The Real Question is Why Does Turner Want to Be President?
I have known Bob Turner for ten years since I first began covering youth soccer in San Diego. Turner has never lost sight that soccer is about the players. As the election is just a few days away, I thought I would ask Bob a few questions — his short interview is below.
Bob Turner wants to be the president of Cal South. One of the 55 state associations of US Youth Soccer, Cal South was once the beacon of pride with a clear voice and highly competitive teams that often won the national tournaments.
While Turner is the first one to reflect on the global state of affairs with the Coronavirus COVID-19 spreading across the planet like wildfire, the last day to vote in the Cal South election is only 3 days away.
While Kentucky and Ohio have pushed their primary election amid COVID–19, Cal South is going forward with their schedule.
Voting for the president of Cal South ends on March 27. Election results will be announced on March 31, 2020.
Cal South registered just over 160,000 players for the 2018/19 fiscal year which reflected no growth from the prior year. In the total approximate 2.8 million youth players in US Youth Soccer, Cal South has the largest number of players. Massachusetts, New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Texas, Florida, and Cal North are also all larger but Cal South trumped them by at least 10%.
Beyond size, Cal South represents the clubs, leagues, coaches and players of Southern California, a hotbed of soccer nationally recognized for developing highly skilled players.
As the market of youth and amateur soccer becomes even more highly competitive, real leadership is needed on the state association level to ensure the growth of the beautiful game.
As the judge, jury and complaint board for the area, Cal South has enormous responsibility for keeping kids in the game and creating positive environments for the business of soccer to flourish. What is the true impact of a USYS State Association? You only have to look at a few other states to begin to see what is possible.
Cal South is beholden to its members. It is the money collected, by a large part, from the youth soccer player’s families that finance the salaries of those who work at the state office.
Is Cal South a helpful, friendly organization that communicates well and has clear leadership?
The answer to the question, ‘Why Does Turner Want to Be President?” is simple. Turner believes he can make Cal South better.
Diane Scavuzzo Interview with Bob Turner
Diane Scavuzzo: Why should you be elected as President of Cal South?
Bob Turner: Because I am the best person for the job. I’m going to put the members first.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is one of your first goals, if you become president?
Bob Turner: To change the mentality of Cal South and bring in real transparency. I want to work with members to create solutions, and not accept gridlock.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is one of the biggest issues that you believe needs to be resolved at Cal South?
Bob Turner: There is an ‘us against them mentality’ at Cal South.
Who does Cal South represent? Its members.
A state organization must be run as a team effort.
The blame game isn’t appropriate and only hurts the game, and everyone playing and working in soccer.
Diane Scavuzzo: What should a leader do?
Bob Turner: A leader should bring people together and ensure inclusive decision making. People need to feel motivated and part of the process. A leader needs his or her passion and vision to “Cal South” and create hope for the future.
Truth, transparency, and fairness are the principles a great leader.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is one of the complaints you hear most often?
Bob Turner: Cal South’s communication really needs to improve. The way Cal South has failed to communicate information in a timely manner on the Coronavirus COVID-19 and its impact on soccer is just one example of how we must do better. Cal South was way behind in Safe Sport and concussions and now lags on Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) protocols and these are laws that need to be followed. This needs to change.
The Coronavirus COVID-19 emergency will pass, but after, Cal South will still be Cal South. This is simply not good enough; we must change the culture and change it now.
We need to do more and we could do more so easily.
For example, I have already reached out to Lynn Berlin-Manual, CEO of United Soccer Coaches, next year’s Convention will be in Anaheim, California from January 6 to the 10th, and this is a massive opportunity for us to showcase our players, clubs and our best practices — as we welcome people from all across the country.
Diane Scavuzzo: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Bob Turner: We used to be the supreme state association. Cal South was the best on and off the field. We deserve to be that again, and soon. There is so much we need to do to keep soccer vibrant and growing.
For anyone who knows me, making things work in soccer has been my passion for decades. I have a proven track record, better than any other candidates, and a reputation for wanting to hold Town Meeting to make sure we hear different views and are inclusive.
I care deeply about the state of soccer in Southern California and you have my commitment, that if elected, I will do everything in my power to make sure Cal South brings the game of soccer — including TOPSoccer, Recreational, Cal South PRO+ Olympic Development Program (ODP) and adult to all its members and is the most responsive state association in US Youth Soccer.
I want to protect our kids and help the business of soccer get back on its feet after the Coronavirus.
We need to raise funds, spearhead opportunities and forge alliances that can help our member clubs grow and meet the needs of our players. Not sit in board rooms fighting ridiculous personal agendas. With almost 30 years of experience in youth soccer and three kids who have played in Cal South, I know it is easy to complain, and that doesn’t accomplish anything. I am known for fighting for what I believe is right.
Bernard Towers from Coast Soccer League wrote in a message he sent out to his youth soccer clubs, “I have witnessed the Cal South Board dysfunction first-hand and it needs to change for the benefit of all it’s members. I would ask that you support Bob Turner for President. I believe Cal South needs an outside voice to come in and lead in a non-partisan way.”