San Mateo County now has its own professional sports team — and it's in Redwood City!
On Thursday, the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) admitted the Bay Cities Football Club into the organization making the soccer team San Mateo County's first professional sports team, according to an organization press release. The men's and women's teams kick off their inaugural season in March 2022.
"All our hard work and effort has paid off. We are ecstatic to join NISA and excited for the upcoming season," said club President Anders Perez in a statement. "We are building a grassroots organization that will use the power of soccer to unite and inspire our community."
In a video call with the Pulse, Perez, who is also the general manager at Juventus Academy Silicon Valley, a soccer coaching and training program for youth, said the club chose Redwood City because the city is home to an abundance of great soccer players, and it plans to provide those players an opportunity to "fulfill their dream, both in boys and girls."
"There is a gap," he said. "... A lot of members of this community are having to travel outside to try to have an opportunity. They have nothing being provided for them here."
Making their way to the top of the professional leagues is not easy, Perez added.
"We fill that gap to add another layer to their professional development," he said.
As for the women's side of things, there is no opportunity, "so we create that first one for them," Perez said.
Bay Cities FC will make the 3,500-seat Sequoia High School Stadium in downtown Redwood City its home base, according to a news release.
And so far, the reception from the public and the Redwood City City Council has been positive, Perez said. Bay Cities FC had an average attendance of over 600 people per match during the 2021 Summer Tour, he said.
In a statement, NISA Executive Vice President Josh Prutch said that the organization was excited "to see how this Northern California club continues to galvanize the community and brings opportunity for rivalry to NISA fans."
The San Jose Earthquakes are currently the closest professional soccer team to Redwood City.
For more information on NISA, visit nisasoccer.com.