 130 teams – continuing as the “Largest Women’s Soccer League in the World.”
The league’s on-field product features many of the top amateur players in the country, with two-thirds of the player pool from the collegiate ranks including the top programs in the country and the Power 5 conferences. For the third year in a row more than 50 percent of the NWSL College Draft selections were products of the WPSL, and 28 league alumni were on 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup rosters, including 12 on the United States’ gold medal winning side.
Erie FC is the culmination of over two decades of work in the game for co-owner, Pedro Argaez, who introduced in 2008 the first NPSL franchise in Erie’s history (Erie Admirals), reaching the National final in their inaugural season in 2009.
Erie FC is proud to blend the history and success of the two longest and most successful soccer clubs in Erie, PA (MSA Soccer and Erie Admirals), to provide the region with the highest possible level of women’s soccer for the high school, collegiate, and former professional players from Erie, PA and around the world.
“The WPSL is by far the most recognized and high-level league for collegiate athletes, as well as former professionals and high school players,” Jay Perkins, Erie FC co-owner and vice president of business development, said. “The WPSL is the staple of women’s soccer in the country and we are excited to bring it to Erie, Pa. and the tri-state region.”
Erie FC proudly announces the hiring of our Head Coach
Andy Bennett, from Southport, England, has been selected by our technical director and the Erie FC board to be our Manager for the 2023 season.
As a coach, Andy has been part of the coaching staff at Mercyhurst University during the 2018 & 2019 seasons, then moving to Edinboro University in 2021 to continue his Graduate studies as well as assisting the women’s soccer program.
As a player, since coming to the USA, Andy played for Lassen College before transferring to Mercyhurst University and winning the PSAC in 2016. Outside of college he has been apart of the Erie team in the NPSL, most recently captaining them in 2022.
Dale White, Erie FC technical director, said of our new Manager: “Andy is a progressive coach with excellent playing credentials, captaining Mercyhurst University and the Erie NPSL team. Andy has a clear vision of how he wants the game to be played, and as a club we are actively recruiting the players to fit this mold. I’m also excited for the up and coming players in the club who’s development will benefit from Andy’s experience and understanding of the game, as he also will become involved with the U16-U17-U19 girls age groups”.
“Andy has been a great asset for the soccer community since his arrival to the Erie region” said Gary Kagiavas, VP of recruitment for Erie FC. “He has done a wonderful job as a player and a coach at the College level, and we are excited to provide this avenue for him and Erie FC players to grow at the highest level of women’s soccer in the country”.
Erie FC will rely on its significant history and commitment to player development as its looks to make an immediate impact at this new level of competition. Gary Kagiavas, Erie FC vice president of communication and recruitment, credits the club’s partnerships and alliances with the region’s top youth clubs and its history with university programs to position Erie FC with strong roster building each season.
The club has named Dale White as its first technical director who will lead the search for the team’s inaugural head coach. White, a Scotland native, brings nearly two decades of collegiate coaching experience, on both the men’s and women’s sides, to Erie FC. The club expects to release tryout information next month with first-team selections finalized by the first of February 2023.