photos by Dawn at Nicoli Productions

Vista Storm Soccer Club Promotes Healthy Competition, Teamwork, and Fun

Since 1982, Vista Storm Soccer Club has provided high-quality soccer programs that not only provide an education in the rules and skills of soccer but also promote a positive self-image and a healthy competitive spirit in young athletes throughout the Vista community. 92081 Magazine sits down with the Board of Directors President Lupe Farias to discuss how the organization is preparing for their upcoming season, the challenges it faces, and how its unique mission is fostering community-wide support for soccer in North County.

Q&A with Vista Storm Soccer Club President Lupe Farias

storm_fariasWhat is the history behind the Vista Storm Soccer Club?
Vista Storm Soccer Club (VSSC) was founded in 1982, creating recreational and competitive soccer programs for both girls and boys. We’re a member of the California Youth Soccer Association and are affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation, as well as the United States Youth Soccer Association. Our recreational program is for youths ranging in age from four to 19 years old.

What is the goal or mission of VSSC?
Our mission is to ensure that every player develops a positive self-image; to promote a healthy competitive spirit, sportsmanship, and lifelong skills in our athletes; to support our community and its people; and to foster community-wide support for soccer and heighten recognition of VSSC.

“Our mission is to ensure that every player develops a positive self-image; to promote a healthy competitive spirit, sportsmanship, and lifelong skills in our athlete.”

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What is your role in the organization? What is the most rewarding part of your position? The most challenging?
I am currently the president of the board of directors. I am new to this role but not to the board. I have sat in a few other positions, allowing me to become more knowledgeable of the functions of a nonprofit organization. Being able to become a strong leader and build a board with an amazing group of people who share the same passion for the kids of our community and the sport of soccer is by far the most rewarding, and yet the most challenging at the same time. We are all volunteers that give up most of our free time to help run the club, seeking nothing in return except the success of our club. Our current board of directors is the best I have experienced in years. We all share the same passion, love, and respect for all of our VSSC programs.


VSSC President At-A-Glance

Name: Lupe Farias
Profession: Regional manager in the subprime auto finance industry
Interests: I enjoy helping the children of our community stay active in the sport of soccer. My goals are to add to the vision of our club, not only by helping our children play the wonderful sport of soccer but also by creating a program to educate our kids on fulfilling their dreams of going to college.
Favorite Spot in Vista: Downtown Vista


What is the timeline for the recreational season? Where and when are the games played?
The fall recreation season starts in August and runs for 10 weeks with two team practices and one game per week. Divisions 4 and 5 will have a play-off tournament and Divisions 4 through 6 will draft teams to play an All-Star tournament. In addition, one team from Divisions 3 through 6 will be drafted to represent VSSC at a tournament at the end of the season. The spring recreation season usually runs for eight weeks from April through the end of May, with one practice and one game per week. Most games are played at our beautiful Vista Sports Park. The younger children play at Rancho Del Oro Park in Oceanside.

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How are teams formed to ensure that they are balanced appropriately?
The fall recreation season teams are formed according to gender and age and are usually more competitive than the spring season. It is a longer season and all-stars are picked, followed by the possibility of playing post-season tournaments if the teams choose to. Players are placed on a team using the following criteria, if applicable: prior season’s evaluations, prior season’s post-season tournament status, prior experience, and buddy requests. We also balance the number of returning and new players on each team.

What should soccer players in the league expect to get out of the season?
We strive to provide an environment of wholesome, competitive fun that develops good character and sportsmanship, team play, and an education in the rules and skills of soccer. This year we are offering our community some extra items with fall season registration. The uniform is included in the fees and due to our club’s great success with a cash raffle program, players will also receive a sack pack and a practice t-shirt this year.

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How does Vista Storm Soccer Club ensure that volunteer coaches are prepared for each season?
We provide our coaches with the knowledge, tools, and techniques to be successful coaches including CalSouth Youth Module licensing courses prior to the season and coaching clinics throughout the season. We also recently hired an assistant director of coaches to oversee the recreational program and assist the volunteer coaches.

“We are all volunteers that give up most of our free time to help run the club, seeking nothing in return except the success of our club.”

Tell us more about your TOPSoccer program.
TOPSoccer is a community-based recreational program specifically designed to help athletes with physical and/or mental disabilities play soccer. The main goal of this program is to facilitate challenged player participation in team sports. Our club is proud to assist this program by sponsoring part of the cost involved.

Are there any changes in the upcoming season that players and parents need to be aware of?
For the upcoming season players and parents can expect much more involvement from our board members. We are working very hard to serve our community to the best of our ability and are offering free soccer clinics, acquiring qualified coaches for our competitive program, and offering clinics to assist our volunteer coaches for the recreational side.

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What is the biggest challenge that the program faces?
Our biggest concern has been the cost of operation. We need to make sure we can cover our cost of operation while providing the best program possible. We have to pay costs for the fields, lights, referees, uniforms, and other general items. To help cover these costs, donations can be made by either a private party or a business. We are a nonprofit organization so any donation is a tax write-off. Payments can be made through Paypal, on our website, or by contacting our Director at Large Amber Jordan at dirlarge@vistasoccerclub.org.

Does Vista Storm Soccer Club hold any fundraisers throughout the year? Do you have any upcoming events you’d like our readers to be aware of?
Our club has an annual cash raffle fundraiser for both recreational and competitive leagues. A partial amount of the proceeds remain with the club. Competitive players have the opportunity to raise funds to cover registration costs and recreational teams compete for prizes. This year we also had our first Egg-A-Palooza at Brengle Terrace Park which was open to the entire Vista community and was very successful. Our plan is to make this event an annual tradition. We also will be hosting summer clinics, Friday Night Light games, coaches tournaments, and our annual Kick Off Day in August, as well as a Cleats for Christmas event.

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“Being able to become a strong leader and build a board with an amazing group of people who share the same passion for the kids of our community and the sport of soccer is by far the most rewarding, and yet the most challenging.”

Does the organization have a need for volunteers? If so, how does one get involved?
Volunteers are the heart of our program. Without volunteers, our program would be impossible to run successfully. We are in constant need of good people to help, whether it be on the board of directors, assisting with registrations, or helping out at our concession stand. There is always a shortage of volunteers for recreational coaches and managers as well.

For those interested, what are the registration dates for the upcoming season? When do practices start and when is the first game?
Fall registration is now open online and practice will begin mid-August, with the first game right around Labor Day.

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VSSC At-A-Glance

Name of Organization: Vista Storm Soccer Club
Address: 337 Olive Ave., P.O. Box 2322, Vista, CA 92085
Phone: 760-940-8804
Email: president@vistasoccerclub.org
Website: www.vistasoccerclub.org