UMA FC wins league title
Published 9:20 am Wednesday, June 21, 2023
UMA FC just capped off its first season as a semi-professional soccer club by dominating FC Atlanta Academy on Saturday 5-1, but more importantly, the team got its hands on the coveted UPSL Division 1 trophy as UMA locked the title before its inaugural season even wraps.
“I am so proud of them,” UMA FC head coach Andrew Howoon Jo said. “We have worked so hard for this. The team has given it their all and that is all I can ask for as a coach.
“We are like one big happy family and I’m so proud of what we have accomplished.”
It was a joyous occasion in Callaway Stadium as the players and coaches got to lift a trophy in their first season as a team, a remarkable accomplishment.
UMA FC is on the verge of completing its first season undefeated with nine wins on the spin with just one game remaining. Jo started the UMA FC youth academy back in 2015 and many of the players that helped lift the title he has seen come through the academy and grow up right in front of his eyes.
“Most of these players have been training with me for more than five years,” Jo said. “They have grown up under our program. Everybody knows each other very well.”
It has been a tremendous first season as a semi-pro club, but the team is not moving up to the next level year. UMA FC will once again play in the UPSL Division 1 next season, but replicating the success of season one will not be easy.
“I don’t know [if we can go back-to-back], but I can guarantee that we will do our best,” Jo said.
The team will play its second season in the fall, but will have a revamped roster with many of this season’s participants heading back to play college soccer.
“We won’t have that team, but we will field another team in the fall,” Jo said. “We are excited to continue to play in the UPSL and continue to try and be successful.”
The team consists of players from all over the area from Newnan down to Auburn, and had its fair share of local flair with LaGrange High graduates Tripp Hollstrom and Davis Knight as well as current Troup player Yuri Kim among others from Troup County.
UMA FC will play its 10th and final game of the season next Saturday on the road to Middle Georgia United. Regardless of how that game goes, it looks like Donghyeon Kim will finish as the team’s leading scorer in the inaugural season with 18, 12 more than the next highest goal-scorer in the team.
The team will play in a regional cup in July before most of the players depart for their college teams.