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UPSL Announces Florida Expansion with Atletico Barra

Miami-Based Pro Development Club Joins UPSL for 2019 Spring Season
Published Mar 7, 2019

March 7, 2019 – Los Angeles – The United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) is pleased to announce Atletico Barra as a new league member kicking off with the 2019 Spring Season.

Based in the Miami, Atletico Barra will begin UPSL play in the Southeast Conference Florida South Division, and will host its home games at Ives Estates Park (20901 NE 16th Ave., Miami, FL 33179) in compliance with UPSL's Minimum Standards.

United Premier Soccer League Southeast Conference Florida Division Manager Christian Vallejos said, "We're excited to welcome Atletico Barra to the Florida South Division. Joao Pedro Werneck is a genius-level individual who is invested in developing and advancing players. It will be exciting to see his teams perform on the field. We wish Atletico Barra as it prepares for its first UPSL season."

Atletico Barra Soccer Academy is an international expansion effort of Clube Atletico da Barra da Tijuca, a Brazilian professional, amateur and youth club based in Rio de Janeiro.

Joao Pedro Werneck, Ph.D., is General Manager and Head Coach of Atletico Barra. A native of Brazil, Werneck, 40, is an Associate Scientist at University of Miami, working in Internal Medicine. He helped create Atletico Barra Soccer Academy in 2018.

Atletico Barra General Manager and Head Coach Joao Pedro Werneck said, "When Clube Atletico da Barra da Tijuca expanded to Miami we needed to decide what league we were going to play in an the UPSL emerged as the top candidate. The UPSL has a national impact and that's what we were looking for, and it came down to two leagues and the UPSL was the more professional option."

Werneck played amateur soccer in Brazil before beginning a coaching career that included stints as a futsal coach with Rio de Janeiro's Canto do Rio Football Club, and later as an Assistant Physiologist with Rio de Janeiro's Flamengo Club.

He earned a Ph.D. in Science from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro before doing his post-doctorate fellowship in Endocrinology at University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine.

Ricardo Morillo is Assistant Coach of Atletico Barra. A native of Brazil, Morillo, 52, was on the Brazilian National Futsal Team that won the 1992 World Championship in Hong Kong. He currently holds a Brazilian National Coaching License, and is a FIFA-registered coach

The club will announce tryout dates and its upcoming UPSL game schedule.

About Atletico Barra

Atletico Barra is an American Soccer club currently based in Miami, Fla., and a new member of the United Premier Soccer League. Atletico Barra will play in the UPSL Southeast Conference.

Founded in 2018, Atletico Barra can participate in the qualifying rounds for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup through their affiliation and membership with the UPSL, the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA).

Instagram: @atleticobarrasocceracademy

United Premier Soccer League

The UPSL was formed in 2011 and currently includes more than 300 teams in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. UPSL is the fastest growing Pro Development League in the USA, with 400-plus teams targeted for 2019 Fall Season. Each UPSL team is individually owned and operated, and is responsible for maintaining either UPSL Pro Premier Division or Championship Division minimum standards.

UPSL teams are all eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup Qualifying Rounds through the leagues affiliation with the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA).

More information about UPSL can be found at or by following the league on Facebook ( and Twitter (@upslsoccer).

Contact UPSL:
Direct: 310-415-5691

Media Relations:
Dennis Pope
Direct: 951-675-3963