Spotlight Profile: Pacific Soccer Club
While the Pacific Soccer Club proudly upholds the traditions of sportsmanship and inclusiveness of AYSO, that doesn’t mean it sacrifices any dreams of developing young players to become the very best they can be.
Since PSC was founded 16 years ago as part of a third, elite Club-style tier to the AYSO organization, it has grown to involve more than 500 boys and girls in Southern California playing in 35 teams from San Clemente to East Los Angeles.
Playing in the CSL against some of SoCal’s best club sides, the most committed and gifted AYSO players get the opportunity to prove themselves without leaving the soccer organization many have grown up with.
They do get professional trainers, many of them flown over from the UK, and all of the perks of club soccer.
What they do not have to worry about is being starved of playing time - PSC upholds the AYSO doctrine of guaranteeing at least one half of a game for every player - and parents do not have to fork out a small fortune for their children to play. PSC teams usually charge between $1,000 to $1,100 a year to cover costs such as uniforms, referee and training fees.
Sportsmanship isn’t just encouraged, it is expected, just as it is across the AYSO network.
“Our objective is player development,” says PSC President Bruce Bricks. “And the best way to develop players is to allow them to play the game.
“Parents are shocked when I tell them their players will be involved in at least half of every game. Their kids may be playing 5 or 10 minutes for their old club teams. We have 15-person rosters. We don’t need 16 to 18 players on every team just to put more money in the club’s pockets.
“Some parents believe the promises of low fees or guarantees that their kids will be able to get college scholarships. Unfortunately, by the time they recognize the reality of the situation, it is often too late to turn back or they don’t want to admit they’ve made a mistake.
“We are not in the business of making a lot of money - we charge just enough to cover our costs.”
Since Bruce and PSC Administrator Lee Eichenbaum took over the reins in 2012 the club has grown from 9 teams to 35.
But the growth hasn’t changed their outlook or their determination to play the beautiful game the right way.
A recent survey found that PSC clubs averaged 2 points a game (a yellow card = 1 point and a red = 2 points) while some clubs averaged as many as 9.79 points per game.
“We want players to stick with us and develop with us, but we understand that if you have a young Landon Donovan who wants to play at a higher level then we would encourage and promote that,” said Bruce. “But I explain to parents that we do have professional trainers and we seek to develop our players to the best of their ability.”
Here, Bruce explains more for our football.com Q&A:
1. Can you sum up your soccer philosophy in one sentence?
We want our coaches to encourage play from the back, following the US Soccer Initiative. We don’t want our players just booting the ball up the field.
2. What are the most important attributes you look for in a young player?
We are looking for players who are conscientious and want to develop. We don’t just want them to be better players, we also want them to be better citizens.
3. Who is/was your favorite pro player and pro team?
Lionel Messi and Barcelona.
4. In one sentence, sum up your own background in soccer?
I have never played but I have been a referee for 30 years and have been involved in administrating the game at AYSO, club and high school level. I am a referee assessor and instructor and evaluator. I have also taken coaching courses, which have helped me as a referee to judge situations.
5. What’s the best advice you can offer to a youth player?
If they are really interested in growing and developing they should work with a good coach or trainer they like to work with and take it seriously.
CITIES AND COMMUNITIES SERVED BY PACIFIC SOCCER CLUB
AYSO AREA E: Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Artesia, Belmont Shore, Brea, Buena Park, Cerritos, Cypress, E. Lakewood, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Hawaiian Gardens, Huntington Beach, La Habra, La Palma, Long Beach, Los Alamitos, Los Altos, Norwalk, Placentia, Rossmoor, Seal Beach, Stanton, Westminster, Whittier
AYSO AREA K: Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Orange, Westminster
AYSO AREA L: Aliso Viejo, Capistrano Beach, Dana Point, Dove Canyon, Foothill Ranch, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Las Flores, Mission Viejo, Modjeska Canyon, Monarch Beach, Palisades, Portola Hills, Rancho Cielo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Robinson Ranch, San Clemente, Silverado Canyon, Trabuco Canyon, Trabuco Highlands, Wagon Wheel, Aliso Viejo, Alta Capistrano, Coto De Caza, El Toro, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, San Juan Capistrano
AYSO AREA Q: Corona del Mar, Tustin, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Yorba Linda
AYSO AREA Z: Downey, Lakewood, Long Beach, Huntington Park, Pico Rivera, South Gate, Wilmington, Montebello, Lynwood, East Los Angeles, Avalon, Compton