Keisuke Honda Digs Deeper into U.S. Youth Development

Keisuke Honda Digs Deeper into U.S. Youth Development

New partnership brings a true path to Europe for Southern California talent

On Tuesday April 25th, SOLTILO F.C. Los Angeles announced that it has partnered with F.C. Golden State, an elite youth soccer club based in Pasadena, California to launch “F.C. Golden State SOLTILO”.

Originally formed in January of 2017, SOLTILO F.C Los Angeles is the youth soccer arm of HONDA ESTILO USA, a company founded by Japanese international and current A.C. Milan midfielder Keisuke Honda. Based out of the San Bernardino Sports Complex, SOLTILO F.C. Los Angeles is tasked with the development of young American soccer players.

Formed in 2007, F.C. Golden State has grown into one of the premier youth soccer clubs in the United States. As a full member of the United States Soccer Development Academy, F.C. Golden State’s DA teams compete at the highest level of youth soccer.

Altogether, the club is home to nearly 100 teams including both boys and girls between the ages of 5-19, the majority of which play competitively in the famed Coast Soccer League. F.C. Golden State is home to Arturo Vasquez, a defender currently with the U.S. U-17 Youth National Team competing in the 2017 U-17 CONCACAF Championship.

Both F.C. Golden State and SOLTILO F.C. are dedicated to the development of young people on-and-off the field as soccer players and as productive members of society. F.C. Golden State has long held the objective for all the club’s players to either pursue a career in professional soccer or successfully attend a university. The partnership with SOLTILO F.C. significantly enhances the opportunities for aspiring professional players to realize their goals.

The SOLTILO global network extends to Austria, where the company owns a controlling share of SV Horn, a professional team currently pursuing promotion to the Austrian First Division and ultimately seeking to compete in the UEFA Champions League. The company also owns and operates 64 soccer schools across Austria, China, Cambodia, and Japan.

F.C. Golden State believes that every child should have the opportunity to receive the best training from quality coaches at a superb value and continues to deliver through this new partnership with F.C. Golden State that will leverage the SOLTILO global network in order to provide American players with a direct pathway to professional soccer careers. F.C. Golden State also operates a Premier Development League team, but it is understood that the SOLTILO affiliation does not presently extend to influence the amateur PDL team.

When SOLTILO F.C. was launched in January, Honda explained his interest in the United States soccer market stems from seeing an opportunity to help young players actualize their untapped potential.

“Why do I want to educate kids in the United States? Well, I believe the kids in the United States have a lot of potential, talent-wise,” Honda said. “I wasn’t talented when I was young. I had huge dreams to play for AC Milan and for big clubs in the world when I was young. I believe that most children can reach their goals if they train with our philosophy, with our training programs.”

The two organizations are excited to bring even greater soccer to Southern California and will launch the U-12 World Challenge U.S. Qualifiers in July with the winning team receiving an all-expenses paid trip to the Final Tournament held in Tokyo, Japan to compete against clubs such as F.C. Barcelona.

There is certainly more to come on this story. While Honda is still an active player, his A.C. Milan contract expires at the end of the current campaign and he is expected to move to another club as a free agent. In recent months the player has been linked with Premier League clubs as well as teams from Major League Soccer. A move to either the LA Galaxy or LAFC seems ideal for Honda, particularly with the unfortunate injury to Zlatan Ibrahimovic who was widely expected to be a marquee signing for one of the two Los Angeles based clubs.

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