Sean Bowers – GM of the San Diego Sockers – Talks with Diane Scavuzzo on the Exciting Changes This Season
Sean Bowers is a former San Diego Sockers player — in fact, he played defense for the team for years. Last year, he came back to San Diego’s championship team to take over as the General Manager. Entering year two, Bowers talks to SoccerToday on the changes and challenges for the 2017/18 MASL Season.
Bowers is a familiar face on the American soccer scene and pioneered Futsal in the Southern California market, founding 619 Futsal for area youth soccer players to enhance their skills playing futsal in a professionally run league. 619 Futsal is a member of US Youth Futsal and a long time director of the national organization. Passionate about providing opportunities for players to take their game to the next level, Bowers is an amazing GM of the Sockers and an unwavering supporter of the game of soccer.
Who is Sean Bowers?
Sean Bowers is the U.S. Men’s National Futsal former Captain and a player with the highest number of CAPS — he was a San Diego Sockers’s player himself, playing for the Sockers first in ’91 and then again in ’03 until ’05 when that version of the team folded.
Bowers is the only person in NPSL/MISL history to achieve at least 1000 blocks and 1000 points.
An amazing former Sockers’ defender, he is now the General Manager of the San Diego Sockers — and, has also coached youth soccer for years and founded 619 Futsal in 2010.
What’s New at the SD Sockers?
Bowers sat down with Diane Scavuzzo to talk big changes for the SD Sockers for the fan experience, his philosophy on success, and much more.
Diane Scavuzzo: How do you define success?
Sean Bowers: Wow! Tough question. My definition of success is how many people’s lives you touch and make a difference in. As a youth soccer coach and a General Manager of the Sockers, I feel that I have the ability to make a difference in players lives both on and off the field.
Related Article: Soccer Leaders Series: Sean Bowers – Top Soccer Pro Turns GM
Diane Scavuzzo: “Always striving for perfection” — what does this make you think of?
Sean Bowers: I am a big believer that we should always strive to get better on a daily basis. Whether that’s on the soccer field, in our workplace, within our relationships, etc. Although I know there will never be a time in our lives that we are perfect, the ability to strive for it holds ourselves accountable.
Diane Scavuzzo: Now that you’re starting your second year as the GM of the Sockers, what are your goals?
Sean Bowers: First and most important goal is to win a championship as an organization by doing things the right way and being as professional as possible in our journey toward that goal. I am excited about this year with the new players and office staff as it seems like our energy level has hit an all-time high on and off the field.
Diane Scavuzzo: What do you like most about being the GM?
Sean Bowers: I love that I work with great people who are striving for the same goal!
I love my job!
I love coming to work every day with a staff who love their jobs and are willing to put numerous hours in knowing it’s what’s best for our organization. We have a great office staff with a work ethic second to none.
I also love the makeup of our team this year.
Phil and Chiky worked very hard putting this team together and there are high expectations for us to win a championship this year, which I love!
These high expectations along with a very deep roster will make us hold each other accountable and create a more competitive atmosphere at practice, which in turn will make us a better team. We are very excited about the 2017-2018 season and being a leader and GM of the SD Sockers is such a privilege and very personal to me.
San Diego Sockers By the Numbers:
Diane Scavuzzo: When did the Sockers first kick off?
Sean Bowers: The current incarnation began in 2009, however, the franchise first played outdoors in the NASL in 1978.
Diane Scavuzzo: Who are some of the most famous players ever played for the Sockers?
Sean Bowers: The Sockers have a storied history of having great players don the uniform. The list of Sockers greats is long and highlighted in particular order by Kaz Deyna, Julie Veee, Alan Mayer, Branko Segota, Zoltan Toth, Victor Nogueira, Steve Zungul, Jean Willrich, Volkmar Gross, and Brian Quinn.
Diane Scavuzzo: When did Phil bring the team back?
Sean Bowers: In 2009, the current edition of the franchise began to play in the Professional Arena Soccer League at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Arena.
Diane Scavuzzo: If you know — How many games did you play and what were the dates of your playing?
Sean Bowers: The Sockers finished the season with 13-3 en route to winning the championship.
Diane Scavuzzo: How many championships have the Sockers earned?
Sean Bowers: The San Diego Sockers are the most successful indoor soccer team in the sport’s history.
The team has won a total of 14 indoor championships in the MISL, PASL and MASL leagues combined. Also, the Sockers set a U.S. pro sports record with the longest winning streak boasting 48 straight wins.
Sockers Futsal Championships
- NASL Indoor: 1981, 1983
- MISL: 1982, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991
- PASL: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
Diane Scavuzzo: How many teams are in the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) for the upcoming season?
Sean Bowers: The Major Arena Soccer League features 16 teams nationwide.
Diane Scavuzzo: How far will the team be traveling this year?
Sean Bowers: The team will travel east to Tampa, Florida and to Tacoma in the Pacific Northwest
Diane Scavuzzo: What are the special games this season? Celebrity game and alumni game dates?
- Sun., November 5, 5:05 pm v. Syracuse
- Sun., November 12, 5:05 pm v. Tacoma
- Sun., November 19, 5:05 pm v. Ontario
- Sun., December 3, 5:05 pm v. Sonora
- Sun., December 17, 5:05 pm v Turlock
- Sun., January 7, 5:05 pm v. Turlock
- Fri., January 12, 7:35 pm v. Tacoma
- Sun., January 21, 5:05 pm v. Ontario
- Fri., February 2, 7:35 pm v. RG Valley
- Sun., February 11, 5:05 pm v. Sonora
- Sat., March 3, 7:05 pm v. El Paso
Diane Scavuzzo: Is there a new seating option for fans?
Sean Bowers: Yes, we provide fans with two new group options:
Hooters Party On The Pitch: You can party and be close to the action. Located right next to the field in the PIT Lower Level 3.
This cool area accommodates 50 people and includes a sampling of Hooters wings, Sockers & Hooters SWAG, guaranteed to receive promo items, access to the Stella Lounge and catering is available for purchase.
Terrace Box Suites: Located at the bottom of the Terrace section, the Terrace Box Suites give you a tremendous view of the action, plus you will enjoy wait service for food and drink in a comfortable setting.
The Box Suite features belly bar tables and eight seats. Two seating options for either eight or 12 people. A guarantee of receiving the promotional giveaway. Two Box Suites are available for each game.
Diane Scavuzzo: How has the fan base grown?
Sean Bowers: There has been a steady annual increase in season tickets sales. Last year we saw a spike in overall ticket sales, as we registered our largest crowds in years.
Diane Scavuzzo: How strong is your social media?
Sean Bowers: We have a new Marketing and Communications Manager and he is committed to continuing to improve on the social media strategies that won the MASL Social Media Department of the Year. In addition, this year we are more focused on working with our media marketing partners to increase our presence on social media. We are on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @SanDiegoSockers
In addition, this year we are more focused on working with our media marketing partners to increase our presence on social media. We are on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @SanDiegoSockers
Diane Scavuzzo: Can fans meet players?
Sean Bowers: Yes, we make the players available at the games and at a variety of community events.
Diane Scavuzzo: Do the players come to the bar after the match?
Sean Bowers: Players enjoy meeting fans after the game in the Stella Lounge at Valley View Casino Center.
Diane Scavuzzo: Any plans on doing a charity match or playing against the local PDL or NPSL teams?
Sean Bowers: With the growth of the game in San Diego, we will be exploring the opportunity to play the other local teams to support local charities and to cross-market with each team’s fans.
Diane Scavuzzo: What surprises people about YOU most?
Sean Bowers: I would say my work ethic. I always pride myself on trying to be the hardest worker on and off the field. As a player, there were many things I lacked but I tried to make up for them by outworking my opponent.
I have the same concept in my role as GM and we as a staff pride ourselves wanting to outwork all other teams in our league both on and off the field.
Diane Scavuzzo: Who are the strongest players on the team?
Sean Bowers: We are led by the captain and all-time leading scorer Kraig Chiles, M Brian Farber, M Matt Clare and GK Chris Toth.
Diane Scavuzzo: Who are the new talent?
Sean Bowers: During the offseason, we acquired some major talent including D John Sosa, F Andrew Lorei, and M Hiram Ruiz.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Sean Bowers: I would say representing and being captain of the United States National Futsal team in 2 FIFA Futsal World Cups (1996) Spain and (2004) in Taiwan.
They were incredible experiences and ones I will always remember.
Diane Scavuzzo: Lastly do we have the right system in place from youth soccer all the way up to the National Teams and are the right people running them? Are we doing it the right way for the right reasons?
Sean Bowers: A loaded question that could take days to answer but there is obviously many mistakes and faults to go around in our youth soccer system and I am not sure I have all the right answers.
But looking at it from my perspective (as a former player and now as a General Manager) it seems we have many of our priorities backward.
First, we have too many people in it for the wrong reasons.
For example, it seems the priorities of many coaches, directors, and clubs at the youth level are driven by finances. Although there will always be a financial component to youth soccer, in my eyes it cannot be the overwhelming factor of how a club should be managed.
This is also evident as you have some coaches coaching 3-4 teams each year.
Is this fair to the players?
There are some coaches that are trying to make a living as a youth soccer coach in a competitive atmosphere but are we really giving our players the instruction and learning environment they need if we have coaches coaching 3-4 teams each year. I don’t think so.
Diane Scavuzzo: Are there any special promotions for youth soccer players or clubs?
Sean Bowers: We offer groups and teams the unique and memorable chance to be a part of the Sockers Gameday Experience at the Valley View Casino Center. Several options are available for groups of 50+, 75+, 100+ or 200+ to take advantage of this wonderful experience. Create memories for a lifetime with our Gameday Experience Group Tickets!
Gameday Experience Group Tickets
- Warmups from the Bench – Can have two teams participate one in the home bench and one in the away bench. 50 tickets per team to participate – Bench can hold up to 30 people.
- Run out through the “O” with a player during pregame introductions – Can have up to two youth players per pro player to run out with them through the “O” during team introductions. Up to 28 youth players could participate. You will need 75 tickets to participate.
- Pregame scrimmage – 25 mins – this is done 2 hours before kickoff – on the field in Valley View Casino Center – #100 total tickets sold to participate.
- Halftime scrimmage – 10 Minutes total – during halftime – #200 total tickets sold to participate.
Group Ticket Pricing
- $10.00 Group Rate for 20+ Groups. These seats will be in the terrace, which is a General Admission section with open seating. Areas 5-9 and 18-20 in the green sections.
- $18.00 Group Rate for 20+ Groups. These seats will be on the straightaways in the Loge Areas, this is assigned reserved seating. Areas 22-3 and 11-16 in the red sections.
- $20.00 Group Rate for 10+ Groups. These seats will be on the straightaways in the Loge Areas, this is assigned reserved seating. Areas 22-3 and 11-16 in the red sections.
Group Ticket Benefits
- Group rate with discounted tickets.
- Preferred seating if purchasing in the Loge.
- Ability to participate in the Walk of Champions, to be on the field during the team introductions.
- Group Name shout-out on the Jumbotron during the game.
Photo Credit: SD Sockers
For tickets and or youth soccer teams interested in participating at the Sockers games, please contact Marybeth by Email or call 866-799-4625 for more information.