The Bugeaters are back, and they’re playing a new kind of football.
A new amateur soccer team, called Bugeaters FC, will launch in 2018 in Lincoln. The team will play in the United Premier Soccer League, a league focused on pro development.
The name “Bugeaters” is a call back to the early days of University of Nebraska football.
“I wanted to pay homage to the state’s agricultural history,” team founder Jonathan Collura said.
The team will be formally announced on Tuesday. The team will play in the top tier of the UPSL, the Pro Premier Division. Its stadium, coach and conference within the UPSL are to be determined. The teams colors are black, white and red, and they’ll wear a crest displaying a tractor perched atop a soccer ball.
The UPSL was formed in 2011 and currently includes about 100 teams across two tiers. Teams are promoted or relegated between the two leagues based on performance.
League teams are eligible to compete in the U.S. Open Cup each year, which includes Major League Soccer teams in later rounds.
Bugeaters FC is the only Nebraska team in the league, which also includes two teams in eastern Iowa and several in Colorado.
“Lincoln has an excellent soccer culture and I wanted to get involved,” said Collura, an Omaha-native businessman and entrepreneur who lives in Dallas and co-owns several lower-tier soccer clubs in the U.S. and England.
Tim Pendrell, former executive director of Nebraska City Tourism and Commerce, will serve as the team’s general manager. Pendrell said the team plans to create a women’s team and a youth academy in the future.
The team has launched a website, www.bugeatersfc.com, where it plans to post further updates as the team develops.
Pendrell also was involved with the development of an Omaha team for the upstart National Independent Soccer Association. The league, which had hoped to launch as a Division 3 league in 2018, has delayed its start until the end of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Earlier this month, the league accepted team applications from three cities and returned four more for further improvement, including Omaha. If approved, the team would be Nebraska’s first outdoor professional soccer team.