The San Francisco Vikings Club, the San Francisco Glens Soccer Club, and Evolution FC Designated Founding Clubs of the San Francisco Elite Academy
Clubs mark a new era of local collaboration in providing a structured pathway to top-level soccer for San Francisco youth.
San Francisco, CA, March 27, 2015, Three of the largest and most-recognized youth soccer clubs in San Francisco—the San Francisco Vikings Soccer Club, the San Francisco Glens Soccer Club, and Evolution FC—have become Founding Clubs of the San Francisco Elite Academy. The resulting alliance offers San Francisco youth increased opportunity to both participate and pursue their soccer potential, while accelerating the San Francisco Elite Academy’s goal of making San Francisco home to some of the very best U14 and older soccer teams in the country.
“The coming together of these three clubs to collaborate and support the San Francisco Elite Academy is a victory for all kids playing soccer in San Francisco,” said Joe Dugan, President of The San Francisco Elite Academy. “We’re committed to building a foundation of soccer excellence and preparing San Francisco kids for the highest levels of play. And we will be doing it right here in San Francisco.”
Collectively, the three Founding Clubs place over 140 teams on the field each season, host four tournaments, support two off-season leagues, and employ over 60 national-level licensed coaches. All maintain offices and staff, supplement city-permitted fields with additional spaces for training and games, and have run adult teams or U23 teams for college players. In addition, the Founding Clubs are all active in both the California Youth Soccer Association (CYSA) and the NorCal Premier (NorCal) leagues.
“We want to provide talented and committed players a unique, San Francisco-based opportunity,” said Libby Rappolt, President of the San Francisco Vikings Soccer Club. “The San Francisco Elite Academy provides the chance to do just that—to train right here with college coaches, to play in regional and national leagues, and to participate in showcase tournaments.”
The San Francisco Elite Academy is a unique alliance of San Francisco U14 and older youth soccer teams and the Men’s and Women’s varsity soccer programs at the University of San Francisco. The academy identifies, develops, and supports local soccer players for top-level play, while emphasizing character on the field and in the community. The academy’s goal of providing increased access for older youth players has earned widespread support from San Francisco’s civic leaders and agencies, including former President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and now California State Assemblyman David Chiu, as well as San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera.
For its part, the University of San Francisco provides the support of a legendary Division 1 program, winners of six NCAA Division 1 titles, and a clear focal point of top soccer located in the very heart of the city. The boys SF Elite Academy program is overseen by University of San Francisco Men’s Head Coach Eddie Soto, while the girls SF Elite Academy program is under the supervision of University of San Francisco Women’s Head Coach Jim Millinder.
“We know the importance of great coaches and training for youth player development,” said Leo Cassidy, President of the San Francisco Glens Soccer Club. “By becoming a Founding Club of the San Francisco Elite Academy, we’re helping elevate the quality of youth soccer and giving older boys and girls the opportunity to keep playing locally. Our vision is to put San Francisco soccer on the national map the way the other Bay Area clubs have done.”
In terms of sheer numbers, San Francisco is already a force in youth soccer. Over the past seven years, the player population has increased steadily from 2,500 to 9,000 kids. And these children represent every zip code and neighborhood of the city. The challenge remains harnessing that enthusiasm with programs that are organized, inclusive, built on city and club cooperation, and capable of providing expanding opportunities to those that want them most.
Dave Anderson, President of Evolution FC, agreed: “Every day we try to inspire the next generation of San Francisco soccer player. Our club has always been committed to providing youth players the opportunity to play and compete at the very highest level their talent and drive allowed. Now, through the SF Elite Academy, its support from the city, and along with our partners at the San Francisco Vikings and San Francisco Glens, we are all in a position to make that goal a reality.”
The San Francisco Elite Academy is a non-profit (501(c)3) youth development organization
that offers boys and girls, ages 14-18, the opportunity to play and pursue top-level soccer while remaining based in San Francisco. The academy welcomes youth of all backgrounds and seeks to promote soccer in every area and neighborhood of the city. To learn more please visit http://www.sfea.org.
To Learn More About the SFEA Founding Clubs
San Francisco Vikings Soccer Club: www.sfvsc.org
San Francisco Glens Soccer Club: www.sfglens.com
Evolution FC: www.evolutionfc.org
Joe Dugan, President San Francisco Elite Academy. Phone: 415-722-1113. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org