An exciting project has just been revealed, along with other major soccer developments in South Florida. The United Soccer League (USL) announced that Palm Beach Sports Holdings LLC, led by polo superstar Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras and his wife, Delfina Blaquier, have acquired the exclusive rights to bring professional men’s and women’s soccer teams to Palm Beach County, Florida.
In a press release, the USL Palm Beach states that it aims to field teams in both the USL Super League, the new professional women’s soccer league launching in August 2024, and the USL Championship, the highest level of men’s professional soccer in the USL pyramid. This initiative would establish the first professional soccer franchise in The Palm Beaches.
“We are thrilled to welcome Nacho and Delfi to the USL and look forward to having both men’s and women’s professional teams representing the Palm Beaches in our leagues,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis. “Nacho is one of the most renowned sportsmen in the world. He’s like the Messi of polo! He and Delfi, who is a former international athlete and strong voice for women’s empowerment through sports, have called the Palm Beach area home for many years, and they will build a vibrant club that is a valuable community asset for the region. As the USL moves forward, we believe USL Palm Beach can be an exemplary club that further elevates the league’s global standing.”
Figueras, a native of Argentina, is considered the world’s most foremost polo player, leading the Black Watch Polo Team in high-profile competitions across the globe. Additionally, he has enjoyed an extensive tenure as a brand ambassador for Ralph Lauren.
“Palm Beach Sports Holdings is committed to more than just excellence on the field – we are dedicated to becoming a cornerstone of the Palm Beach community,” Figueras said. “Our vision extends beyond creating competitive soccer teams. It’s about weaving a fabric of unity and pride within the community through diverse initiatives and meaningful engagement.”
"Palm Beach Sports Holdings is committed to more than just excellence on the field – we are dedicated to becoming a cornerstone of the Palm Beach community,” Figueras said. “Our vision extends beyond creating competitive soccer teams. It's about weaving a fabric of unity and pride within the community through diverse initiatives and meaningful engagement."
Blaquier, a photographer and former model, previously represented Argentina in track & field at the youth level. A dedicated advocate for women’s sports, she will spearhead the franchise’s efforts to establish a professional women team, with a plan to join the USL Super League no earlier than 2025, contingent on the club’s stadium plan.
“I believe in the transformative power of women’s sports, not only as a recreational activity, but as a catalyst for empowerment within our community,” Blaquier said. “By investing in and supporting women in sports, we are not only fostering athletic growth but also nurturing a generation of resilient and confident youth.”
Palm Beach County, which lies approximately 70 miles north of Miami, has grown by almost 16 percent since 2010. The region boasts a long history of competitive amateur adult soccer and will now be home to its first professional soccer club.
“The United Soccer League's decision to partner with Palm Beach Sports Holdings to bring professional soccer teams to The Palm Beaches is a testament to the enthusiasm for soccer in the region,” said George Linley, Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. “Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and has become a major tourism driver in The Palm Beaches. Deemed the Golf Capital of Florida, Palm Beach County boasts more than 150 public and private golf courses. It is also the home to four MLB teams’ spring training facilities and the location of several polo and equestrian events, including International Polo Club tournaments. The establishment of Palm Beach County's first professional soccer franchise would mark a historic moment for our community, reflecting the continued rise of soccer in the hearts and minds of Palm Beach residents and visitors alike."
USL Palm Beach will make further announcements in the coming months related to the club’s ownership group, executive leadership, and stadium plan.
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