Sylvania soccer team has a big English connection - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Sylvania soccer team has a big English connection

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SYLVANIA, OH (Toledo News Now) -

A local soccer team is putting Sylvania on the map. They have partnered with an English Premier League team, the Aston Villa football club.

For non-soccer fans:

"It's would be the equivalent of the Cleveland Browns putting an Under-20 American Football team in Sylvania," explained Jimmy Walker, executive director of coaching for the Pacesetter soccer club.

The Pacesetter club has long been one of the best in Ohio. Their new partnership acts like a farm system: Players for Pacesetter-Villa have the opportunity to move up to the big show in Europe, or right here in America, to play major league soccer.

That was too good of an opportunity for English-born player Andre Landell to pass up.

"It's really big. I didn't realize how bit it was until I actually got out here," Landell said. "Hopefully I can be a professional player. Maybe start over here, maybe go over back to England and play."

On Saturday, Pacesetter-Villa takes on the Columbus Super-20 team at Timberstone Junior High at 8 p.m.

"With the people over in Europe watching our games, not just for myself, but for anybody out on the field, they can contact them and then head right over there," said Matt Essig.

Essig is one of the locals on the team whose number can be called any day. The partnership has not only provided him with opportunities, but the entire Toledo area, as well.

"Pacesetter has always been a smaller club, but now we got something this big, and it's exciting," Essig said. "Hopefully…this is just the start of something great."

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