OCEANSIDE — The Soccer Club of Oceanside celebrated its opening day with a parade of more than 100 teams, a soccer ball kick out by City Council members, a flag salute to the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, and first day games at Mance Buchanon Park on Aug. 23.
This is the first year all 77 recreation teams and 25 competitive teams share the same location to play and practice. In the 32 years the club has coached youth soccer, recreation and competitive league games have been split at different sites creating a lot of driving across town for parents and a disconnect between the two leagues, Tina Ortiz, president of the Soccer Club of Oceanside, said.
This year all teams share the six fields at the recently opened Mance Buchanon Park. “We’re finally home,” Ortiz said.
The well-manicured fields at the park are a far cry from the school fields the club played on last year. “They’re 9 million times better,” John Schubert, coach of the Tigers ten and under team, said. “There are no potholes, they are well drained and have good quality grass.”
The park is large enough to accommodate all Saturday games.
“There are 120 teams here together today,” Frank Zimmerman, director of coaching, said. “That’s the big thing. We’re one big happy family.”
Teams to watch, that are anticipated to have a stellar season this year, include the girls under 10, girls under 13, boys under 16, and boys under 19 teams, Zimmerman said.
See video from opening day of The Soccer Club of Oceanside at www.coastnewsgroup.com.