Coast Soccer League Update- Jan. 15th, 2021
Jan 15, 2021 Update:
Everyone in Southern California is now dealing with the increased restrictions imposed by the spike in the number of COVID cases. For those of us who anxiously await the opportunity to take the field, the possibility that games will be delayed until March or April is disappointing. Despite the delay CSL remains committed to playing games as soon as possible knowing that everyone is anxious to get going. Once we see a pathway that will allow us all to return to play safely, a schedule will be made available to everyone. Hopefully, we shall see an improvement in the outlook in the coming weeks.
The league does plan on opening applications for the Fall 2021 season as usual in April. Clubs who have submitted payment for the 2020 season will be given a full credit for these fees if we do not have any games this Spring. If the upcoming season is shortened then a proration of fees will be made, and the unused portion credited to the 2021 fees. There will be no fee increase – (CSL is proud to be able to hold the fees for the 15th year in a row.)
At the recent town hall held by CalSouth, questions arose about the Southern California Developmental Soccer League (SCDSL) leaving CalSouth.
Coast Soccer League would like to address this development.
Coast Soccer League (CSL) has operated for almost 50 years and over that time frame it grew both organically and by merging with other local leagues. This benefitted all concerned as it led to easier scheduling, better field utilization and the great benefit of less travel for the newer teams. By having all the clubs playing under one circuit, Clubs could then grow by offering a more local playing experience for those teams just starting out – allowing them to branch out from only having just a few all-star travelling teams.
Youth soccer benefitted; and we saw the number of players, clubs and team grow exponentially.
With the arrival of US Club Soccer (a competing player registration organization to Cal South), came a period of disruption with new Leagues springing up almost every year, each claiming to be more special than the last. The result has been more travel, increased costs for families, and a stress on the demand for quality referees and fields.
Since the recent demise of the US Soccer’s Development Academy, the chief protagonists in the ongoing fracturing of youth soccer are now a few of the local Elite Club National League (ECNL) clubs which are also in turn administering the SCDSL. They recently announced they would be leaving CalSouth and in turn be sanctioned by US Club Soccer. This was cynically thrust on their members with no vote (in contravention of their Bylaws) by the leaders whose top teams do not even participate in the very league they are ostensibly managing. They are asking their C and D teams to leave the governing body (CalSouth) and forgo playing in State Cup, participating in ODP, California Regional League etc. causing a further fracturing of the marketplace as those teams will no longer have the chance to play CSL or Presidio Soccer League teams.
Not a tough choice for these clubs given the fact this does not impact their elite teams. However, for those SCDSL clubs who are not a part of the ECNL, their top teams are now forced to accept further limits on their playing options.
The presentation to the member clubs stated they were going to mirror some of the programs already now provided by CalSouth.
While we have reason to be skeptical that these promises will be upheld. One suggestion being presented is the idea of the league running “ID2” player identification camps. Such an event would serve as a recruiting bonanza for those clubs operating teams in the ECNL. The ODP program run by CalSouth identifies players for the ODP teams who play ODP teams from other States. Since the clubs who oversee the operation of the SCDSL do not have their top teams playing in the SCDSL, the “ID2” player identification camps would allow the top clubs to recruit players to their ECNL teams as the other participating clubs cannot play in ECNL given that it is a “closed circuit”.
In the ten years that the SCDSL has been in existence the league has never attempted to help with Referee Recruitment and Retention. The same is true for US Club. With the growth in the game this lack of commitment has placed a strain on the availability of referees. The only organizations that have consistently done so are CSL – and Calsouth. To think that the league will NOW do what is good for the game is a far reach.
CalSouth has also supported many successful efforts in getting local soccer fields developed. The SCDSL has shown a preference to drive revenue for a few select sites that appear to mostly benefit Surf SC.
SCDSL has also announced they would be running a “State Cup” – a misnomer since US Club does not sanction States but only individual leagues – truly this new event is at best a League Cup – but one that requires an increase in fees to $1100 a team! The SCDSL had the opportunity to emulate CSL during the last decade by offering matching services but chose not to. This new direction is not a sudden enlightenment, but a repackaging designed to drive a sharp increase of revenue for the founding few.
CSL will continue (with no fee increase) to provide its League, (with League Cup included at no extra charge) as a better gaming experience, with the use of CSL’s industry leading technology, a scheduling program with referee scheduling integration, proprietary app with mobile editing, push notifications, more dynamic and meaningful games, a reputation for treating clubs fairly with no league politics, team-based results and standings and a long history of consistent performance.
CSL believes that the soccer community is better served by working together and not by trying to further isolate from the surrounding clubs, teams, and players. We believe this change may offer CSL clubs the opportunity to grow their membership, by highlighting to teams the loss of choice and greater risks that this new development presents and we would welcome them to join your club this year.
At CSL we take pride in delivering a superior service for our members, and the enforced pause in the game created by the pandemic has heightened our commitment for 2021.
We look forward to getting back to the fields!
I am available to address any questions regarding this or any other League matters.