Published Jan 25, 2022

TURLOCK, Calif. (January 25, 2022) – The Women’s Premier Soccer League announced today, Academica Soccer Club has joined the league as a member of its 2022 expansion class. With the announcement, Academica SC adds its history to the WPSL’s historic platform.

We’re excited to be able to celebrate our 50th year anniversary by launching a women’s team in the highly competitive WPSL,” Simon Bettencourt, Academica SC president, said. “We believe this will prove to be the valley’s premier developmental team and a great showcase for local players.”

Academica was formed in 1972 by Portuguese immigrants at the Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Turlock. The club began as a pastime for local youth before growing into a premier men’s side. In 2018, Academica joined the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) after achieving success in local and regional leagues.

Since its inception, success and local player development have been at the forefront of the club’s philosophy. Now celebrating 50 years, Academica is writing a new chapter within its organization by starting its women’s team. The club believes the WPSL platform will help achieve its mission of growing the women’s game in the Turlock area.

We can’t wait to roll up our sleeves and get to work,” Bettencourt said.

Bettencourt, an Academica SC legacy as the son of one of the club’s original players and an alumnus himself, took over as president of the club in 2017. Bettencourt also serves as the executive director of Turlock Youth Soccer Association and Turlock Academica Jrs. – Academica SC’s youth affiliate.

Michael Rocha has served as Academica’s general manager since 2017 and Tevin Jones joined the club in 2019 as its technical director.

For its inaugural season, Academica SC. will play its home matches at Academica Field – a natural grass facility with a seating capacity of 500. The club will offer season passes that include matches for both the women’s and men’s teams as well as individual tickets.



More information about Academica Soccer Club can be found at or on their social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

For additional information on the WPSL visit



About the Women’s Premier Soccer League

In its 24th season, the WPSL is the longest active women’s soccer league with more than 125 clubs from coast to coast in 35 states – making it the largest women’s soccer league in the world. WPSL rosters feature elite collegiate, post-collegiate, international, and standout prep student-athletes. Many of the United States’ most accomplished women’s players have played in the WPSL, including household names such as Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Julie Foudy, and Brandi Chastain.