MORGANTOWN — Kernell Borneo wants to change the culture of West Virginia soccer.
For years, the director of Morgantown-based Fury Soccer Club has traveled far and wide to tournaments just to hear that West Virginia was the “easy team to beat.”
Borneo and Adam Arthur, director of Charleston Football Club, have decided to change that.
The two organizations have officially merged to form one soccer club – Fury Charleston (FC) Alliance.
“Both clubs share the same goals, same visions, same ideas – let’s give players across the state the best opportunity to excel and reach their full potential,” Borneo said. “We have kids that aspire to play soccer in college and who aspire to play at the professional level.”
The Fury Soccer Club has turned out 30 collegiate soccer players since 2012, winning 20 state titles and producing All-Americans, All-State players, and West Virginia defender and midfielders of the year.
In addition, Fury and CFC currently have six players enrolled at the Columbus Crew Academy in Columbus, Ohio.
Borneo and Arthur believed that bringing the organizations together – after years of training with each other and mixing player pools for tournaments – could provide the extra boost youth soccer in the state needs.
“We thought it was great to come together – after working together for many years – and say, ‘let’s make this happen for the kids.’ Let’s form one organization; let’s merge,” Borneo said.
In addition to the two clubs, the West Virginia Chaos – the Premier Development League (PDL) squad based in Charleston – is joining the Alliance and changing it’s name to reflect it’s new affiliation.
“We got Joe Johns with the WV Chaos – the PDL team here in West Virginia – to come in with us. That gave us a platform for our kids to play in the PDL,” Borneo said. “Now the PDL team is the West Virginia Alliance and the club name is FC Alliance.”
Borneo believes the larger player pool, potential for higher level of competition, and platform at the PDL level will drive West Virginia forward in the sport of soccer.
“I don’t think soccer gets the respect it deserves in this state. The goal with this is to get every person better, create healthy competition, and have better teams,” he said. “Those are the driving forces that we felt, if we could come together as a state, that could help us put together teams that can compete at a regional and national level.”
Johns is convinced that the merger represents a shifting of the tides for soccer in the state. He expects the benefits his organization can provide for youth soccer in the state to pay dividends in the future.
“Today marks an important day in the soccer history of West Virginia,” he said. “An affiliation with West Virginia’s only PDL franchise that has connections to college coaches and the United Soccer League will allow players a direct path to grow at every age and level.”
“Great things await the soccer community in West Virginia, and we are excited to be apart of it.”
The West Virginia Alliance will split games between Charleston and Morgantown –FC Alliance split into FC Alliance North, FC Alliance South, and FC Alliance Wheeling. North will be based in Morgantown, taking over where the Fury will leave off.