The Santa Ana Winds of the National Premier Soccer League rebranded themselves as the Fullerton Rangers for the upcoming 2012 NPSL season. The rationale behind the move is the opportunity to tap into the young talent pool of the reputable Fullerton Rangers academy. The Fullerton Rangers U-15 squad recently won the Dallas Cup, which is a well-known international youth tournament.
The challenge for the Fullerton Rangers pro side is solidifying Fullerton as their home, it seems. Their first match for the 2012 season will be held at Santa Ana Stadium against FC Hasental. It’s unclear whether the Rangers will face scheduling conflicts at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Stadium, where they’re supposed to play, with another new pro side, the LA Blues of the USL PRO league.
The former Santa Ana Winds FC went the route of the Orange County Blue Star, a club that never really established itself firmly and truthfully in Santa Ana. It was an ill-fated project to begin with due to the lack of a well-planned vertical structure combining a youth academy and a professional side using one brand. The ownership wasn’t all that well established or identified with Santa Ana either apparently. The project overall was seemingly an attempt to capitalize on the Santa Ana soccer market, one coveted by some pro clubs and still an option for a potential Chivas USA relocation, but it was never a product of here. It never had Santa Ana grassroots.
Saint City Soccer is a new blog and category here at the Santa Ana Sentinel. After all, this is a soccer town. And, it turns out that there a bunch of Galaxy fans here. They have an officially recognized Galaxy pub over at The Olde Ship.
There’s much to say and discuss, whether it’s about the Santa Ana Winds’ upcoming season in the National Premier Soccer League, or the Santa Ana College Dons and their next playoff run, or why the divide between Chivas USA and Galaxy supporters. Truly, the LA “Super Clásico” or “Clásico angelino” rivalry spills into Santa Ana.
No, this isn’t about Chivas USA moving to Santa Ana. Instead, their sister club Chivas de Guadalajara of Mexico, will send their U-20 (under 20 years of age) team to Santa Ana for a friendly match against the Santa Ana Winds of the National Premier Soccer League on December 10th at Eddie West Field in Downtown Santa Ana at 7 pm.
Leonel López, a writer for the Santa Ana Winds Football (soccer) Club reports that Santa Ana College soccer coach José Vásquez will coach the Winds for their 2012 season in the National Premier Soccer League.
The NPSL is experiencing growth nationwide for a consecutive year. The Winds will be joined by the newcoming Fullerton Rangers club that is known for their youth academy.
Vásquez led the SAC Dons to eighteen consecutive Orange Empire Conference league titles as an assistant and head coach. SAC is one of the most reputable teams in the state and nation and enters the playoffs against Rio Hondo College on Saturday, November 19 in an away match.
For more on this story see Santa Ana Winds FC.
From PRLog (prlog.org)
Santa Ana, CA–May 21, 2011–Winds FC is victorious once again with a sixth straight win on a very hot and sunny day in Downtown Santa Ana. Real San Jose FC arrived at Eddie West Field at Santa Ana Stadium with one thing in mind and that was to drive back with a win. Real San Jose took the field with a very aggressive formation but the tempo of the match was established by Santa Ana. The Winds charged numerous times with strikers forcing San Jose defenders to work extra hard to clear the ball.
Mike Piechota broke the defense with a perfectly assisted ball to his twin brother Greg Piechota taking on the Real San Jose’s goalkeeper doing his best to stop a powerful ground shot on the 7th minute to unlock the score in favor of Santa Ana. Soon after the goal the Winds felt the heat of the sun this being their first time playing a match at 12:00 noon. The visitors from the North took advantage of this gap in the Winds concentration to finally create some ball movement of their own and with a nicely fed ball to San Jose striker George Mayer taking on Winds goalkeeper Juan Rodriguez that stood up to the challenge deflecting a laser ground shot with his leg to send the ball for a corner kick.
Coach Raul Ruiz said, “Our team took the field very determined to take the win but the heat was truly a factor this being the first time our team was exposed to the elements. The players took the foot off the pedal giving San Jose the advantage for a few minutes.” The second half saw some changes for both teams. One of them was on Santa Ana’s goal sending Tony Flores to guard the Winds’s lead. With the addition of midfielder Carlos Godinez, the Winds seemed to have more depth and ball movement. The 62nd minute finally saw the score move again with a perfect ball assisted by Carlos godinez to Adan Coronado on the left flank who put the Winds ahead 2-0 with a powerful left-footed shot. Santa Ana Winds FC travels for the first time this season to the Bay area to pay a visit to the Bay Area Ambassadors on Saturday, May 28th.
– Santa Ana Winds FC Press Department
DOWNTOWN. Santa Ana Winds FC of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) came close to qualifying for the US Open Cup, the oldest soccer tournament in the United States that involves the top leagues in the country including Major League Soccer (MLS), United Soccer Leagues (USL PRO), the North American Soccer League (NASL) and the NPSL.
The NPSL is a robust league comprised of six divisions competing nationwide, for a total of thirty seven teams. The Santa Ana Winds compete in the West / Flight Southwest division with the San Diego Flash, San Diego Boca FC, Rattlers FC of Lancaster and FC Hasental of the San Fernando Valley. The club is also paired up with the West / Flight Northwest divisions teams of Hollywood United, Sonoma County Sol, Bay Area Ambassadors and Real San José.
The NPSL was allowed four teams with the best record after seven games to qualify for the US Open Cup, which is run by the United States Soccer Federation. The best team in each NPSL division earns a berth.
Santa Ana came very close to qualifying, they lost their opening game against the eventual qualifying team Hollywood United 1-0 at Centennial Park in Santa Ana. That first game made all of the difference and tipped the division in Hollywood’s favor. Hollywood (7, 1, 0) and Santa Ana (5, 0, 1) are currently the top two teams in the West, both are offensive powerhouses though Hollywood has been pummeling the competition with the exception of Santa Ana. Click here for team info and the rest of the western standings.
The Santa Ana Winds next play Real San Jose on Saturday, May 21 at Santa Ana Stadium at 12:00 pm. The Chivas USA and LA Galaxy youth academies square off later on that day at 5 pm Santa Ana Stadium.
ABOUT SANTA ANA WINDS FC
A new addition to the NPSL, the club was founded in 2009 and has played locally the past few years. This is the club’s first campaign to qualify for the US Open Cup.
ABOUT THE NPSL
The NPSL is sanctioned by the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) as an affiliate of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the ruling body for soccer in the United States and FIFA the world’s ruling body for soccer. The NPSL operates and is managed as a team run league. The structure of the league will allow each participating team to have one vote on the executive committee. Each team is owned and operated individually, and is responsible for maintaining league minimum standards and for raising its own operating cash. The existing team owners, that comprise the league management team, approve all new teams who desire to join the league.