Moving under the wing of a nationally recognized organization, a local youth soccer select club hopes the change can keep area talent playing closer to home.
CTX Flash, a Kyle area soccer club organization, will become an affiliate team under Surf Cup Sports, out of San Diego, California. The Flash, which will remain based in Kyle, will be rebranded as Central Texas Surf and will service multiple cities between Austin and San Antonio.
“We are excited to bring extended programming to Central Texas and we are thrilled that our San Antonio team has found a like-minded partner that is as dedicated to their players’ development pathway,” said Brian Enge, CEO of Surf Sports in a statement.
Playing with the Surf organization, which has 30 clubs across the country and two in Texas, CTX will find resources to field state and regional teams, said Scott Moore, CTX Surf director of coaching. In addition, the rebranding could assist in keeping local players in Hays County from traveling to larger cities to compete.
Oftentimes, players who seek to play select soccer, especially at higher levels, travel to Austin, San Antonio or beyond due to the lack of clubs in the area. The cost of travel, along with the cost to compete in select leagues, can be a barrier for players and their families. Moore said athletes could pay as much as $3,000 per year to play in some select leagues; Surf aims to charge in the range of $1,000 to play.
“It’s kind of high, but kids in our area are limited due to cost,” Moore said.
As a result, many select leagues experience a high dropout rate when players reach 13 years old, which is the timeframe athletes can compete for free in high school.
Moore said he supports both high school and club soccer as they can be mutually beneficial. The ultimate goal for both high school and club soccer teams is to help players obtain college scholarships, Moore said.
However, players often receive more exposure to college coaches and recruiters at the club level than through high school due to the higher level of play.
“It’s tough to get scholarships without club soccer,” Moore said.
But as sports across the globe continues their hiatus due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, club soccer leagues are waiting to see what happens next. Moore said CTX Surf will continue to follow guidelines set by the state when it comes to possibly restarting play later this summer.
In the interim, players are using apps to improve the skills and compete against their teammates. Moore said CTX coaches are also posting motivational videos to their teams to keep up morale.
“Our big goal is the retention of our current players,” Moore said.
It could also change the way coaches recruit and assess players on their rosters. Coaches could ask players to send them videos of past games for review.
However it’s done, Moore said players should try out different clubs and find out what works for them.
“For the players, it’s super important to find a coach they can grow with and teammates they can play with,” Moore said.