Bayonne now has a semipro soccer team to root for in the Northeast Conference of the American Division in the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) – NJ Teamsters Football Club (FC). The UPSL is an adult soccer league founded in 2011 in southern California. Bayonne is the first city in the region to host a UPSL team. The 30-player NJ Teamsters FC will play six sanctioned home games at Don Ahern Veterans Stadium against teams from Maryland to New Hampshire, as part of its 18-game season from April to November. The team will also participate in tournaments and are eligible to compete in the qualifying rounds at the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open.
Clubs in the UPSL are independently owned and operated. The idea for the NJ Teamsters came from a Bayonne couple, Sibrena and Alex Geraldino, a professional soccer agent and former American football player for teams in the NFL’s European division. They created the soccer club years ago but couldn’t find a permanent home field until last November when they reached out to city officials to gauge Bayonne’s interest.
“We’ve had a year of challenges, but they were welcomed. It’s great to see all of this work pay off.” said Sibrena Geraldino. “We want to give families in Bayonne affordable entertainment. And soccer is so exciting, and it unites everyone from every nationality.”
Geraldino said that she hopes, by leasing Veteran’s Stadium, people from all walks of life from around the region will be drawn to Bayonne. The Geraldinos were originally prospecting Paterson as a home location, but decided on Bayonne for its locale close to New York City, Staten Island, Newark, and Jersey City.
“This is the spot to be,” Geraldino said.
“We’ve had a year of challenges, but they were welcomed. It’s great to see all of this work pay off.” – Sibrena Geraldino
NJ Teamsters FC and Bayonne city officials hosted a kickoff event and unveiled home and away uniforms at the Bayonne Community Museum on Saturday, April 7, in anticipation of its upcoming April 15 home match at Veteran’s Stadium at 3 p.m. versus the Philadelphia-based PHL Sallone FC. The Philadelphia area has three teams competing in the Northeast Conference, which could make for a Bayonne-Philadelphia rivalry.
“Bayonne is proud to be the home of the New Jersey Teamsters Football Club,” said Mayor Davis in a press release. “We are very excited to have a semipro soccer team located in our hometown and playing in our municipal stadium. Soccer is a growing sport in the United States and is especially popular among our younger Bayonne residents. We look forward to many exciting games in Bayonne in the years ahead.”
Bayonne’s Mezcal Kitchen, Ignite Physical Therapy, and BCB Community Bank, sponsor the team.
Tickets are on sale for $10 at the gate or online at njteamstersfc.com. Ten tickets can be purchased for $80.
Rory Pasquariello can be reached at email@example.com.