by Pete Richmire

TACOMA, Wash. - Today the USL announced that Tacoma Stars will begin play in USL League Two in 2024. The club already participates in a professional indoor league, and is partnering with Washington Premier FC for technical staff and outdoor training facilities.

“The expansion of the Tacoma Stars into USL League Two is a firm representation of the investment in the growth of sporting opportunities within the Tacoma area, as well as an opportunity for the Tacoma Stars brand to expand,” Marcus Trufant, former Seattle Seahawks star and Tacoma Stars ambassador, said. “I’m excited to see my hometown with a League Two franchise, this is really a boost to the local sports scene.”

Tacoma Stars home matches will be held at Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma, further expanding League Two’s presence in the Pacific Northwest.

“I’m super excited to partner with Bellarmine and its facilities,” Lane Smith, Tacoma Stars owner, said. “They, along with Washington Premier, have such a rich soccer history in the area with a long list of professional athletes coming through their programs. We certainly hope to add a few more with this project!”

“Wonderful news to have a USL team coming back to Tacoma, and of course the Stars have an iconic city brand spanning many decades,” Victoria Woodards, Mayor of Tacoma, said. “On behalf of the City of Tacoma, let’s show our support!”

The club’s mission is to develop players into future professionals, with an already-established youth program in the area, the Stars will look to be immediately competitive.

“WPFC is super pumped to be joining forces with Tacoma Stars on this new USL League Two project,” Seth Spidahl, CEO of Washington Premier FC, said. “To be able to partner with the Tacoma Stars brand, which has long been a part of the Pierce County soccer history, is an amazing opportunity.”

The club will compete in the Northwest Division, along with several other expansion clubs and defending USL League Two Champions Ballard FC.

“It’s so exciting to add Tacoma Stars to the Northwest Division,” Joel Nash, USL SVP of Youth and Pre-Professional Properties, said. “If you play soccer in Washington, you know the Stars, and we know this is going to be a great opportunity for players that want to go pro to have a pathway to reaching their goals.”