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UPSL Announces Youth Division Affiliation with CLU Youth Soccer

Los Angeles-based Youth Clubs Combine to Become First Affiliated UPSL Youth Academy Division
Published May 17, 2019

The United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) is proud to announce Los Angeles-based CLU Youth Soccer as its first affiliated Youth Academy Division.

Club Latino Unido (CLU) Youth Soccer will begin play with the upcoming 2019 Spring Season. In a partnership with U.S. Club Soccer to form the new UPSL Youth Academy Division, CLU Youth Soccer will serve as a feeder to the UPSL’s existing Pro Premier, Championship and League 1 tiers.

United Premier Soccer League Executive Director Derek Barraza said, “CLU Youth Soccer is a prime example of the opportunities the UPSL Youth Academy Division provides the marketplace. Clubs can field their most talented players and take advantage of a vertical alignment into new pathways for development. Collectively, UPSL members will achieve long-term objectives in their communities while supporting U.S. Soccer objectives. UPSL CLU Youth Soccer has been strategically created for the purpose of developing and producing young, talented players. The UPSL’s Pro/Rel Model continues to expand and now includes the Youth Academy Division as a development pathway that will be duplicated in soccer-rich environments around the U.S.”

Paul Cruz and Luis Estrada are Co-Owners of CLU Youth Soccer. The new league of clubs will play its games at Whittier High School (12417 Philadelphia St., Whittier, CA 90601) and stream matches on

A native of Peru, Cruz played in small- and medium-sized clubs as a youth player and currently owns Sporting Atletico Futbol Club, a youth club based in Southern California San Gabriel Valley.

CLU Youth Soccer Co-Owner Paul Cruz said, “This is something new and exciting here, and in my country we call something like this “seeds” or a “seeder,” for teams. We’ll build players for UPSL teams and then in the not-too-distant future they can be picked up by other teams. By developing the UPSL Youth Division and starting as young as U13 or U14 and developing them that by the time they reach maturity at U19 they’re available to be scouted or move up to the pro level of the game.”

Estrada, a native of Mexico, followed in the path of his father and played professional soccer with several clubs in his home country. Currently the Montebello (Calif.) High School girls varsity coach, Estrada owns and operates Club Leon Youth Club based in East Los Angeles.

“We’re excited to be working with the UPSL Youth Academy Division and creating opportunities for youth players to carve their own futures in the game,” Cruz said. “Estrada has a lot of contacts with professional teams in Mexico that we can use to give more U19 players an opportunity at professional futbol.”

The UPSL Youth Academy Division aims to be an elite youth competition. Utilizing its affiliation with U.S. Club Soccer, the United Premier Soccer League provides a pathway for players wanting to achieve higher levels of competition within the UPSL Tier System and beyond.

Sanctioning from U.S. Club Soccer provides UPSL Youth Academy Division clubs access to an exclusive network of events, tournaments and cup competitions that further advances opportunities for players.

United Premier Soccer League

The UPSL was formed in 2011 and currently includes more than 300 teams in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. UPSL is the fastest growing Pro Development League in the USA, with 400-plus teams targeted for 2019 Spring Season. Each UPSL team is individually owned and operated, and is responsible for maintaining either UPSL Pro Premier Division or Championship Division minimum standards.

UPSL teams are all eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup Qualifying Rounds through the leagues affiliation with the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA).

More information about UPSL can be found at or by following the league on Facebook ( and Twitter (@upslsoccer).

Contact UPSL:
Direct: 310-415-5691

Media Relations:
Dennis Pope
Direct: 951-675-3963