Rochester FC is making a big leap in the world of football – Post News

ROCHESTER – Medhat Mujek and Tire Dedic are drowning.

Owners of Rochester’s men’s amateur soccer club will be working in much deeper waters next season, as former members of the English Premier League football club join the second division.

USL League Two is still amateur football, which means that its players are not paid. But it’s just one degree below professional football, making it the highest-rated football in Rochester, surpassing Med City FC which is two degrees below professional in the National Premier Soccer League. The former UPSL for Rochester FC is one grade lower than the NPSL.

Bosnian natives Mojic and Dedic will not only join the men’s ranks in USL League Two, but they will also join the USL Women’s Rochester team that will occupy one division below the professional level. This club joins the 44-team USL W-League, which has just completed its inaugural season. Rochester also owns the women’s football franchise Rochester United FC, which plays in the Women’s Football League.

Mujic and Dedic announced at a press conference Friday afternoon at the Mayo Civic Center. They have also included that they have signed a contract to have it fitted by Adidas and that they are making minor changes to their Rochester FC logo.

“We have always been pushing for the development of local players and discussing how important that is,” said Mojic, who along with Dedic founded Rochester FC in 2018. “What we want to do now is develop a strong and competitive football system in Rochester that gives the kids who grow up here something to look forward to. to him and a goal to one day be a member of (These New Men and Women franchises). I’ve been in touch with USL for quite some time now. It made perfect sense for us to make the leap now.”

The jump is big in terms of the football competition they have taken part in. Also important is the leap Mujic and Dedic will make in financial commitment. Mujic widely estimates that the combined annual cost of operating both teams will be between $100,000 and $200,000, including travel. According to Mugic, the annual cost of running one team at UPSL was about $30,000.

“We invest and we do it because we believe in it,” Mojic said. “If we had not believed in this project, we would not have invested as much as we have invested and will continue to invest. It is not cheap, but we hope to continue to have support from many of our sponsors.”

Not only do Mujic and Dedic operate two high-end amateur football clubs. They also run a youth football academy in Rochester. They sent out one youth team this spring and summer, and a group of 13 under. But they expect to add at least three more youth teams next year.

Dedic believes that the name recognition that will come with owning a pair of USL teams will pay off big when it comes to their youth academy.

“This is a nationally recognized league that we will be in,” Dedic said. “All the support we’ll get from that will help us. (USL League Two) I really like what we’ve been doing at youth level. That was one of the reasons we were allowed to join their league.”

Both Dedic and Mujic say their push to grow domestic football won’t change despite jumping into these top men’s and women’s leagues. As a member of UPSL, they have both stated many times over the years that the reason they own the team is to give the footballers of Southeast Minnesota a chance to play with them. They rose to it, as their Rochester FC team was staffed with players from Rochester and Austin, in particular, many of them just a year out of high school and two others still in high school.

Still committed to the local players

They say they are not giving up on that local commitment, even as they join leagues overflowing with current Division I players from across the country and even some former professional players.

Dedic and Mujic say they will have a lot of Division One and Two players on their teams who don’t have local connections. But they’re also committed to a slate that represents the southeastern corner of Minnesota, where they hope to get cream of the local crop every season for their teams.

We won’t change,” Dedic said. “We are still talking about locals. There will be up to 24 spots in our teams, and I can assure you 4-6 players will be local kids. In the coming years, we want to build teams (USL) out of our youth clubs.”

USL League Two has 72 teams and operates from four regional conferences. FC Rochester will be in the deep northern section of the Central Conference, which includes Des Moines (Iowa), Manitoba (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Minneapolis City, Peoria City (Illinois), and St. Croix (Stillwater, MN). and Thunder Bay (Ontario).

The USL League Two has had different incarnations over the years, including in the present day called the USL Premier Development League. For two seasons, Rochester had a team – the Rochester Thunder – in the USL Premier Development League. That was in 2009 and 2010, before Thunder broke out.

The average attendance for this team was 447 in 2009, and 322 in 2010.

Didek and Mojic have high hopes for attendance numbers. They point to an increase in youth football participation in and around Rochester as well as what they have seen statewide for their optimism.

Egan has a W-League team, Minnesota Aurora, which has been a huge hit. In the national championship match recently, nearly 7,000 fans turned out to watch them play. Regular season attendance figures were also strong – 5,626 fans per game.

Dedic doesn’t expect these kinds of numbers in Season 1 with any of his USL-based franchises. But it certainly gives him hope.

“It’s hard to pin down the numbers,” he said. “But football is still growing in (Rochester). We hope to get as much fan support as possible. I’d like it to fill up (Rochester Regional Stadium).”

Mojic noted that ticket prices for the men’s and women’s teams in Rochester will be in the $10 to $15 range, with children under 13 entering free.

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