SAN DIEGO — Excitement is kicking around San Diego youth soccer teams as the 30th league franchise Major League Soccer team is officially announced in San Diego. League play begins in 2025 at Snapdragon Stadium.
“The goal is to be a professional soccer player,” said Jerry Ruiz, a young soccer player on Coronado FC.
Brian Enge, executive director of Surf Sports, says that youth sports are a big deal in San Diego, but youth soccer, specifically, is very important as there’s more than 20,000 kids playing soccer in San Diego County.
The new MLS team is giving players more role models in their own backyard, Enge added.
“You just see how important having local role models are, you see it with the Wave every game, there are 5-year-old girls with banners screaming at the top of their lungs for their idols like Alex Morgan, it’s inspiring for those kids and it’s really going to change the way youth players act and think today,” Enge said.
With the San Diego Wave FC and Loyal, young soccer stars in San Diego have already had great professional soccer players.
“It’s huge because the pathway here in San Diego shifts,” Coronado FC Director Jerry Ruiz said.
Ruiz says he grew up in close proximity to a professional team and played professionally for a short time. So this announcement is full circle, or an “around the world” moment, as his kids are playing soccer and looking up to soccer professionals in San Diego.
“To be closer to a professional team is great, it’s inspiring for them,” Ruiz said.