Meet the newest soccer team in New Orleans! This spring, New Orleans United FC came to life. The team, founded by current and former Tulane University students, was formed to provide a soccer team that gives opportunities to talented players while avoiding costs of playing for pay-to-play teams. The team will be competing in the Gulf Coast Premier League.
When creating the team, the founders had a specific vision in mind. These goals include bridging the gaps, both cultural and socioeconomic, that exist within the soccer community of New Orleans. New Orleans United stands out by creating an inclusive environment with full transparency on and off of the field. When asked about the challenges thus far, founder Marshall Roy said, “The biggest challenge so far has been how to set ourselves apart from the rest of the clubs in the GCPL/New Orleans area.” Despite this challenge, the team founders have dedicated their work to ensuring that the team is truly “built by New Orleans, For New Orleans.”
The core of New Orleans United is led by Nick Armitage, Marshall Roy, Ibrahim Belkhouche, and Janny Menza. The four men are all current or former Tulane students with a passion for their sport, and for the New Orleans community. Marshall Roy is the club’s president, while Nick Armitage created the public face of New Orleans United through social media, production, and marketing. Ibrahim Belkhouche will serve as the head coach for the club, drawing on his extensive coaching background, the team that will be guided by Belkhouche’s expertise will be recruited by Janny Menza, head of recruitment for the club.
New Orleans United will be competing in the Gulf Coast Premier League this summer. With games home and away all over the Gulf Coast region, the club encourages any and all New Orleans fans to come and support. One of the club’s goals is to create a fanbase where all feel welcome, included, and represented.
There are numerous ways that the New Orleans community can get involved with this great organization. First, the club has a Go Fund Me page. According to President Marshall Roy, “ Any support is extremely appreciated and will allow us to translate our mission into reality. No one on the board of this club receives any type of wage or compensation for their work. Every dollar we receive goes straight into first-team operations or youth programming that we will be running in the Greater New Orleans Area”. Another way to show support is by going to games and cheering on players, or by visiting their merchandise store at www. nolaunitedfc. com.