|The Joplin Athletic Complex is now home to the new minor league 4th division soccer team, the Joplin Demize. In the South Central Conference of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), the team qualities for the U.S. Open Cup.
Demize includes local talent with players from Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas and Illinois. This new team allows players from local colleges an opportunity to showcase their talents. Demize coaches and management will continue to bring in top international talent to round out the roster.
Chris Hanlon is the director of soccer operations in addition to serving on the coaching staff with Armen Tonianse, Luis Percovich, and Johnny Adame. He has extensive experience, having played as goalkeeper at the University of Pittsburgh, the United Soccer League, and Major Indoor Soccer League. He also has experience off the field having served in a variety of roles.
Both as a player and assistant coach at Western Illinois University Tonianse won a conference championship. He is a U.S. Soccer Federation “C” licensed coach. To round out the list Percovich, a graduate of William Woods, has played with both the St. Louis Lions and the Springfield Demize; Adame is the current men's soccer assistant at Neosho County Community College in Kansas and is a graduate of Joplin High School and Missouri Southern State University.
Here is the schedule:
- May 9 vs. FC Bordo Saint Louis (exhibition game) - Away
- May 10 vs. TBD - 7:30 p.m. (exhibition game)
- May 16 vs. Oklahoma City FC - 7:30 p.m. (kickoff inaugural game/season home opener)
- May 24 vs. Dallas Fort Worth - 7:30 p.m.
- May 25 vs. Liverpool Warriors (Dallas) - Away
- May 31 vs. Oklahoma City FC - Away
- June 6 vs. Tulsa Athletics - Away
- June 10 vs. Tulsa Athletics - 7 p.m.
- June 13 vs. BSC United Clash from College Station TX - 7:30 p.m.
- June 20 vs. Liverpool Warriors (Dallas) - 7:30 p.m.
- June 29 vs. FC Bordo Saint Louis (exhibition game)
- July 5 vs. Dallas City FC - Away
- July 7 vs. Corinthians FC of San Antonio
- July 12 South Central Conference Championships
Recent renovations to the Joplin Athletic Complex facilities, including new bleachers for spectators, are being completed for the Demize home field. Facility improvements will continue into the spring ensuring that the facility is ready for the first home game on May 10.
Tickets for the games may be purchased in advance through the Joplin Sports Authority or at the gate. Ticket prices are $6 for adults, $4 with a student or military ID, and free for children under the age of 6. To get more information about the team, send an e-mail here.