In 21 days, Brian Perez will likely celebrate a milestone with his friends. But given what happened last month, the milestones might be just starting.
The Del Rey City Soccer Club was accepted last month into the National Premier Soccer League for the 2014 season. The Southern California soccer club has been under majority ownership by Perez for what will be five years come Feb. 7.
And the approval into the national league is arguably the team’s biggest move so far.
“Joining the league is thrilling,” said Perez, a Salinas native.
The NPSL is in the fourth division of U.S. Soccer. By being in the league, Del Rey City will be allowed to participate in national soccer events such as the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
The league said it is one of the fastest growing soccer leagues in the nation, with more than 50 teams under its umbrella. Del Rey City SC, based in Marina Del Rey, is scheduled to play in the West Region Southern Conference.
“We’re looking forward to bringing NPSL soccer to the Los Angeles area with the addition of Del Rey City SC,” NPSL Commissioner Michael Hitchcock said in a statement. “Del Rey City brings a passionate and dynamic ownership and management group to the NPSL family who will grow the game in their local community.”
It’s the soccer culture that Perez wants to bring to the west region of one of the largest cities in the country.
Perez grew up as a baseball fan and a baseball player but soon got involved in the day-to-day operations of soccer. Since then, he has been immersed in the soccer life.
Perez was the former head of Internet of operations for foxsoccer.com and several Fox Deportes outlets. He also is part of the investment group involved with the San Diego Flash.
He said he hopes others join him in celebrating the sport.
“Wherever I live, I want to build a soccer culture where I am,” Perez said. “Right now, we’re trying to build that soccer culture in West Los Angeles.”
Not only will he have help with the NPSL, he has help within his own ranks. Jorge Rodriguez is a co-owner of the team and head coach, Mark Miscavage is a co-owner and the operations director, and Nina Kiefer is the team treasurer.
Perez said he didn’t eye being a part of the NPSL at this time. Rather, the opportunity just fell into place and he rolled with it.
“I was planning on entering the league next season, but occurrences helped speed it up,” he said.
And even though things are going at a fast rate, he is not stressed out.
He has created a bond with the Loyola Marymount University men’s soccer program in helping get the word out about the soccer club. Many of the current and former Del Rey City SC players have graduated from Loyola Marymount.
The other co-owners have plenty of soccer experience as well. Rodriguez is the all-time leading scorer at University High in Mid-City Los Angeles. He also started at Loyola Marymount for four years and was a three-time West Coast Conference honoree. Miscavage runs the Mad Soccer Show podcast and has been a former soccer player and official. He, too, is a Loyola Marymount alum.
The goal now is to put together the team of players for the 2014 season. The team is scheduled to have open tryouts on Jan. 25 and Feb. 1. The tryout is not limited to Southern California residents. Yes, if you have the skills, you can head down there and make a bid to be on the team.
After choosing the players, the team will compete in the U.S. Open qualifying rounds in March. The 2014 NPSL season is set to start in April.
Del Rey City, with its black and gold color scheme, will take on teams from San Diego, Orange County, the Antelope Valley and Las Vegas within its own division.
For information on tryouts, log onto delreycity.com.
Glenn Cravens is a sports reporter for The Salinas Californian. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 754-4267. Follow him on Twitter at @glenn_salnews.
THIS ARTICLE IS FROM THE SALINAS CALIFORNIAN : http://www.thecalifornian.com/story/news/2014/01/17/glenn-cravens-salinas-native-perez-brings-soccer-team-into-national-league/4552151/