There is an air of change in the landscape of professional soccer in the United States. All the leagues are expanding to accommodate a newfound appreciation for the beautiful game. Southern California is leading the charge!
One of the most recent expansion teams is Southern California Sports Club, a new team in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). Based out of San Bernardino, SoCal Sports Club looks forward to bringing a “different flavor” to the American game using their pristine news training facilities and influential South American roots. The new soccer complex in San Bernardino, while currently still under construction, will be one of the premier locations for youth and professional soccer. General Manager Daniel Gamba states, “We think this is a tremendous opportunity for us, the SoCal region and NPSL in general. This soccer complex will be state of the art with FIFA World Cup quality fields.”
Growth like new teams and facilities are all part of the long-term growth of soccer in the region. The SoCal Sports Club wants to play a big part region’s growth in the next few years. Gamba says, [quote_center]“We have a plan in place. We hope people believe in the project, to have them appreciate what we’re doing for the community.”[/quote_center] Their grand project is to change the pattern of development by focusing on small-sided games that emphasize close ball control, rapid ball movement and creativity. A major influence for SoCal SC is Brazilian Futsal with its close ball control, quick passing and one-v-one situations. Gamba believes that the South American “flavor” will be an attractive style that will entice fans from all over the region to the entire program. Potential players will be in a team that appreciates free-flowing creativity, while fans will be treated to fluid art on the soccer pitch. In SoCal Sports Club’s words, together everyone will be working towards #RaisingTheBar.
They want to bring the “Samba style” to the region using a top-down approach. SoCal Sport Club’s status in the NPSL and distinct “different flavor” of soccer will also help bridge the gap for players 18-23 years old in Southern California. In their inaugural season there will be a first team only. However, within three years, SoCal Sports Club intends to have a youth academy that competes at a high level. At the young ages (Under 8 years old) there will be a major futsal influence that dominates development. From 8-12, players will be transitioned into traditional soccer. Finally, from 13+ players will master how to play on full fields. However, until their academy is set up, SoCal SC will have an “alliance program” with local youth clubs that allows top players to be trained by, and train with, the elite coaches from SoCal Sports Club. This will be a fantastic opportunity for players in the Inland Empire region to be exposed to a higher level of play that did not exist before.
All the best to SoCal Sports Club in their inaugural season and Happy New Year!