The club was founded in March 2023 after a transfer of ownership (and transfer of the USL League Two license) from the East Atlanta Football Club in Conyers (Georgia) to East Atlanta Dutch Lions FC.
Patrick Vierhout, owner of Sportiff apparel, is the majority owner of East Atlanta Dutch Lions FC, views this transfer as an unmistakable path for local players, including those involved in RYSA (Rockdale Youth Soccer Association), which program is also added to the East Atlanta Dutch Lions FC program. “We're accelerating and amplifying the evolution of East Atlanta Dutch Lions FC into a program that offers greater opportunities to a broader audience of players who want to fully realize their talent and potential through ever increasing levels of competitive play,” said Vierhout.
Sam Walker will serve as Head Coach for the men's team that competes in the USL League Two. He is also Dean of Students and Director of Soccer for the prestigious Holy Spirit Prep in Sandy Springs, GA. He feels the synergies between the East Atlanta FC and the Dutch Lions FC organization will make this partnership a win/win. “We have very similar approaches and techniques to the way we teach soccer from our training methods and philosophies to our overall ideologies making for a seamless transition. The opportunities for the community are tremendous,” remarked Walker. “The youth athletes and staff/coaches will all benefit from this. We’re excited to be able to increase our coaching staff both locally and internationally. The potential for growth is truly exponential!”
Regarding facilities, all games and practices will continue on the RYSA fields and the RYSA youth players will receive even greater access to professional-level coaches trained in the Dutch Lions FC methodology. Younger children playing as part of the developmental teams will have more of an opportunity to engage in the pathways to professional soccer.
Since its inception, ten of the players from East Atlanta FC have gone on to the pro level, a remarkable achievement considering the newness of the club, and fully aligned with the Dutch Lions FC vision to be a gateway to professional soccer.
The current ownership of the East Atlanta FC will retain a minority percentage interest in the East Atlanta Dutch Lions FC with Vierhout acting as CEO.