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Petaluma soccer club joins pro development league

Petaluma-based California Victory Football Club has been named a new expansion team of the United Premier Soccer League, the league announced Thursday.

The team, which has not yet announced its roster, will compete in the Northwest Conference which includes squads from Oakland, Sacramento, Boise and Dayton, Nev.

“The Victory's inclusion means we have a finalized eight-team conference for our upcoming 2017 spring season,” league commissioner Yan Skwara said in a statement. “The club is not a newcomer to the game as its management has been in the Sonoma County soccer market for years.”

Established in 2016, Victory FC is run by cousins and co-owners Michael Briceno and Ramiro Briceno. Michael Briceno owns Briceno Soccer Club and Ramiro Briceno is the former president of Sonoma County Sol of the National Premier Soccer League.

Formed in 2011, the UPSL is a pro development league with more than 64 teams, all of which are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup.

“We have such talent here in Sonoma County,” said Don Shaffer, a spokesman for Victory FC.

Players will be paid based on talent and experience, he said.

A tryout is scheduled for Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. today at Petaluma Community Sports Fields, 2430 E. Washington St.

Home games will be played at Rancho Cotate High School in Rohnert Park.

You can reach staff columnist Kerry Benefield at 707-526-8671 or kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com, on Twitter @benefield and on Instagram at kerry.benefield. Podcasting on iTunes and SoundCloud “Overtime with Kerry Benefield.”

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