The La Crosse soccer community is getting a boost this summer.
LC Aris FC is beginning its first full season as a member of the National Premier Soccer League. The team will play seven home games over seven weeks at Viterbo University's Outdoor Athletics Complex in La Crosse.
The club is similar to what the La Crosse Loggers do for baseball players - giving college-aged players, and even some high school-aged players, the chance to develop their skills.
Ultimately, the club intends to build a program that soccer players of all ages can follow, and benefit from.
"It's going to be a great, great experience for the younger kids, their first time experiencing high-end soccer, and for the college guys, it will be nice to just keep on going to a higher level," said head coach Greg Saliaras, who also coaches the Viterbo men's team. "Hopefully we can compete at this level too, be a little bit more competitive."
The roster features 30 players, many of whom are from different corners of the world, and others, like Holmen native Evan Espelien, from close to home.
"For me really, I'm just hoping to grow as a player," Espelien said. "This is kind of my first season playing with adults, still in high school, so I'm just kind of hoping to grow, develop as a player, and see where it takes me."
LC Aris FC lost its first match of the season last weekend to Med City FC 4-0. The club's first home match is Saturday, May 27 at 6 p.m. vs Duluth.