Rancho Santa Fe Youth Soccer History
Rancho Santa Fe Youth Soccer’s roots go back 35 years to the middle of the 1970’s when a small group of Rancho Santa Fe residents, men filled a with a passion for a game of a rather foreign nature, brought together 27 boys at the Rancho Santa Fe Community Center to teach the game of SOCCER. These founders understood that, more than any other sport, soccer could at once bring together a small community and immerse that community in the richest spectrum of the world’s cultures. Back then, teams were loosely formed among those who showed up to play. Although they were all currently living in Rancho Santa Fe, they originally came from different parts of the country, and in many cases from other countries; they spoke with different accents, had different faiths, and represented different generations. But, as they gathered each week, they shared one common denominator: soccer. The old and young players would gather to watch the game, talk about the game, and play the game, and with that, the Rancho Santa Fe community was changed forever.
As word spread of these gatherings and the passion for the game spread, the ever-increasing numbers required more fields on which to play. The community came together and with their bare hands and the ingenuity peaked by necessity, the members developed an overgrown, water soaked thicket into what is still one of Rancho’s finest pitches. More could now come to watch, talk, play and learn about the game known to most of the world as football.
And come they did! From the mid-1970’s to the mid-1990’s, Rancho Santa Fe Youth Soccer grew ten-fold. There were over 300 players of all different ages and athletic abilities turning up at the pitch each week to learn about the game. It seemed the time had come to bring in professional training and to organize the teams into levels of play that would allow all players to learn and play the game to the best of their abilities, and develop the passion for the game throughout the community.
Rancho Santa Fe Youth Soccer brought in Malcolm Tovey, a young Brit who had developed his passion for the game while growing up in Bristol, England and who for the last 16-years had been the head of the Surf Soccer program. With Malcolm at the helm, Rancho Santa Fe Youth Soccer brought together a great staff of coaches and trainers who share not only the skills and talent to coach at the highest level but a true passion for the game.
Since this time Rancho Santa Fe Youth Soccer has flourished with more than 1,000 children ages 4-18 playing throughout the year. This includes boys and girls of all abilities; from 5 year-olds experiencing their first touch on the ball to an 18 year old competing for the National championship. But, despite the tremendous growth, soccer in Rancho Santa Fe continues to not only bring together the community of Rancho Santa Fe but to also introduce its girls and boys to the world’s rich diversity of cultural and ethnic heritages.
Indeed, much of this continued success has been achieved because Rancho Fe Youth Soccer has stayed in touch with its roots by continuing to feed off the passion of its founders. This passion continues to flourish as many of the founders continue to gather regularly at the pitch to watch the game, talk about the game, and even play the game. For them, and for thousands who have been a part of Rancho Fe Youth Soccer over the last few decades, soccer is more than a game.