November 8, 2019 - Montgomery County, MD - We are proud to announce that World Class Premier Elite will now been known as Maryland Bobcats FC starting after our Fall 2019 seasons in 2020. The move will take effect with both our National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) and United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) teams. The youth club World Class Premier will continue to operate as such.
The name change comes at a time when there are some big changes in the club, including joining the NPSL, and the ownership wanted to complete this before fans got too entrenched. When asked about the decision to make the switch now, one of the owners, Jide Saba, said “This helps the future project. The name changes helps us start to achieve our goal of representing the whole state and eventually bringing a pro team to Maryland. We don't want to be seen as one location, but representatives of the whole state to come together and get behind one project.”
This is the next step in a project that has been years in the making. While World Class Premier Elite has had some success, the bar is set much higher if you ask the management team. As Saba said, “Our goal for 2020 is to compete and compete hard. We have a hope that we win multiple conference championships. It's obviously not going to be an easy task, but with the squad we have, we think we have a chance. We also want to look beyond the play on the field to incorporate the entire state and give them a team to get behind”.
When asked about the meaning behind the name change, Saba had some fond memories and pragmatic aspirations. “The new team colors are a tribute to the school where most of the owners met (University of Maryland, Baltimore County or UMBC). There is something about UMBC and the passion about the school that we all met and graduated from.” Saba went on to say that by giving the team the gold and black color scheme is their way of paying respect to the school that made them where they are now.
The name is a big change from what the team has been known as before. Saba had an explanation for the “Bobcats” name as well. “We call ourselves "The Bobcat Group" so incorporating that into the team is important. We had a dream together and have started this project together, so it’s only fitting that the team name incorporate the group that had a dream together and wanted to build something bigger than one individual person.”
As mentioned, the club will field two teams - one in the NPSL and one in the UPSL - in 2020. Having two teams in these two leagues is no accident and took a lot of work, player management, and training to get to this point. We asked Saba what it meant to be a member of both leagues: “These are the top of amatuer soccer in the US. You don't just walk into these leagues. There is great competition and always looking for more places to showcase our players. Our goal is to show the quality of our players off as many chances as we can get”.
There is optimism in the camp, but also a knowledge that there is a lot of work still to be done. Schedules for both leagues will be released closer to the leagues kicking off. Tryouts will also be held for both teams at a date and time to be determined. To keep up to date with all schedules, information, and roster moves, be sure to check out www.marylandbobcatsfc.com.