Carlsbad Lightning and Carlsbad Wave Announce Merger to Form Carlsbad United FC
As the landscape of youth soccer is constantly in flux, a significant change has emerged in the Southern California youth soccer market. On Wednesday evening, December 11, Carlsbad Lightning (CLSC) and Carlsbad Wave (CW) successfully merged. This was not a merger out of need but desire to build a strong youth soccer club to serve every player in their community and surrounding areas. Following a favorable member vote from both clubs, Carlsbad Lightning and Carlsbad Wave have now become Carlsbad United F.C. with an impressive tally of over 4300 players (including recreational) and nearly 100 competitive teams.
In today’s highly competitive world, this has been an unusual coming together of like minds realizing that together they can accomplish more. It has been a merger of equals, with both clubs splitting the Board of Directors roles right down the middle. Because of the growing needs of the two clubs, the merger was seen as the best way to leverage resources in San Diego’s coastal North County region. The upside is that this merger provides the new club with a more efficient and cost-effective strategy for growth and development which will benefit all its players and coaches.
“Our goal as a club has always been the continued development of programs that enable opportunities for players at all levels of the game,” commented Lightning President and now Carlsbad United Co-President Tawnya Clark, “and with this merger we believe that will only continue to expand. We also have a strong focus on this being a ‘community club’ and will endeavor to keep the family feel that both Wave and Lightning have maintained over the years. We are very excited about the future of Carlsbad United.”
“I am delighted at the opportunity this brings for all soccer players, parents, and coaches in Carlsbad,” said Wave Director and now Carlsbad United Technical Director Steve Cowell. “Combining all the resources available to us will help us achieve soccer excellence at the local, regional, and national level, and will provide a home for every player in Carlsbad to play soccer regardless of their level of play.”
“These are exciting times for us all,” added CLSC DOC and now Carlsbad United’s Director of Operations Michael Duggan. “Over the past 15 years Lightning have reached lots of milestones. We started as Leucadia Lighting, graduated to Carlsbad Lightning, then introduced the Carlsbad Elite Program and our now very successful College Showcase in the November Nights.”
“Every year our program has grown, both recreationally and competitively,” Duggan continued. “This next journey will be just as exciting but more importantly the rewards will benefit the entire soccer community of Carlsbad. I look forward to working together with everyone involved.”
“As a club it would have been easy to carry on with what we were doing but as directors we have always felt the need to improve and better ourselves and the program,” stated Boys Director Glenn Malone. “As directors we would like to take this opportunity to thank all the board members and volunteers for not only all their hard work but their support in sharing our vision for the future of soccer in Carlsbad. A special thanks to Rick Kreysar who was the lead man in putting all the pieces together and pushing us over the line!”
Carlsbad United will have a new soccer curriculum and player development program and will also be assigning specific coaches to oversee different development age ranges. The BU7-U9 age range will be overseen by Phil Shuttleworth. The new combined club has a total of 60 competitive coaches with 96 competitive teams; 48 each on boys and girls side.
The New Board of CARLSBAD UNITED
Co-President* – Tawnya Clark (CLSC)
Co-President* – Jerry Straw (CW)
VP Admin* – Michelle Totoris (CW)
VP Finance* – Skye O’Grady (CLSC)
VP Operations* – Lisa Quade (CW)
VP Registration* – Julie Niendorf (CLSC)
VP of Competitive* – Gill Asperin (CLSC)
VP of Recreational* – Tony Selinka (CW)
Directors of CARLSBAD UNITED
DIRECTOR of OPERATIONS – Michael Duggan
DIRECTOR of TECHNICAL – Steve Cowell
DIRECTOR of BOYS PROGRAM – Glenn Malone
DIRECTOR of GIRLS PROGRAM – Carl Higham
DIRECTOR of RECREATIONAL PROGRAM – Brad Green
DIRECTOR of RECREATIONAL PROGRAM – Heather Hilliard
Carlsbad United F.C. Mission Statement: Our vision is to be recognized as a “Pioneering Leader” in total player development at local, regional and national levels, building character, confidence and self-esteem. Carlsbad United FC is committed to teaching values of sportsmanship, teamwork and respect through a positive learning environment. We offer player development for players desiring College Prep as well as those who want to play in a less stress/less competitive environment. We are committed to strengthening and growing our club through our programs, staff, volunteers and facilities.