Daytona Soccer Club has been unveiled as the latest member of USL League Two ahead of the 2019 season. The club will compete in the Southeast division during their first season
Why Daytona Beach? Demographics:
The Volusia county metropolitan area has over half a million people and is the home several Colleges Bethune–Cookman University, Daytona State… Daytona Beach, is the most famous beach in the world as well as the headquarters of NASCAR and minor league baseball team the Daytona Tortugas. While places like Deltona that are mostly committed Orlando City fans, the rest of the county has no avid pro-soccer identity and metropolitan areas such as Port Orange, New Smyrna Beach, Ormond Beach, Deland, and beyond the county Ocala, Palm Coast, St Augustine and Titusville.
Initially I thought that pro-soccer in Daytona wouldn’t stick. A matter of fact I was discussing with the the president of a youth soccer club just last week and we both agreed that something like this wouldn’t last more than two seasons before it folded. But, looking closer into this project I have to admit I was wrong!
It looks like the president of the soon-to-be Daytona Soccer Club Steve Hutton did his homework and looking at the balance sheet he may have all his pieces already put in place. Hutton is not new to the soccer world. He started off nearly 30 years ago in Roanoke Virginia as a head coach at the local soccer club, he then moved to Georgia where for 11 years was the Dir. of player development at AFC Lightning and since then has coached at all youth levels. Hutton then moved to pro-soccer in 2005 becoming the game day operations director for the Atlanta Silverbacks and is now the the CEO of the Transatlantic Sports Group an organization that connects players and clubs in the US with Players and clubs in Europe. So, it may seem he knows a few things in this sport. Hutton is surrounding himself with directors from the MLS, one is Todd Eason and will cover the position of the clubs general manager.
It is my understanding that the Daytona Soccer Club has brought in as partners the DME Sports owned by the Panaggio brothers. The DME is located in Daytona Beach and is the leader in Basketball in Central Florida, it also has a rapidly growing volleyball program that some of our students participate in and has ultimately added Lacrosse to their already large and successful curriculum. The DME however in the past has not had much luck with their soccer program, ultimately it had become flat and the program was closed. However, the DME teaming up with the Daytona Soccer Club brings to the table the largest sports stadium in the area, a quality and professional facility, 10,000 seats, it is a tremendous asset for any club, and with Daytona’s aspirations for growing its soccer following in the local community it sure could to be a success.
OK, so we now know them who are behind the scenes, let’s take a closer look at the technical staff. Ditched the British coach, the Daytona SC has brought in from Germany Coach Andreas Bergman, a short pro player career 1982-87. Bergmann played in his career as Midfielder for FC Köln, Wuppertaler SV, Bonner SC and VfB Remscheid, while his coaching career has been successfully ongoing since 1989, coaching in some of Germany’s top soccer clubs. Bergmann is without doubt the most qualified coach in all the USL2, this was a great move on behalf of the administration.
To assist Bergman Daytona SC selected Ricardo Montoya a USSF A license holder with coaching experience with both the Atlanta Silverbacks and Atlanta United.
Tryouts are ongoing and the final selections of the players has not yet been made (one of our academy students is among them). However, based on the selection of the final 22 players will be the key to the success of this newborn team, however taking a look at the coaches backgrounds I think that the club is in very good hands.
USL 2 have already posted this upcoming seasons schedule for the Southern Conference. Daytona will play a total of 14 games from May through July. 7 home games that I hope to find time to go and watch with my 8 year old son.