CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa– The Women’s Premier Soccer League announced today, Iowa Raptors FC will join the league for the 2022 season. With the announcement, the WPSL has expanded its footprint deeper into the Midwest.
“As an organization, we are extremely excited to be entering a well-established women’s league, with top-level opponents,” Gordy Gurson, Iowa Raptors FC general manager, said.“Bringing in a women’s program with the ability to showcase themselves right here in the city of Cedar Rapids at the highest level has always been a goal of ours.”
Established in 2019 as a men’s team, Iowa Raptors FC formed a women’s side in 2021 with the goal of providing more opportunity to grow women’s soccer in Eastern Iowa. The organization has seen success on its men’s side, winning the Heartland Super Cup in 2020, and hopes to continue that momentum for its women’s team in its inaugural season in the WPSL.
The club has appointed Curt Lewis to serve as women’s head coach for the upcoming season. Lewis has been the director of coaching for Prairie Soccer Club in Cedar Rapids since 2007,where he led the club to their first Iowa State Cup Championship. Lewis also serves as boys varsity head coach for Prairie High School, where he is the all-time leader in wins with over 150 victories. Lewis joined the Raptors organization in 2021 to develop its women’s team – playing eight exhibition games to establish the foundation for its 2022 team.
“I’m really looking forward to 2022 and excited at the challenge of WPSL-play for our women,” Lewis said. “I think we have a good core of players to transition from exhibition to league play and showcase our local talent from the area along with some international and non-local players.”
The Raptors organization is committed to maintaining its presence off-the-field while staying active within the Cedar Rapids community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the club put together a Raptor Relief Campaign, raising money for masks and making donations to their local hospital. The Raptors, in partnership with their sister company and non-profit, IA Sports, plan to create scholarships, through donations, for local youth aspiring to play soccer but are financially unable.
The club will play its 2022 home matches at Prairie High School. Season tickets are currently on sale and each game day will feature a double-header with the men’s and women’s teams. WPSL 2022 conference alignments will be announced at a later date.
More information about Iowa Raptors FC can be found at their website iowaraptorsfc.com or on their social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. For additional information on the WPSL visit wpslsoccer.com.
In its 24th season, the WPSL is the longest active women’s soccer league and with more than 140 clubs from coast to coast in 35 states, serves as the largest women’s soccer league in the world. WPSL rosters feature elite collegiate, post-collegiate, international, and standout prep student-athletes. Many of the United States’ most accomplished women’s players have played in the WPSL, including household names such as Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Julie Foudy, and Brandi Chastain. ###