Columbia, Maryland – February 9, 2021 - The Eastern Premier Soccer League (EPSL) is excited to announce the addition of Columbia FC MD from the city of Columbia in Howard County Maryland. The Club was created in December 2017 with the idea that it will grow into the main football/soccer club representing the very diverse city located just outside the city of Baltimore. Columbia FC MD competes in the Maryland Major Soccer League 1st Division where it wrapped up the fall 2020 season as one of the top four clubs. Columbia has been competing in the Maryland Majors since its inception in the spring of 2018. It earned a promotion to the 1st Division after the fall 2019 season after the club won 9 games with 1 loss and a post season victory.
In an online Press conference the Executive Director of the club Carlos Tolentino said, “Joining the EPSL will allow our club to participate at a high level of competition. It is what we desire for the development of our club.” He went on to add that the Club as a whole with all its members are very excited about the opportunities that the EPSL will be able to create for the Columbia area community.” The City of Columbia created in 1967 by developer James Rouse is a planned community consisting of 10 self-contained villages. According to one of it’s statement principles the city thrives on being inclusive of people from different backgrounds. The understanding is that “Columbia was intended to not only eliminate the inconveniences of then-current subdivision design, but also eliminate racial, religious and class segregation.” This commitement is at the heart of Carlos Tolentino’s vision for a Soccer/Football club that can unite the entire city. He added that “the best way to see my dreams of a united city and backing of fans is through EPSL.” There is a long tradition of soccer excellence in Columbia as many great local professional, college and international players have come out of the scholastic and youth soccer league system.
One of the main reasons for Columbia FC MD to join the EPSL is how the league was structured. Carlos stressed that “by partnering with historic elite local soccer leagues our chances of winning a national championship becomes a reality”. The fact that EPSL allows clubs to move up the soccer pyramid based on sporting merit and the opportunity to compete for a promotion/relegation was why the club made the decision to join EPSL.
The Executive Director emphasized that the club is looking to grow within the community at large. While he believes that the city can become a main attraction as a suburb of Baltimore. He expressed that with the World Cup coming to the USA in 2026 and Baltimore vying to get a bid, the partnership with EPSL can play a huge role in bringing fans together allowing Columbia FC MD and EPSL to play a major role.
The Commissioner of the Mid-Atlantic conference Andy Salandy expressed his feelings about Columbia FC’s addition to the EPSL in a short statement. This is what he said: "I am delighted to see a quality team like Columbia FC MD joining us for our inaugural season of the EPSL Mid-Atlantic Conference. Columbia FC MD will be joining a list of high caliber teams that are already committed to be part of this amazing conference. After speaking to Carlos I know that his team will be a great fit because he aligns with our vision to provide a platform for the development and exposure of his players to get to the next level of professional soccer. I wish them the best of luck in our league.”