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365体育官网Mark Torguson of FC Davis directs Davis Legacy athletes through their paces during a local practice. Torguson pointed to good news on the area professional soccer front as FC Davis adds a women’s team. Owen Yancher/Enterprise photo

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FC Davis in the news again, this time to add a women’s side

365体育官网A week after making headlines by earning a bid to play in the 2020 U.S. Open Cup, FC Davis soccer made yet another big announcement Monday afternoon — the club has joined the Women’s Premier Soccer League as an expansion team for the 2020 season.

365体育官网The move completes a two-year push to bring a women’s side underneath the FC Davis umbrella, the team said in a release, noting “the Golden Lions will join more than 120 clubs from across the country that make up the largest women’s soccer league in the world.”

365体育官网With local AYSO Regional Commissioner Cem Bolkan serving as president of the women’s side, Davis will hit the pitch this May against clubs from the PAC Northwest Conference, which includes teams from San Francisco, Sacramento and Pleasanton. Lady Lions home games will be played at Playfields Park in South Davis, with the team’s season schedule to go public next month, local officials report.

“The team can serve as a resource both on and off the field for the youth female players in our area,” said Bolkan. “Whether it’s a platform for players to continue competing in the sport they love — or providing mentorship opportunities to our budding local stars — the goal is to use the team as a vehicle for good.”

365体育官网FC Davis men’s head coach Mark Torguson, a former assistant coach for the UC Davis women’s soccer team and a smattering of other local colleges, agrees.

365体育官网“You always want there to be a pathway,” says Torguson, whose also coached girls soccer at Davis High the last several years. “We don’t always do the best job on the youth scene in terms of once we send them off to college, they’re kind of on their own from there on.

365体育官网“But the reality is, whether they’re in college or after, lots still want to play at a high level.”

They’ll now have that opportunity, he says, thanks to the hard work of Bolkan and Golden Lions owner Adam Lewin.

“Give Adam a lot of credit,” Torguson adds. “He’s taken the next step to make this happen.”

Just like the men’s budding Causeway Clasico rivalry with Sacramento Gold, the Lady Lions will have a natural geographical rival of their own just across the Interstate 80 corridor with the Sacramento Storm. And the pitch could be a fun one to watch as well, with a smattering of former U.S. Women’s National Team players, including Elk Grove native and 2019 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Megan Rapinoe, who has suited up for WPSL squads in the past. There’s also about a dozen former Davis High stars currently playing in college who might have an interest.

To receive updates on the FC Davis women, fans and/or prospective players can sign up for email updates at: fcdaviswomen.com/join-us. To help sponsor the team’s efforts or ask questions, email [email protected]

Open Cup bid

365体育官网Entering his second year as the Golden Lions’ mentor, Torguson says his side is amped for its upcoming Open Cup opportunity and a chance at redemption after falling to Academica SC in the opening round of the NSPL playoffs last July.

Winners of the Golden Gate Conference in just their second season as an NSPL member, the team’s 8-2-2 finish saw the Lions earn a top-10 national ranking.

“In a way it’s kind of like a second playoff game from last year,” Torguson explains. “We kind of ended on a (bad) note with that loss in the playoffs, so this is our second chance to put a good run together.”

365体育官网Two wins from possibly lacing up against a Major League Soccer team like the San Jose Earthquakes — potentially in Davis — Torguson says: “Why not us?”

“Every year there’s generally one amateur team that makes it,” the longtime Davis Legacy Tournaments Director adds. “Hopefully this can be our year to be that team that springs a couple upsets against the big dogs.”

For more info on FC Davis, visit the Golden Lions website at footballclubdavis.com.

Notes: A Sacramento native, Torguson attended El Camino High before his collegiate soccer career as a goalie took him to Cosumnes River College, Cal State Bakersfield (where his Roadrunners won a Division II national title) and eventually Metropolitan State University in Denver. He’s directed Davis Legacy Soccer Showcase Tournaments, among the West Coast’s premier gatherings, since 2009. Legacy now offers six annual events featuring over 1,000 teams, 600 clubs and upwards of 30,000 participants. He also coaches Legacy’s 2002 boys side along with Davis High boys soccer coach Alex Park.

— Reach Owen Yancher at [email protected] Follow him via Twitter at @530athletics.

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