The Southern California soccer landscape is going through a change once again, even as players just start to return to the field. The US Club Soccer league SCDSL rebranded as SoCal on Tuesday.
The official name of the league will be Southern California Soccer League, but it will simply be referred to as SoCal. US Club Soccer stated that the league’s “goal is unifying the entire Southern California youth soccer landscape and creating an all-inclusive brand for clubs across the region.”
US Club Soccer also announced the addition of 15 new clubs to the league as well, including national powerhouse Surf SC (San Diego, California) as well as the first out-of-state club Downtown Las Vegas Soccer Club (Las Vegas, Nevada).
In December, a number of large clubs from California split from the US Youth Soccer and Cal South model to join the US Club Soccer pathway.
“The move to US Club will allow us to better serve our members as the landscape of youth soccer continues to change and evolve,” Strikers FC Director of Coaching Don Ebert said in a press release at the time. “This puts us at the forefront of that change. Quite frankly, this is the time to bet on ourselves and see what we can achieve as members of US Club Soccer.”
The rebrand simplifies the name, but the expansion makes it obvious that the club soccer landscape in California is going to look considerably different in 2021 and beyond.
In the press release announcing the news, US Club Soccer cited the league as an NPL member league. “SoCal enjoys a pathway to postseason opportunities for its clubs. In addition to postseason opportunities, members also gain access to a plethora of US Club Soccer benefits, including player identification and development, cup-based competition, player health and safety resources, robust coaching education and more.”
The addition of 15 new clubs expands the region for the league with a couple of the top clubs from San Diego joining the fray in Surf SC, Rebels SC, DMCV Sharks, Poway Vaqueros Soccer Club, and City SC.
“The Poway Vaqueros Soccer Club (PVSC) is very excited to be joining SoCal,” Lev Kirshner, Poway Vaqueros Soccer Club Executive Director, said in a statement. “This is a great opportunity for our club to raise its level, not only within the county of San Diego but throughout Southern California and nationally. We look forward to increasing our brand image while assisting in the same process with SoCal.”
“San Diego Surf is thrilled to be all-in with SoCal and I’m looking forward to working with all of the leadership and clubs in San Diego to provide a great local option for our players,” Josh Henderson, San Diego Surf Director of Coaching, said.
“The DMCV Sharks are excited to go all-in with SoCal and US Club Soccer,” Shannon MacMillan, DMCV Executive Director said. “As a club that has long had a sense of pride in being a community-based organization with decisions made in the best interest of our players, this feels like a great fit. We have long appreciated SoCal and the focus on player development and look forward to the opportunities the comprehensive programming will present ALL of our players. SoCal continues to stay at the forefront of the game and this next step with US Club Soccer is a game-changer.”
Among the more curious additions is Downtown Las Vegas Soccer Club, which is located over 200 miles away from the next closest club.
“It’s exciting that our teams will play a great schedule of competitive games against top-quality competition,” Downtown Las Vegas Executive Director Gary Soresman said in the press release. “Downtown Las Vegas Soccer Club is proud to be part of SoCal.”
The press release also states that “more clubs will be announced in the coming weeks.”