Michigan Stars form partnership with Rochester, Sterling Heights youth clubs

Larry O'Connor
The Detroit News
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The Washington Twp.-based Michigan Stars has linked up with Rochester Hills’ Michigan Lightning and Sterling Heights’ Michigan Revolution to start a youth program, the professional team announced Friday.

The two clubs, which represent 3,000 youth players combined, will be rebranded Michigan Stars Lightning and Michigan Stars Revolution respectively. The partnership will start in the fall.

Michigan Stars owner George Juncaj

Top players from each program will be selected to play on a team known as Michigan Stars Elite. Tryouts for the select team are planned June 12-13 at Michigan Stars Sports Center,  65665 Powell Road, off M-53, Washington Twp.

“It’s exciting for youth players and coaches to have direct access to the professional players and staff and then having the ability to watch them compete during games,” said Michigan Stars owner George Juncaj in a statement. “I want to create an opportunity for a six-year-old to dream and have a goal of playing professional soccer with the Michigan Stars.”

The Michigan Stars youth partnership is the latest move by the third division pro club, which is seeking to expand its footprint in state soccer circles.

This week, the National Independent Soccer Association club announced it was fielding a U23 developmental side in the new Midwest Premier League that begins play this spring. The Stars have also recently added a United Women’s Soccer team that will kick off this summer.

The Stars, who formerly played at the since sold Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, have assumed ownership of Total Sports Park in Washington Twp., which will serve as the team's home base.

The newly named Michigan Stars Sports Center is an 80-acre soccer complex that includes 23 outdoor fields and a 118,000-square-foot indoor facility, which houses a regulation-sized 110-yard by 75-yard field.

loconnor@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @larryo1961

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