Youth Soccer News: San Diego Surf SC Announces New Franchise Member in Inland Empire
Inland Empire Surf is directed by Former U.S. Men’s National Team Defender and 1994 World Cup Soccer Star Christopher Clemence “Cle” Kooiman.
San Diego Surf SC has announced today the expansion of the Surf Franchise Program with the addition of Inland Empire Surf Soccer Club (IE Surf), formerly Platinum FC. The new partnership will expand the Surf youth soccer club's network throughout Southern California, following the addition of Murrieta Surf SC in 20112 and Hawaii Surf SC earlier this year. For the former Platinum FC, the move connects the club with one of only eleven Nike Premier clubs in the nation. The initial term of the agreement is five years, with consecutive automatic extensions.
“Surf Soccer Club established a franchise program in order to build a network of clubs to share resources, collaborate and partner in projects involving soccer education and instruction, tournament planning and promotion, field development and club administration,” explained Surf Vice President of Affiliates Bryan Thistle. “The club hopes to share the assets and collective experience of the Surf network to build uniformly well-run professional organizations that develop our players and successfully transition them to the next level of play.”
"Platinum FC has the facilities, coaches and organizational leadership to become the premier club in the Inland Empire,” said Jeremy McDonald, President of Surf Soccer Club, “and we're excited about the future of this partnership.”
|San Diego Surf Soccer Club's President Jeremy McDonald visits with Inland Empire Surf Soccer Club (IE Surf) February 27th, 2013
“With the size and reputation of our club this new undertaking will allow us to become the largest and most successful club in our area and we are striving to become one of the premier clubs in Southern California,” Platinum FC President Bryan Young said in a message to the club.
“This is a huge milestone for our club, our community and more importantly for every player in the Inland Empire,” siad Young.
Asked what the benefit will be for the club by aligning with Surf, Young explained, “While Platinum FC has built a great reputation in a short amount of time, Surf Soccer Club is a nationally-recognized brand that we believe can help us competitively by attracting coaches and players.”
"Platinum FC was a natural fit for our franchise program,” explained Thistle. “They have been fielding an increasing number of teams each season, attracting the best coaches in the area and have enjoyed great success on the field and in placing their players in colleges to play soccer."
IE Surf will continue to be based at the Platinum Soccer Complex in San Bernardino, with players coming from throughout the Inland Empire. Teams compete in the Coast Soccer League during the regular season, with older players (U14-U19) taking time off in the winter for the high school soccer season. Because of the timing of the announcement, teams will continue to compete under the Platinum FC name until the beginning of the 2013-2014 season.
According to the club’s website, the vision of IE Surf will be to “continually strive to be the premiere club in the Inland Empire that competes at the highest level, provides professional organization and structure, and creates opportunities for players to play at the collegiate and professional levels.”
A large part of the success of the club has been because of the hard work and dedication of Technical Director Christopher “Cle” Kooiman, a former U.S. Men’s National Team member and Major League Soccer (MLS) player who competed in the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
Kooiman spent 1993-1994 with the National Team, earning 12 caps and scoring a sudden-death game-winning goal against Costa Rica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals.
Prior to his National Team experience, Kooiman starred at San Diego State University, where he was named to the All-Far West team in 1982. After college he played with the Los Angeles Lazers of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) from1982-1987 and outdoors with the California Kickers (1989) and San Diego Nomads (1990).
In 1990 Kooiman made the move to Mexico, playing first with Cobras de Ciudad Juarez from 1990-1991. In 1992 he moved to Cruz Azul of the Mexican Primera Division, playing until 1994 and making history as the first U.S. citizen to be named the captain of a Mexican soccer team. Kooiman completed his Mexico experience with Morelia from 1994-1996 before being allocated by the newly formed MLS to the Tampa Bay Mutiny. He completed his playing career in 1998 with the expansion Miami Fusion.
"I've enjoyed coaching against Platinum FC Director of Coaching Cle Kooiman over the years,” said Surf Vice President of Soccer Colin Chesters, “and I'm thrilled that we will be able to work together to produce the highest quality players in the Inland Empire for years to come."
“Our Board is 100% committed to building this club into the very best in southern California,” said Young. “We’re here to stay, and we are aggressively pursuing advancement at all levels of the club that will benefit our families and their children.”
Related Articles: Surf on SoccerNation