Georgia Lions FC Joins NISA for 2024 Season

Will Be First Indian-Woman-Owned Professional Club in U.S.
Published Jan 11, 2024

CHICAGO (January 11, 2024) – The National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) today welcomed Conyers (Atlanta)-based Georgia Lions FC (GLFC) to the league for 2024. The club will be the first Indian-woman-owned professional soccer club in the United States. The move is subject to U.S. Soccer Federation approval.

“NISA is an evolving league that has been blessed with some amazing organizations,” says NISA Executive Vice President Josh Prutch. “Co-founders Patrick Vierhout and Sunita Patel – along with the entire Georgia Lions organization – allow us to continue to build with established organizations that are well-led, well-run, and well-connected in the community. Expanding into Atlanta also is a strong step for our eastern profile.

“Sunita also brings a unique perspective to our leadership group,” he adds.

Patel, from a small town outside of Surat, India, brings a history of success with a diverse business portfolio and a deep-seated love for sports.

“As we embark on our journey in NISA, we're not just starting a soccer club; we're bringing to life a vision that transcends the pitch,” says Patel. “It's a platform that resonates with our goals – to showcase top-tier soccer and foster a competitive spirit.”

Also the owner of the Sportif apparel company, Vierhout, with a rich legacy in soccer, brings invaluable knowledge, experience, and strategic alliances to the organization.

“We're committed to nurturing local talent, engaging with communities, and being a club that represents the spirit of Georgia in every game,” adds Vierhout. “NISA's open, merit-based structure aligns seamlessly with our vision, propelling us to set new standards in the sport.”

GLFC was founded in 2020 as East Atlanta FC in Conyers, Ga., before being transferred in 2023 to Vierhout. While the club currently plays on the pitches of Rockdale Youth Soccer, recently, the club announced plans to invest up to $5 million in upgrades and renovations.