Alta California Sol, a soccer club in Santa Barbara, is joining the United Premier Soccer League men’s competition and will begin playing in the spring of 2019, the league announced.
The club is finalizing its home venue and will announce tryout dates and its upcoming game schedule at a later date.
“We’ll be holding tryouts in January,” said Daniel Torres, director of soccer operations for the club. “Hopefully, most are from the area. There’s plenty of talent on our college and high school teams that we believe we can put together a competitive team.
Torres, who played soccer at Santa Barbara High and Westmont College and coached boys soccer at Carpinteria, Laguna Blanca and San Marcos (he took Carpinteria and Laguna Blanca to the CIF Division Finals), sees Alta California Sol has a stepping stone for players to the professional ranks.
“We will be hosting pro combines where we will invite pro scouts and coaches from the U.S. and Mexico,” he said.
The men’s team is the next step for Sol Soccer Club, which features five girls teams (2003s-’07s) in the Coast Soccer League (CSL) and hosts a 5v5 youth league and a number of free clinics for girls and boys in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
Alta California Sol will begin play in the UPSL Championship Western Conference SoCal North Division.
Gary Brunner, the UPSL Western Conference Operations manager said in a statement: “Santa Barbara is such a terrific market and it’s great to see Alta California Sol join the UPSL.
“Sol Soccer Club Executive Director d’Alary Dalton has put together a strong youth club and this is an exciting move for Sol Soccer Club as it sets out to grow into the Pro Development arena. Good luck to Dr. Dalton and Sol Soccer Club as they prepare for the 2019 spring season.”
Dalton, a Santa Barbara resident who is originally from Sante Fe, N.M., founded Sol Soccer Club in 2011. She has a doctorate in Education from Mills College in Oakland. She holds a United States Soccer Federation class ‘A’ coaching license and a NSCAA Advanced National diploma.
“The development of Alta California Sol is a dream come true for me,” she said in a statement. “I’ve been actively working to develop a top-to-bottom club that bridges the youth to professional ranks. We are going to build a successful club that is something that our community can enthusiastically support. We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the UPSL.”
The UPSL was formed in 2011 and currently includes more than 300 teams in 32 states. Each UPSL team is individually owned and operated, and is responsible for maintaining either UPSL Pro Premier Division or Championship Division minimum standards.
UPSL teams are all eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup qualifying rounds through the league’s affiliation with the U.S. Soccer Federation and the United States Adult Soccer Association.