SANTA MARIA, California – Santa Maria Synergy SC has joined the Women’s Premier Soccer League as an expansion club ahead of the upcoming 2020 season, the league announced Tuesday.
Djibril Coulibaly, a regional director for Alta California Sol in nearby Santa Barbara, is a Synergy SC founder and is the lead operator for the WPSL club. Djibril, who grew up in Cote d’Ivoire and France, has coached youth soccer for more than 13 years and has held leadership positions within local soccer organizations.
“I am thrilled for our young women aging out of the youth soccer ranks to have the opportunity to continue competing in the WPSL,” Coulibaly said. “I look forward to the positive impact which Santa Maria Synergy is going to have on the community.”
Lindsey Smith is the club’s first coach. Smith is an assistant coach at nearby Cal Poly and a former NAIA All-American goalkeeper.
Synergy SC will play its home matches at Pioneer Valley High School Stadium in Santa Maria. It will be in a newly created division with five Los Angeles metropolitan area clubs.
The WPSL is in its 23rd season and is the largest women’s soccer league in the world with more than 130 clubs from coast-to-coast. 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.