This Week in Seals History!
This Week in Seals History republishes articles from our archives. We hope you enjoy a bit of history!
Frogs Franchise Shuts Down
Article originally published August 24, 2008
The San Jose Frogs have decided to close down their franchise. The reason is not unfamiliar to the Bay Area - lack of fan support.
There is a large amount of passionate soccer fans in the Bay Area, but the interest to support teams playing at the higher levels seems to be less than required to support those teams for the long haul. Perhaps it is a lack of available time to attend. Perhaps it is a lack of understanding that soccer is a professional sport that young men and women can play in this country, and elsewhere through the opportunities the PDL, USL, and MLS provide.
Whatever the reason is, it is a fact.
In the past two years the Frogs and Seals had developed quite a rivalry. The Seals wish to thank Hartmut Esslinger for bringing a class organization to the Bay Area. They put together strong teams in each of their three years (one in the NPSL), and their players had considerable success, with 10 players drafted by MLS and European teams.
The Earthquakes bring the PDL Back to Northern California
April 26, 2014
by Paul Sheirich
The United Soccer League (USL) Premier Development League (PDL) is back in Northern California with the entry of the San Jose Earthquakes, and will participate in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference. The Quakes looks to the PDL team to help bridge the gap between the first team and the Academy.
The Earthquake Academy has teams at the U14, U16, and U18 levels. “There is an obvious need for us to bridge the gap that exists between the first team and the Academy,” said Chris Leitch, the Earthquakes Academy technical Director and coach of the Earthquakes U-14 squad. “The PDL team will provide us with a way to replace the Reserve team, and allows us a way to continue to work with the college level players.”
The PDL team will play their home games at CSU Stanislaus in Turlock, and coached by CSU Stanislaus men’s soccer head coach Dana Taylor. “The Valley gives us a tremendous opportunity to tap into talent that exists throughout the Central Valley,” said Taylor. However, players for the new team will not be restricted to just Central Valley California. “In addition to reaching out to the Central Valley for players, we are also inviting players from all over the country,” added Leitch. “We have relationships with many coaches around the country who know we are continually looking for players, and this network provides us with some great prospects.”
Coach Taylor has a proven track record of developing and elevating the play of teams and players. Since joining the CSU Warriors in 2009, he has led the team to a 52-30-11 record, and elevated the program to a No. 1 national ranking in NCAA Division II for attendance. “Putting a winning team on the field clearly contributes to improving attendance, but there is really strong support for soccer throughout the area, and we work with the community to help bring the fans to the game,” noted Taylor.
Prior to joining CSU Stanislaus Taylor was head coach for 10 years at Oregon State. Alan Gordon, current forward for the Earthquakes, was one of the players Taylor helped develop. His players received All American honors four times, All-Conference honors 46 times, and All-Region 11 times. Overall in his 10 years at Oregon he helped develop an impressive 19 players reach the professional ranks.
Putting together a competitive PDL team can be a challenge. Sunday, April 13th was one of the first opportunities for Taylor to get a look at his team play, as they played Santa Clara University’s men’s team to a 0-0 draw. “I haven’t had a chance to work with the players and have any formal training sessions,” said Taylor. “Many of our players aren’t available until after May 1st due to NCAA rules.”
With no training sessions ahead of play with SCU Broncos, the obvious question was; “How did you think the team played?”
“Well, the first 15 to 20 minutes was not very good. We weren’t connecting the passes, our runs weren’t there, and we clearly didn’t look like a team. But the guys responded well to some pointed coaching and at the half we got a great chance to make adjustments and give the guys a better idea of the style of play we are looking for,” said Taylor. “The second half was better, and at the end of the day we kept them out of the goal. That’s a positive.”
Taylor is working closely with the Earthquakes first team coaching staff. The PDL team style of play will mirror that of the Earthquakes MLS team. “We absolutely want our PDL team to play the same style we have our first team playing,” Leitch stated. “It doesn’t make sense to have the players getting familiar with a formation we never use at the professional level. We wouldn’t be able to adequately determine a player’s readiness to move up otherwise.”
The Fresno Fuego have had a strong following in the valley for years, and we here at OurSFSeals.com think there is a great opportunity for a rivalry to form. Some of the most passionate matches the SF Seals played were with the Fuego. The Earthquakes help bring the PDL play to a new level in the Central Valley, and Northern California. We’ve seen other sports do well in the Central Valley with their feeder baseball teams with great attendance, and Sacramento’s Republic FC USL Pro soccer team debuted this year.
Take a day, or make it a weekend, and head out to Turlock and take in some PDL soccer (SJ Earthquake PDL Schedule). Evaluate the players for yourself. See who you think will be the next MLS star, and keep an eye on the Earthquakes PDL team.
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