Beginning next season the Upward Stars will play their home games at the Upward Star Center, a multi-sport complex located in Spartanburg that is scheduled to open in September 2014 however, they will play at various facilities throughout the Upstate in the interim.
Members of the NPSL’s South Atlantic conference, the Upward Stars will open their season against the Carolina Railhawks Under-23 squad, the defending United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) U‐23 national champions.
Stars coach Paul Henson said that the first game against the Railhawks, to be held May 16 at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC, “Will provide an early insight into this level of play, and promises to be a memorable evening signalling the move to performance soccer programming at Upward Sports.”
Following the Railhawks game, the Upward Stars will have four more home games during the remainder of its ten-‐game regular season schedule. Three of those games will take place at USC Upstate, while the showdown with Rock Hill’s FC Carolina Discovery on June 6 will be held at Clemson University and is being billed as the “Battle of the Upstate.”
“We hope that that becomes a tradition that lasts for many years to come,” Henson said of the fledgling rivalry.
The team roster, which is set to be finalized in early May, is expected to include coaches and players from nine different countries and four different continents. Players hail from nearly every tier of collegiate soccer, including the NCAA, NAIA, NCCAA, and NJCAA.
The roster will also consist of players with previous professional experience, and some who have graduated from Major League Soccer team academies.
Henson called the group of players “an exciting mix of youth and experience.”
“We are really looking forward to our NPSL season,” said Caz McCaslin, president and founder of Upward Sports. “We have total confidence that Paul Henson and his staff will field a highly competitive team, and establish themselves as an important piece of Upward Sports’ mission to promote the discovery of Jesus through sports.”
Upward Stars home games indicated in bold
May 16 Carolina Railhawks U23s Bob Jones University 7 p.m.
May 21 FC Carolina Discovery USC Upstate 7 p.m.
May 24 Gate City FC Jamieson Stadium 7 p.m.
June 6 FC Carolina Discovery Clemson University p.m.
June 11 Myrtle Beach Mutiny USC Upstate 7 p.m.
June 17 Myrtle Beach Mutiny Ashley Booth Field 7 p.m.
June 20 Carolina Railhawks U23s Wake Med Stadium 7 p.m.
June 28 Gate City FC USC Upstate 7 p.m.
July 9 FC Carolina Discovery Manchester Meadows 7 p.m.
July 11 Myrtle Beach Mutiny Ashley Booth Field 7 p.m.
About Upward Stars
In 2012, Upward Sports created a performance division for basketball and volleyball, known as Upward Stars. This expansion is aimed at young athletes wanting to further develop their skills and participate in a higher level of competition. The creation of the Upward Stars NPSL team represents Upward Sports' first step into higher-level competitive soccer.
Upward Sports, the world's largest Christian youth sports provider, is the only organization of its kind that offers the 360 Progression, a uniquely designed total sports experience that adapts and expands as players develop and grow in their personal athletic journey, creating individuals with strong character, confidence, and spirit. It is our desire to provide a place to play for athletes of every skill level. Learn more at www.upward.org.
The NPSL is a national league that operates in the 4th Division of the U.S. soccer pyramid. NPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup through their affiliation with the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). The NPSL is the fastest-growing national soccer league in the U.S., operating in 80 markets across the country. Two Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs, D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls, operate U-23 squads in the NPSL. Three current North American Soccer League (NASL) clubs, Atlanta Silverbacks, Minnesota United and Carolina Railhawks operate U-23 or reserve squads in the league.