It’s difficult if not nearly impossible to organize soccer in Santa Ana. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a shot. The city invested in a soccer complex years ago, and that’s a good thing, but more can be done to organize the sport in the city. Gerardo Mouet, who is the Santa Ana Parks & Recreation Director said some years back that leagues fought over use of the complex and fields in general, for example.
I propose the creation of a municipal league, let’s call it the Santa Ana “M League,” that will be conformed of neighborhood or park soccer teams. The clubs will carry the names of the parks and or neighborhood associations. Santa Ana could have from 35 to 40 clubs based on just parks alone, that is, if clubs were to be named after the parks. Now, some park or neighborhood names lend themselves more for club names, and that’s to be determined. The city could have more if the high schools and college got into the mix. The teams could be organized by region or conference, with a city playoff and championship.
Park and Field Use, Joint Use
The proposed clubs could practice at their nearest parks and have league games at the city’s larger, or soccer dedicated, venues like the complex at Centennial Park, Santa Ana College, Thornton Park, the new SAUSD Sports Complex and stadium, and Santa Ana Stadium. Segerstrom HS has a pretty nice stadium but it’s not for joint use with the city, as of the time of this writing. These venues could hold simultaneous matches during the soccer season/s.
Proposed Club / Park Names
Centennial Park FC
Parque Artesia FC
Windsor Park SC
Jerome Park SC
Memorial Park AC
Santa Anita FC
Birch Park SC (Or Santa Ana Downtown SC, or Sasscer Park SC)
Fisher Park SC
These are just some ideas for club names. More can be determined by residents / players.
Why Name Clubs after Parks or Neighborhood Associations?
Naming the clubs after the parks promotes civic pride. It fosters true Santa Ana identities in contrast to names like Pumas Santa Ana, Atlas and others. These parks and neighborhoods are who we are, the club names must be reflective of the areas of the city they represent.
The SNA Municipal League could be organized by age group, particularly from young adults to adults, for boys, girls, men and women. The “M Leauge” could provide an outlet where other leagues stop to offer high school kids opportunities to play. Local leagues like the Coast Soccer League or AYSO, and the like, cap off at offering team play up to 18 years of age. The M League could provide a service in the form of more playing opportunities for that crucial part of a young person’s development, their adolescence, and it could deter them from idleness or worse things and influences.
The Golden City Cup / Copa Santa Ana
The league could hold invitationals for other teams to compete in special tournaments, and it could have a city cup. I propose naming it the Golden City Cup AND Copa Santa Ana. The trophy should bear both names.