Cal South, the official youth and adult state soccer association for Southern California, is proud to announce Cal South PRO+, the next evolution of player identification and development in the United States.
PRO+ combines all of Cal South's current and future elite player development initiatives and places them under one integrated structure. With the support of Nike, the areas of emphasis for PRO+ are the identification, development, inclusion and advancement of the top male and female soccer players in Southern California.
"We are incredibly proud of our history of success in placing players into the national team programs and winning national championships, but this is about taking a strong program and making it even better, said Steve Hoffman, Cal South's Director of Coaching and Player Development. "One of the great strengths of the PRO+ program is that it allows us to concentrate our resources on Southern California. Our camps and pools will be held here with U.S. Soccer scouts and coaches coming to see, evaluate and work with our players at local facilities. This also allows us to expand our professional scouting system and PRO+ will now involve more players, including those from underserved communities. Players that might have been missed or excluded will now be seen and included."
"We are thrilled to announce the launch of the PRO+ enterprise and excited about the prospects it represents for our players," says Cal South President Johnnie Garza. "PRO+ signifies a strategic shift on the part of Cal South to evolve our Elite Player Identification and Development model for the future. It is a progressive initiative which is adaptive for the ever changing soccer environment our players and their families are currently facing. It leverages our core strength of geography, populace and infrastructure to enable players in their pursuit of soccer opportunities while mitigating the barriers and burdens associated with travel costs and other expenses."
Garza states that PRO+ will open doors. "With the adoption of PRO+, Cal South is now positioned to provide diverse soccer opportunities to players not previously assessable to them. Essentially, it is an initiative inspired by our primary customer: the soccer player. PRO+ is part of Cal South's vision for the future. It will allow us to launch into multiple quadrants and provide practical alternatives and options for our player membership. I am especially excited by the outreach opportunities we envision within our Inclusion component as we advance the program."
The first PRO+ event is the PRO+ Invitational Tournament on Memorial Day Weekend. Elite boys and girls age group state teams will be competing.
The PRO+ program expands upon the player ID and development base established in the Cal South Olympic Development Program. ODP was created in 1977 to identify players for national age group pools and teams, as well as provide high level training. As youth soccer has grown in the U.S., opportunities outside of ODP have emerged for identification and advancement. PRO+ was created to strategically optimize all opportunities for our players. ODP will be one part of that integrated structure.
Cal South PRO+ state teams will continue to compete in US Youth Soccer ODP regional and national championship tournaments. Cal South has won more National and Regional ODP championships than any other state association. PRO+ teams will continue that tradition.
Cal South has a long tradition of providing players to the Men's and Women's National Teams these players have played in the World Cup and Olympic games. Players such as Marcelo Balboa, Paul Caligiuri, Cobi Jones, Joe-Max Moore, Eric Wynalda, Jovan Kirovski, Landon Donovan, Shannon Boxx, John O'Brien, Chad Marshall , Marvel Wynne, Maurice Edu, Chris Seitz, Robbie Rogers, Joy Fawcett, Rachel Buehler, Julie Foudy, Carin Jennings, Danesha Adams, Amy Rodriguez, Jonathan Bornstein, Sacha Kljestan and Angie Woznuk have all been a part of the Cal South ODP Program at one point in their soccer careers.
At Cal South, we feel the PRO+ program serves to compliment our club programs as a means of giving the player an opportunity to develop. Steve Hoffman, Cal South's Director of Coaching Education and Player Development, has stated many times that he believes this success is built solidly upon the fantastic job that Cal South's club coaches have done in initially developing players.
• Development as a player via training and playing with the best players in your own age group
• Quality instruction from nationally licensed coaches
• Quality competition through games against other state association ODP, Regional and National Teams, and international teams
• Exposure to National and Regional Team coaches
• The opportunity to represent one's state, region or country in competition
• High-level exposure to college coaches
• The opportunity to compete for Regional and National Championships