The NASL, which went six seasons without a West Coast presence, suddenly has three teams in California. After the struggling San Francisco Deltas, who debuted this season, and an unnamed team in San Diego that will join the NASL in 2018, California United FC will begin play in 2018 in Orange County.
Capriotti, Cal United's majority owner, says the club will be player- and community-oriented and give everyone an honest look. "We want to help players fulfill their dreams, " he says, "and we
want local amateur clubs to benefit together with us in this combined endeavor."
GM Michael Collins, the former indoor star who earned a pair of caps with the U.S. national team:
"A lot of really talented players go off the rails because the support's not there and life gets in the way. We want to find these players and give them a fair chance to re-calibrate their careers and
ambitions at our club."
Cal United will work closely with the LA Wolves, the So Cal amateur powerhouse Capriotti has sponsored for the last two years. It has been coached this season by
Eric Wynalda, who has has great success finding talented players in Southern California.
Market: Cal United has signed a
letter of intent to play their home games at Cal State Fullerton's 10,000-seat Titan Stadium. There is already the LA Galaxy in Carson and LAFC, which will debut in Los Angeles in 2018. The USL's
Orange County SC is Cal United's closest competitor.
In one form or another, the USL has been in Orange County since 2011 but teams have struggled to draw. The Blues failed to reach an
average of 1,000 fans a game for their first four seasons. Teams have played at Fullerton dating back to the LA Salsa in 1993-94.
Orange County SC is averaging 2,735 fans but will move
into its own soccer stadium, Orange County Great Park Championship Stadium in Irvine, next Tuesday.
Pro Soccer Crowds in Orange County
AVG. TEAM (YEAR)
3,341 LA Salsa (1994)
1,278 Orange County Zodiac (1997)
Orange County Zodiac (1998)
980 Orange County Zodiac (1999)
1,060 Orange County Waves (2000)
440 Los Angeles Blues (2011)
Los Angeles Blues (2012)
718 Los Angeles Blues (2013)
766 Orange County Blues FC (2014)
1,398 Orange County Blues FC (2015)
1,010 Orange County
Blues FC (2016)