SWPL Announces First Player Solidarity Payment From NISA

Inland Empire FC Receives Solidarity Payment For Jonathan Garcia, Who Signed First Pro Contract With L.A. Force
Published Apr 25, 2022

LA MIRADA, CA (April 15, 2022) – The Southwest Premier League (SWPL) is excited to announce its first player solidarity payment from NISA.

Inland Empire FC received the payment following the transfer of Jonathan Garcia, a 24-year-old attacking midfielder from Redlands, CA. Terms of the payment are not made public.

“Jonathan has the right attitude to succeed. He’s coachable, hard-working and humble. He’s earned everything he’s got and he’s just someone you want on your team because of the energy he brings and his drive. I want guys like that on my team,” L.A. Force Head Coach Leon Sharf said. “The connection between NISA and its affiliates creates a lot more opportunities for players who may have gone under the radar or didn’t get a fair look. So I think there’s a different opportunity here, and what players do with it falls on them, but we at L.A. Force are very open to giving those opportunities and I’m always looking for a diamond in the rough. That player could be on any club in the SWPL, and it’s inspiring to know that the next player will see this.”

Garcia has played in all four available matches for L.A. Force since his signing, including the club’s U.S. Open Cup debut two weeks ago.

“Jonathan has the consistency and the professional mindset and that’s what it takes,” Inland Empire FC owner Oswaldo Moreno said. “Players don’t just see a club at Inland Empire FC, they see opportunities. That’s been our dream, to have a player come up and go professional and it is coming true. This is a new beginning. Right now I see it.”

Solidarity payments occur when a player under contract is transferred between different leagues, levels or tiers, ex. amateur-to-professional. Clubs pay transfer fees, and up to five percent of this fee is withheld to be used as the solidarity payment.

NISA is currently the only Professional League in the United States offering solidarity payments to its affiliates. The SWPL is a NISA affiliated league, and SWPL clubs have the opportunity to receive solidarity payments from NISA Pro clubs.

Garcia won a CIF-Southern Section title as the leading goal scorer for Redlands East Valley HS in San Bernardino County, CA, and is a graduate of CSU San Bernardino, where he helped the Coyotes reach the NCAA Division II National Tournament.

He previously played for Inland Empire FC beginning in 2019 and returned to the team following the COVID-19 pandemic to help the team qualify for the upcoming NISA Independent Cup this summer.

“It has been a process off and on the field. Now that I am with L.A. Force I have had to be on my toes and try to learn as much as I can,” Garcia said. “Inland Empire FC helped me in so many ways that I am truly grateful. Mentally and physically, IEFC helped me and when the moment came to try out, I was able to go out and give my all.”