SEASIDE — United Soccer League (USL) announced Feb. 1 that its newest team, Monterey Bay Football Club, will make its home at California State University Monterey Bay’s Freeman Stadium in Seaside.
“We are excited at the opportunity to work with Monterey Bay FC and the USL in bringing world-class soccer to the Monterey Bay region,” said CSUMB President Eduardo M. Ochoa. “We look forward to hosting fans from Salinas Valley to Seaside to Santa Cruz and beyond.”
The league, headquartered in Tampa, Fla., has a national media partnership with ESPN. It’s comprised of 30 soccer clubs across the United States, divided between Eastern and Western conference, with California teams in the Oakland Roots SC and Sacramento Republic FC.
“We’re very excited to welcome Monterey Bay FC to the USL Championship,” said USL President Jake Edwards. “It’s a diverse and beautiful community that has a tremendous passion for soccer.”
Their newest club will invest millions of private dollars in renovating Freeman Stadium on the CSUMB campus and other existing facilities this summer. When completed, the venue’s capacity will be over 6,000 and ready for the 2022 season.
The development is expected to boost the region’s sports profile and attraction, increasing opportunities for the university’s students, and add recruiting power to the school’s athletics program.
“The shared use stadium will benefit students through training, competition and internships,” said CSUMB Athletics Director Kirby Garry. “It will bring people together on our campus as a gathering place. And game day will be fun and lively on a weekend night.”
Monterey Bay FC is led by Owner and Chairman Ray Beshoff, who alongside a dedicated group of local investors, is working with the community to craft and develop the club’s official colors and crest, which will be unveiled in the coming months following a series of public virtual events and listening sessions.
Beshoff, a Dublin, Ireland native, is a resident of Monterey Bay and has deep ties to the region.
“Over the years, I have seen the passion for soccer that exists in Monterey Bay. On behalf of the local investor group, we are honored to bring the world’s game at one of the highest professional levels to the region,” Beshoff said. “This is a club that will be committed to the community and our first priority will always be to listen to our fans. We will build this club and community with our fans and invest in retaining its talent and diversity, starting with revitalizing a stadium on the campus of Cal State Monterey Bay.”
The club’s soccer operations department will be headed up by two-time MLS Coach of the Year Frank Yallop, who also has championship coaching experience following stints with Phoenix Rising FC, Fresno FC and Las Vegas Lights FC. Yallop will serve as sporting director for the club.
Alongside Yallop’s honors at the coaching level, his pedigree includes two MLS Cup-winning runs in 2001 and 2003 with the San Jose Earthquakes, as well as a 2012 Supporters’ Shield mark in his second run with the Earthquakes.
“Northern California has always had a special place in my heart, going back to my days at the San Jose Earthquakes,” Yallop said. “I am once again humbled and honored to return to this special place and be working with the region’s soccer community — both to build the sport and to identify talent for the club’s inaugural squad.”
The club’s front office will be led by Mike DiGiulio, who will serve as president. DiGiulio has for over 25 years led some of the most successful auto dealerships in Northern California. DiGiulio will be applying his experience in building enthusiastic and high-performing teams and cultivating long-term partnerships to his role with the club.
For more information about Monterey Bay Football Club, visit montereybayfc.com.