SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Since its establishment last year, the San Diego Loyal has been all about commitment to the San Diego community. Their next mission is to help local youth players fulfill their soccer dreams.
In an effort to make San Diego the soccer capital of North America, the Loyal are creating a new part-time youth development program called "Loyal Select."
"We will be out looking for the best players in San Diego, regardless of club," says Matt Hall, Assistant Coach of the Loyal. "They will come and train with Loyal Select once a week. We will play about a dozen games throughout the year in the USL Academy League."
Through scouting, the development program is looking for 22 elite players, of high school age, who show they have pro-level talent.
"Our objective is to find players that can play professionally at some point. For some players, it might at 18 years old, for some it might be at 22. And that's a big piece of what we're trying to accomplish," he said.
However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hall says scouting has been a little more difficult.
"We've had to do more on the recommendation side than the evaluation side. So in reality, it's caused a little more work for us," said Hall.
The hand-selected players will train once a week with Loyal Select, but still keep their allegiance to their own club teams.
"There are so many wonderful players in San Diego, and to be honest, there are so many wonderful coaches and clubs," Hall says. "So for us, the objective is to work with these players, and the coaches, just to make San Diego a little bit better and to try to raise the bar."