Tiburones United FC
San Diego Pro Soccer News: Tiburones Untied FC Join National Premier Soccer League (NPSL)
Soccer is growing in San Diego and a new North County soccer team has just announced its acceptance into the pro circuit. The Tiburones United FC (TUFC) will join the National Premier Soccer League in 2012. Martin Torres, 28, is the President and head coach of the team and is excited about bringing pro soccer to North County. It has been Torres’ dream to show Vista area soccer players that there can be a soccer life for young adults in the neighborhood.
When you stop to think about it, unless on a college team, what can a soccer player do after graduating High School and Club soccer if he has dreams still of becoming a pro? Unless a player is picked up by a pro team, there are few options; mostly county adult soccer leagues which are a dead end really for a player still dreaming of playing in front of tens of thousands.
Martin Torres was a young man of integrity and sincerity at his press conference last Thursday as he told the audience that it is all about growing the sport of soccer and giving back to the game. Torres wants to focus on the kids who have dreams of playing this great game. Torres reminded the audience that those soccer players growing up in his area might not have all the opportunities afforded to others. He wants to change this. Torres is committed to sharing the joy of soccer and bringing professional soccer to North County.
Tiburones United FC will offer free youth clinics to Vista area soccer players and want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to develop as a soccer player. Torres wants to help keep the dream of becoming a professional alive for area players. Gabriel Escobedo had the dream of becoming a pro soccer player and is thrilled to be on the Tiburones United FC team and see his dream turn into reality.
Professional soccer is not always a highly paid endeavor and Torres explained that for now at least, his soccer team will be “professional soccer players who won’t be paid.” Torres says “This project is for our community, our kids, youth and those with dreams of having a career in soccer or looking to get scouted by top colleges.”
Believing that the pool of professional soccer opportunities should be expanded, Torres says “There were many nights when we were working until 2 and 3 AM in the morning to make this a reality. One day we sent out applications, hoping for the best. A month and a half later, I wake up at 4 AM and started to read my email. I see an email from the NPSL Director of New Teams and it said the Tiburones were approved! After that day, my life changed and the teams life changed and I am honored to say that we are the newest expansion site for the NPSL.”
Responding to Torres’ initial email seeking assistance to become part of a professional league, Yan Skwara, NPSL’s Asst. Southwest Conference Commissioner, worked directly with Tiburones United FC to help them become approved. Torres introduced Skwara as a friend and thanked him for all his assistance at the news conference.
Skwara says “As the President of San Diego Boca FC and as the Southwest Commission of NPSL, my role for the last few months has been to help the league grow and expand so that the San Diego area would have more teams. It is about building the league, giving back to the community and taking care of the youth in our city. I think the Tiburones are going to be very successful. They are hard working and honorable. There is a lot of talent here in North County.”
“Soccer is growing in the United States. The NPSL is a very competitive and upcoming league. Last year there were 31 teams, now there are over 40 in our league,” says Skwara. “It is important to announce that the NPSL will now have three teams in San Diego. The SD Flash have recently joined the NPSL this year. Now, with the addition of Tiburones, these three teams will create a lot of competition. There will be great local rivalry.”
Asked if 3 teams were too many for our area, Skwara responds with “Three teams in San Diego, a city with a population of 4 million? Three pro teams for San Diego is going to work well, this is a formula for success. If you look back to how soccer developed in Europe, local teams within driving distoance of each other, this is how soccer became established. Manchester United right next to Manchester City, Arsenal next to Chelsea. Local pro soccer teams right next to each other. The NPSL is trying to build soccer here in San Diego, build soccer in the United States. This is going to work well.”
For those of you who are not sure what the NPSL is…The NPSL is the soccer league under the MLS (Major League Soccer) and several MLS teams have their reserve teams in this league. For example; the Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls have developmental deals with NPSL teams.
Torres says, “I have learned a lot being around the players; about why so many of today’s youth do not reach their goal of playing soccer in college or becoming a pro. Many players take a different direction and those players are often forgotten. My program is about giving those players that last chance to succeed. The mission of this club is to create the most elite program in the nation, now that we are going to be competing against some of the best soccer players in the country. To educate players that they have a choice to make their dreams come true.”
The team has a long history of success. Its local soccer roots started, according to the club’s website, “In 1986, when Antonio Torres Jr and his brothers (4) natives of Veracruz MX founded Tiburones Rojos De Veracruz in San Diego County Soccer League Encinitas Premier Division. Twenty-three years later, in 2009, the team took a turn for the best, moving to Oceanside North County Soccer League under the new management of the youngest of the Torres family, Martin Torres. This is when the team changed its name to Tiburones United FC.”
Martin’s brother, Edher Torres, who played soccer at Rancho Buena Vista High and has his own teams as well, will be an assistant coach for the Tiburones United FC. Miguel Garcia is the Team Captain and the CFO. Garcia knows the challenges ahead to gain sponsorships for his team, but he is eager and confident.
Tryouts for the new pro team will be held next month on February 26th at the Residence Inn Marriott in San Marcos. Torres invites everyone interested to come meet his team and to tryout. In addition, the Tiburones United FC is now looking for interested players between the ages of 13 and 15 who would like to be part of the new Tiburones United FC Academy program.
Tiburones United FC will play two exhibition games soon. As Torres says, “This is open to everyone; all races, all backgrounds, and it has always been like this for 25 years and will always continue to be this way.”