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Media release

Monika Scott joins South Bend Lions

Front Office team expands with the addition of former Jr. Irish Soccer Club President

South Bend, IN (Feb 18, 2020) — South Bend Lions is delighted to announce that Monika Scott will become the club’s new Chief Progress Officer.

The former President of Jr. Irish Soccer Club has been heavily involved in growing the club to this point, playing an important role in developing relationships with community stakeholders. The Niles-resident joins the Lions’ Front Office to support the needs of club partners and ensure everything is moving forward off the field.

As well as serving Jr. Irish as President, a position she occupied for three years, following four as VP, Scott has also served on the advisory committee for Indiana Youth Soccer Association.

Professionally, she has consulted for several organizations in the area of Health Information Management and operated as an adjunct instructor at Southwestern Michigan College and Indiana Institute of Technology.

Away from soccer, Scott is an avid tennis player and choir scholar at the University of Notre Dame.

Monika Scott said: “I am extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to work with the South Bend Lions organization. Having been involved in youth soccer for the past 18 years, it has been amazing to see the changes and growth of the game in our community.

“The vision of the Lions’ leadership team and commitment to the people of this community is second to none, and because of this, will bring great benefits to the area.

“Having a USL League Two team in South Bend is amazing and I am looking forward to helping them grow. “

Owner Ritchie Jeune added: “Monika has been integral in helping us to establish the club. She has been a brilliant help with her vast skills set and experience, and we are delighted she’s going to play a prominent role in driving us forward.

“There are many people who are helping to deliver on the shared vision we have for the Lions and Monika’s contribution connecting conversations is imperative if we are going to be successful. The excitement for the season ahead is building up positively.”

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2020 season ticket info

Sign up for a season ticket now and get your name on our inaugural jersey

You can secure your place at TCU School Field and on our shirts with a deposit of less than five dollars

South Bend, IN (Feb 6, 2020) – Season tickets for South Bend Lions first season in USL League Two are now available to purchase online and you can secure your place for all our regular-season home games in the Great Lakes Division for a deposit of just $4.50.

Adult season tickets cost $60 and Youth (U-16) and Senior (O-65) are $38 for our seven regular-season games at TCU School Field.

You can pay in full now via repthebend.com, or you can pay a deposit of $4.50 and then the balance by March 31.

Anyone who signs up, paying either a deposit or in full, before February 20 will get their name incorporated in the design of our inaugural gameday jersey.

So why $4.50?

Weeks before the club was launched, a young player attended a practice session with his local team and told his coach he thought it would be a good idea if South Bend had its own soccer team: something they could all aspire to be a part of when they were older.

What he didn’t realize at that point was his coach knew this would soon become a reality. In the spirit of the suggestion, the coach proposed all the players should report to the next session as if it was the new team’s first.

On arrival, two players informed the coach they had raised $4.50 – the first contribution to help get the imaginary team off the ground.

In their honor, we’ve chosen to make this figure the value of the deposit required to secure your place for our inaugural season.

Their names will be on our shirts and your name could sit alongside it for the same amount.

We will be proud to take to the field in 2020 with all your names on our inaugural uniform.

Additional information:

Gameday admission will cost:
Adults – $11
Youth (U-16) and Senior (O-65) – $7*

Individual game tickets will go on sale in March.

Please note admission to friendlies, exhibition games and (if applicable) playoffs are not included in the season ticket.

*We may require evidence of your age to qualify for this discount.

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Media release

New partnership to provide soccer opportunities for local students

South Bend Lions to work closely with South Bend Community School Corporation

South Bend, IN (Feb 4, 2020) – South Bend Community School Corporation and South Bend Lions Football Club have agreed to form a mutually beneficial partnership that will enhance the impact of both parties in the local community.

The players and coaching staff of the new pre-professional soccer franchise in South Bend will provide a mentoring program for local students over the spring and summer months, in addition to delivering special soccer community events.

As part of this partnership, South Bend Lions have agreed to stage their USL League Two games at TCU School Field, where they will also practice.

Dr Todd Cummings, South Bend Community School Corporation Superintendent, said: “We are delighted to have concluded a unique agreement that will see both parties come together to strengthen provisions for the local community, through soccer, on and off the field.

“We are excited at the prospect of the partnership and the goodwill it will generate. We appreciate the professional approach that the club has demonstrated throughout our discussions, and look forward to a prosperous relationship. We are confident they are going to be very good for South Bend and we are proud to be a part of that.”

Ritchie Jeune, South Bend Lions owner, said: “This agreement has been a long time in discussion, and we are pleased to be able to share with all our supporters that we’ve concluded a conversation that is far more than a simple field rental.

“We have said from the outset that we are keen to establish partnerships that will have an impact on the community. We would like to thank supporters for their patience while we got to this point.

“We know everyone has been keen to find out where we are playing and this is a great opportunity that goes beyond that; this is a chance for all areas of the club and South Bend Community School Corporation to work together in a positive way.”

Season ticket and game day admission info will be announced later this week.

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2020 USL Schedule

USL League Two

MAY

Fri May 15 AFC Ann Arbor 7pm

Wed May 20 Dayton Dutch Lions 7pm

Sat May 23 Grand Rapids 3pm

Sun May 31 @ Oakland County 5pm 

JUNE

Fri June 5 @ Louisville City U-23 7PM

Sun June 7 @ Grand Rapids 5PM

Fri June 12 @ Dayton Dutch Lions 7PM

Tue June 16 Cincinnati Dutch Lions 7pm

Sun June 21 @ Cincinnati Dutch Lions 3pm

Wed June 24 Flint City Bucks 7pm

Sun June 28 @ AFC Ann Arbor 3pm

JULY

Fri July 3  Louisville City U-23 7pm

Tue July 7 @ Flint City Bucks 7pm

Sat July 11 Oakland County 5pm

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Media release

South Bend Lions announce appointment of Chief Happiness Officer

New USL League Two expansion club reveal the first member of their Front Office team

South Bend, IN (Dec 11 2019) — South Bend Lions Football Club have today announced their first appointment to their Front Office team, naming popular local community champion Matt Bellina as the club’s Chief Happiness Officer.

Bellina, raised in South Bend, will combine his new duties with that of Academy Director at Department of Defense Starbase Indiana, where he has led on STEM education for all students of fifth grade age for the past two years.

The Ball State University alumni brings his experience of working with the HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum, City of South Bend and Purdue University, as well as coaching SBCSC LaSalle Academy boys for the last four years, to the new USL League Two expansion team.

Owner Ritchie Jeune explained: “Matt is a hugely affable figure and very well respected member of the community. He played an influential part in our decision to come to South Bend and we’re delighted to have him on board in a role that is made for him. His brief is very simple – make people smile.

“While we won’t hold Matt accountable for anything that happens on the field in that regard, his energy and enthusiasm are second to none and he will have a big impact in driving what happens away from it. If we’re going to deliver on ensuring people have fun, we need inspirational and passionate ambassadors like Matt leading the way.”

Matt Bellina said: “I am pleased to share my passion and personality with our entire Northern Indiana community including our current and future Lions supporters. It is exciting to speak of South Bend in the same sentence as USL, top athletes, Path2Pro and increased community engagement for our local youth.

“I am thankful to Ritchie Jeune and Chris Rivett for seeing and believing in the soccer ‘Roar’ of South Bend. Go Lions!”

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Media release

South Bend unveiled as home to USL League Two’s newest club

Elite pre-professional soccer is coming to Michiana next year

South Bend, IN (Nov. 19, 2019) — A new expansion franchise has been awarded to South Bend by United Soccer League (USL).

The team will be called South Bend Lions Football Club and will compete in USL League Two in 2020, the country’s top pre-professional men’s soccer league. Thanks to the collaboration of the leading local youth programs at Jr Irish Soccer, Indiana Invaders, Elkhart County United and Michiana Echo, the Lions have already kicked off preparations for their inaugural season by holding tryouts for a new U-18 program which will provide a pathway for local youth players.

South Bend Lions will become the second USL club in the state of Indiana — after Indy Eleven joined the USL Championship in 2018 — and the new franchise will play in the Great Lakes Division of USL League Two.

The community-focused club has been driven forward this year by a local group of soccer enthusiasts headed by respected coach Thiago Pinto — who will be the club’s technical director, soccer marketing and communications consultant Chris Rivett, and the club’s owner and principal investor Ritchie Jeune.

Jeune, who was born in Jersey in the Channel Islands, is the owner of Kettering Town, one of the most storied semi-professional teams in England, and Shantou Lions in China.

“We would like to thank the kind people of South Bend who have made Chris and I feel welcome from the moment we first visited,” acknowledged Jeune.

“We have been grateful for the passionate backing of the soccer community and the dedicated support of the city officials since we arrived in May to begin assessing the way forward.

“I would also like to thank the team at USL and notably Joel Nash [Vice President of USL League Two] and Justin Papadakis [USL Chief Operating Officer] for their help in progressing conversations to get us to this point within six months.

“We still have a lot of work to do to be ready for first kick in 2020, but we’re looking forward to the challenge and the fun that lies ahead.

“It’s our objective to establish a club playing at the highest level that the community can support and we welcome everyone to be a part of our adventure.”

In joining USL League Two, South Bend Lions Football Club will offer a proven pathway to professional soccer for its players, both those at the elite collegiate level and the leading academy-age players from the region. On top of the valuable experience of playing in the nation’s most competitive pre-professional environment, League Two also provides growth opportunities for its coaches, executives and communities.

Vice President of USL League Two Joel Nash said: “We are delighted to help provide soccer to the South Bend community along with such a high-quality ownership group. We’re confident that the Lions will quickly become a fixture in the city, and that they will make an excellent addition to our league.”

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said: “South Bend has a proud sports tradition, from the South Bend Blue Sox to today’s championship-winning South Bend Cubs. We look forward to welcoming and cheering on the South Bend Lions Football Club as they add to our history of sporting excellence.”

Please visit southbendlions.com for further updates and connect with the club by following @SouthBendLions on social media. To learn more about USL League Two, visit uslleaguetwo.com and follow @USLLeagueTwo on social media.

USL League Two