In 1974, Cal South was formed under the umbrella of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA). Since then, Cal South has grown and now represents over 170,000 youth and adult soccer players across Southern California at all levels of soccer.
One of the highest levels of youth soccer in the country is the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series. Competitive club teams from across the country compete to earn spots at Regional Championships then the National Championships every summer. The road to the National Championship for Southern California soccer teams starts at Cal South National Cup every Spring.
As the competition progresses and the National Cup final rounds are taking shape, the Cal South team ramps up efforts to support the teams and the families. At the heart of these efforts is the Cal South Creative Services Group, lead by Carlos Torres. Carlos and his team of photographers, videographers, and supports staff make sure that the teams and families are given the star treatment they deserve.
Social media posts go online throughout the games, with photographers working multiple fields and uploading to Instagram (@CalSouthSoccer) in real time. Snapchat filters are created so teams and players can share the excitement with friends. Videographers capture candid moments before, during, and after games to create compilation videos. Live streaming is also provided so that out-of-town families and college coaches can watch the action online.
Olivia Cervantes from the Creative Services Group describes the live streaming operation: “For these [National Cup Finals] games today, we hired a company to do live streaming. They’re doing a full-on production with the high cameras, the score on the screen, multiple cameras, and a production crew. Everything but live commentary. We’ve had people watching from all over the world, like Cambodia. We consistently have thousands of people watching the live streams. We live stream the awards ceremonies on Facebook, too. It gets a lot of viewers and families really appreciate it.”
Andrew Jimenez, videographer for the Creative Services Group, shoots video and compiles the wrap-up videos for Cal South. He says, “My job is to film the events, the game, coaches, players, interview champions and coaches. I create content for CalSouth and their multimedia platforms. I do more of the cinematic shots, more emotional shots, so I can put together a wrap up video. Sometimes I’ll include the parents, too. They’re so invested in it, so there’s a lot of emotion that I can show in these videos. It’s really exciting.”
When asked about the obvious expense of the efforts put into the live streaming, Carlos Torres says, “It’s not about the money. We do this for the parents, for the coaches, for the families. It’s not about making the money back for this. It’s about providing a good experience for our families and players.”
The winners of National Cup and California Regional League (CRL) go on to compete at the Far West Regional Championships. The 2018 Far West Regionals were held in Honolulu, Hawaii, where the Cal South team continued to support families with travel assistance and administrative help. Social media coverage was also strong for family and friends who couldn’t make the trip.
Far West Regional Champions, as well as National League champions, will go on to compete at the 2018 US Youth Soccer National Championships in Frisco, Texas, where the Cal South team will continue to support teams, players, coaches, referees, and families throughout the process.