Six Bay Area Youth Soccer Clubs Combine To Create Bay Area Surf
In the Best Interest of the Youth Soccer Players: Collaboration is the new name in the game and Surf SC has established a breakthrough in youth soccer with the merging of several top Northern California youth soccer clubs to form Bay Area Surf.
YOUTH SOCCER NEWS: Surf has announced the launch of its newest Surf Nation partnership, Bay Area Surf.
Effective immediately, six of the Bay Area’s top clubs—San Jose Surf, F.C. Bay Area, LFC IA Bay Area, Barcelona Bay Area, Star Academy, and Monterey Surf, have joined as one to create the Northern California Bay Area Surf.
The reason? To create an elite environment committed to the development of their community’s youth soccer players.
To bring Juan Porras, Alex Saunders, Heath Piper, Paul Monteith, John Licea together with Jeff Jenkins (Executive Director of San Jose Surf) and create a powerful new force for improving player development was a clear step in demonstrating that collaboration is in the best interest of not only the game itself, but essential to successfully achieve a player-centric approach which can benefit true development. Surf’s Girls Technical Director Andrés Deza, along with Surf’s CEO Brian Enge and Surf’s Director of Coaching Josh Henderson led the effort to create a cohesive development pathway in Northern California that will focus on creating the best experiences and opportunities through soccer along the Peninsula.
“This is all about thinking differently to improve our commitment to our mission and impact the game in the U.S.”Brian Enge, CEO Surf
“Having the Bay Area’s top clubs join forces with us is particularly exciting for Surf’s girls’ program as we just announced our 3-Year Plan a few weeks ago and this is the second step towards fulfilling our vision,” said Brian Enge, CEO of Surf. “The first step, of course, was adding Andres Deza to our team.” Deza will oversee the NorCal/SoCal partnership as Surf’s Technical Director.
Bay Area Surf will create a unique partnership with San Diego Surf, bridging the best players from NorCal and SoCal for development and international competition.
“The partnership is going to bring together the top players from Northern and Southern California.”Heath Piper, Academy Director Bay Area Surf.
Bay Area Surf’s clubs will work together using a shared development curriculum which they will implement consistently in each region.
- San Jose Surf and Monterey Surf will continue to develop talent in their geographies and welcome LFC IA Bay Area in partnership.
- Star Academy will re-brand as Peninsula Surf and will serve the San Francisco region.
- Bay Area Barcelona, LFC IA Bay Area, and F.C. Bay Area had already begun this process months ago, looking to provide an elite pathway for their membership.
Continuing a track record of success: F.C. Bay Area’s MLS NEXT boys program will continue to successfully developed players for their local MLS Academy. On the girl’s side, F.C. Bay Area’s girls’ program is currently ranked #9 in the nation and will be tightly collaborating with the #4 ranked girls program, San Diego Surf.
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F.C. Bay Area’s Girls Academy, which has developed numerous U.S. Youth National Team players, and has won a U.S. National Championship, will take a leadership positing along with its Southern California sister club to create joint training scenarios and compete as combined teams in overseas competitions.
“It’s unprecedented to bring two of the Nation’s top programs together from NorCal and SoCal at this scale.”Heath Piper, Academy Director – Bay Area Surf
“This is an amazing opportunity for our players,” said Heath Piper, Academy Director Bay Area Surf. “The ability to bring talented young soccer players together in an unparalleled training environment, under the same game model, methodology and style of play across the entire state is truly innovative for youth development in this U.S. Adding the international opportunities just takes the program to another level. We are extremely excited about this unique partnership with San Diego Surf.”
“I have known Surf very well before this partnership – obviously from ECNL and DA events. We have become pretty close on the field and have wanted to collaborate for some time,” said Piper.
“This provides a pathway to elite soccer. Continuously adding more clubs in our region doesn’t help player development.”Jeff Jenkins, San Jose Surf
“Consolidating, working to develop local players while promoting our top players via a single pathway is something that is needed,” said Jeff Jenkins, Executive Director of San Jose Surf. “Bringing these six Northern California youth soccer clubs together wouldn’t have been possible without Surf Nation and its support, structure and resources
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“Youth soccer in Northern California is due for a change,” said Jenkins. “Anyone can start a club, as long as you have three teams. Today, there are over 250 youth soccer clubs in NorCal alone. A team sometimes only has two or three good players. Coming together like this and forming Bay Area Surf is in the best interest of the kids and youth soccer.”
“At the end of the day, a good club is focused on its players and wants to offer more experiences and opportunities. It doesn’t matter if you are a recreational soccer player or if you want to become a professional soccer player, our coaches want to develop players to their fullest potential,” said Jenkins. “Surf helps us fully developing players to their own potential. The reality is, I’ve been given more tools to help our players develop and grow as a club in the four years with Surf than I had ever been given at any other club. It is a great benefit being part of a national family – the Surf family. When one of our players plays a Surf kid from another state, there is a certain bond through Surf. That is pretty neat.”
“This is a unified vision of fútbol-first – and that is so important.”Juan Porras, Peninsula Surf.
“The impact we’ll have here in the Bay will be incredible and will continue to provide our players with unprecedented opportunities,” said Juan Porras, Peninsula Surf. “For 10 years, I’ve known Surf through its events. We have been experiencing of the ‘Best of the Best’ and know Surf is a true leader with a great pathway for real development.”
“We had opportunities to meet Brian Enge many times and I have a very good feeling for what he’s envision for player development,” said Porras. “That’s why I truly believe unifying Northern California is what is best for our players.”
“”LFC IA Bay Area has a history and culture of developing players for the next level of their game,” said Jean Pierre Mujica, Director of Coaching LFC IA Bay Area. “This goes back many years with the San Jose Earthquakes and since 2020 with FC Bay Area. It is exciting to see that Surf has recognized all of the partners, presenting a plan for developing not only the Bay Area but all of Californian youth soccer. We are excited to collaborate and continue our mission as a top club in the Bay Area having a pathway for our boys and girls.”
“This partnership is part of a big picture for youth soccer in America.”Alex Saunders
The Bay Area is one of the most saturated markets in youth soccer. Working together with Surf and its partners, as opposed to working against them, means we can be so much better for the kids and their development — and this gives us a lot of development resources and opportunities for our local players,” said Saunders.
“Our focus has always been the development of technique and transitioning that technique into skill. Creating this new structure, adding new player pathways, and providing Monterey County players access to all levels of soccer, from Grassroots to Elite programming, means our players now have access to all soccer levels,” said John Licea, General Manager Monterey Surf “We welcome Bay Area Surf and our new member clubs to the Surf Family and can’t wait to share everything we have been working on these past few months with our families.”
“For us, we are in a small market on the Peninsula,” said Licea. “The concern is always how provide out players with great pathways, especially at the older ages. Before we became Surf Monterey, were losing these kids to other programs. Surf has helped in multiple ways, especially with the Surf Select Program. We have 25 players playing in the National and California Surf Select Program who would otherwise not be able to get these opportunities.”
“There are a lot of communities in the Bay Area that Surf will bring together – from Monterey to San Francisco and the broader Bay Area.”Paul Monteith -Bay Area Surf
“My favorite part of being a youth soccer coach is being able to interact daily with players. To have an impact with them both in soccer and also personally,” said Paul Monteith. “And, to help them to do something they love. What makes this unique are the resources it brings to players, both on and off the field. Surf’s know how and knowledge of how to support a soccer club and its players — whether it is financially or college opportunities is very valuable.”
“Together we are stronger, and unifying the greater Bay Area will maximize resources, expand player pools and give more opportunity for players.”Steve Lum, President – San Jose Surf
“We always strive to be the best, and this is a great step towards our relentless pursuit of this goal,” said Steve Lum, President San Jose Surf. “We welcome Star Academy, Barcelona Bay Area, LFC IA Bay Area, and F.C. Bay Area’s coaches, players, and families to Surf Nation!”