Leading to up the club’s 2018 debut, Fresno Football Club officials are laying the groundwork for a relationship with the Fresno Fuego.
Last week, it was confirmed that Fresno FC will be joining the USL as an expansion club in 2018. The organization will arrive in a city that has long been home to the Fuego, a Premier Development League club that plays its games at Chukchansi Park.
As it stands, Fresno FC is working to map out its future with the Fuego. The ownership group led local businessman Ray Beshoff is working to purchase the Fuego from Chris Cummings by next spring, and plans to keep the club in the Premier Development League. That will allow the Fuego to serve as a development team for Fresno FC.
According to Fresno FC general manager Frank Yallop, aligning the two clubs has been an important goal in planning the organization’s launch. More from The Fresno Bee:
Fuego fans are welcomed into the fold as well. The amateur club will become Fresno FC’s development squad with Beshoff and the investor group assuming the Fuego’s ownership reins from a group headed by Chris Cummings (who is also selling the Fresno Grizzlies) by next spring.
The Fuego will continue to play in the PDL, possibly as an undercard to Fresno FC matches.
“That was a big part of it for me,” Yallop said. “I have a lot of respect for the Fuego and what they’ve done. The last thing you want to do is come into town and say, ‘OK, you’re out.’ That’s not what’s happening here.”
The mission of aligning the two clubs is also reflected in some of Fresno FC’s personnel decisions, as Fuego general manager Jeremy Schultz and director of marketing Jordan Wiebe are both joining the organization. Moves such as those are key to Fresno FC as it tries to build its organization leading up to its first season at Chukchansi Park.
Fresno and Nashville have been confirmed as new entries to the USL for 2018, and plans for Las Vegas to join the league next season recently moved forward.
Image courtesy Fire Squad Fresno, the Fuego’s supporter group.