UPSL National Semifinals Preview – SCU Heat (Columbia, SC) vs. Santa Cruz FC (Lowell, MA) 

February 1st, 2023

This weekend, the UPSL National Finals are set to take place with the four of the best semi-professional sides from across the US, traveling to Southern California to determine who is the UPSL Fall 2022 National Champion.  

Friday night will see a UPSL National semifinal matchup between Boston’s Santa Cruz FC and arguably the best semi-pro team in the Carolinas, SCU Heat. The winner there will advance to the National Finals on Sunday. 

SCU Heat (10-0-0) are the current Mid-Atlantic conference champions and one of only three teams in the Premier division to finish with a perfect, all-win regular season record. After scoring an incredible 54 goals this season, SCU Heat are currently in fine form with 13 goals in the last five matches. The team has recent playoff wins against fellow undefeated UPSL side Little Haiti Supreme FC and last season’s UPSL National Finalists Beaman United. SCU Heat forward Alejo Binaghi who has contributed five goals this season, describes his team’s mindset heading into the National Finals. 

“Our team has been performing on a very high level since the post season started. We prepare for each game as if it’s a final. The goal for everyone in our group is to always stay physically and mentally switched on. This is a huge achievement for the club and for the city of Columbia. It’s amazing to see the huge number of teams at the beginning of the season and only four are still alive in this competition. The goal has always been the same, to become a National Champion.” 

Santa Cruz FC (8-0-2) are a top semi-pro side from the Boston-area and finished second in a very tough New England Premier conference. This post season has seen them grab wins against undefeated side Ole FC and several other top teams. Santa Cruz are currently undefeated away from home and will look to attack early and often—having scored a stunning 10 goals in their past three games. Central midfielder and former pro player from Portugal Mario Prata spoke about what it feels like to make it this far in the competition.  

“Making it to the final four of any competition is extremely difficult, especially in UPSL where so many teams from so many different parts of the US compete for the National Championship. In the beginning of the season, we set our goal to make it to the finals, so as a group we are exactly where we want to be. Personally, I plan on enjoying these next couple games as much as possible because you never know when you’ll have the opportunity to play for the national championship again. Sunday night, we will make history.” 

After Friday, the finalists will be set for an epic national championship game that will determine the best semi-pro soccer side in the nation. 

All UPSL National Finals matches will be broadcast live on the VYRE Network. You can find VYRE on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Android, iPhone, or your Smart TV by downloading the VYRE Network app for free or on their website at

National Semi-Finals – Friday, Feb. 3rd 

SCU Heat (home) v Santa Cruz FC – 8:30 PM(EST) / 5:30 PM(PST) 

Olympians FC (home) vs Rush ACM3 – 11:30PM (EST) / 8:30 PM(PST) 

About United Premier Soccer League  

The UPSL was formed in 2011 and occupies the unofficial fourth tier of US Soccer. Across its Premier, Division 1 and Womens leagues there are more than 400 teams competing nationwide. The UPSL is now the largest Pro Development League in North America and is a National Affiliate member of the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF). Each UPSL team is individually owned and operated. UPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup Qualifying Rounds through the league’s affiliation with USSF. 

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

Contact UPSL: [email protected] / Media: [email protected]