South Bend Lions - A New Men's Pre-Professional Soccer Team

Nov 19, 2019

Image captured at the announcement that the South Bend Lions team will bring men's pre-professional soccer to the Michiana area.
Credit Annacaroline Caruso/WVPE

The City of South Bend announced it will be home to a new pre-professional soccer team. 

The South Bend Lions will compete throughout the midwest in the USL League Two, a pre-professional men’s soccer league.

Thiago Pinto has been head coach of Bethel University’s soccer team for more than a decade and will be the technical director for the Lions. He says the new team will act as a stepping stone for local players who want to go pro. 

Logo for the new soccer team coming to South Bend.
Credit Annacaroline Caruso/WVPE

“We want to keep talent in South Bend. Sometimes some of our best talent is driving down to Indy or Chicago so we feel like this will be an opportunity for them to continue to grow and stay in South Bend,” Pinto says.

 Pinto also says both South Bend and the sport of soccer are growing quickly, which makes them the perfect pair.

“Just the growth of soccer has been incredible.The way people are rallying around the sport and our community, I think it’s a great opportunity for our city,” Pinto adds.

The Lions are in the final stages of putting together a team. They’re looking at a pool of local, national, and international players.

The season will start this May.