There are only 28 professional men’s soccer teams in the U.S.
However, that’s just a fraction of the total teams that play on a regular basis in the country.
There are many other divisions below the MLS with hundreds of teams. While you might not be able to start a professional-level soccer team right away, it’s possible to start a team from scratch and one day secure a spot in a higher league.
Who knows, maybe one day your team will be playing in the MLS. Yet, starting a soccer team is the first step. I’s not impossible, but there are many challenges to overcome.
Want to know how to start a soccer team of your own? Keep reading to find out.
Can You Actually Start Your Own Soccer Team?
Yes, you can start your own soccer team. And yes, it can grow into dominant force overtime. Need some inspiration?
Take a look at RB Leipzig. They are currently one of the top teams in the Bundesliga, the top tier of German football alongside giants such as Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
Bayern began as a football club in 1900 and didn’t reach their first championship until 32 years later. Dortmund began only nine years later in 1909.
Now, more than 100 years later, these two teams win the most titles in Germany. However, RB Leipzig began in 2009 in the fifth league of German soccer; four leagues below the Bundesliga.
Just six years later they were promoted to the Bundesliga. After finishing their first season in the top four, they made it to the Champions League, where the world’s best teams compete.
It kind of sounds like a fairy tale, right? In some ways, it is, because the team started out with a lot of money.
Even if you aren’t loaded, you can still start your own team. With hard work, persistence, and just the right amount of luck, you too could see an eventual triumph like that of Leipzig’s.
How to Start Your Own Soccer Team
Wondering how to start a football team? Here’s what you need to do.
Define Your Goals
Why are you starting a team? Is it so you can create a local soccer community, centered around supporting a team?
Is it to attract and train more young players, to improve soccer in our country overall? Do you want to create a team capable of the league you’ll be playing in?
Are you hoping to participate in our nation becoming a soccer-focused nation, so that one day we can win the world cup? Or, do you just think it’s a fun way to spend your extra time?
Starting a soccer team takes a lot of work, so make sure your goals and motivations are clearly defined.
Name Your Team
Before you go any further, its’ time to give your football team a name. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be.
Just about every soccer team is named after the city in which they play. Then, it’s as simple as adding a few words, such as Football Club, United, or Soccer Club.
Many teams also start their name with “Inter” or “Real,” such as Inter Miami or Real Salt Lake.
Choose Your League
There’s a good chance you won’t have enough money to start a team to play in the MLS right away. David Beckham did it in 2020 with the birth of Inter Miami. But, well, he’s David Beckham, a legend of the game who has quite a bit of money.
You’re going to need money. This includes money to buy jerseys and gear, money to pay coaches and players, and money to join a league.
One way to do this is by raising money from your local community. You can find companies who are willing to sponsor your team. You can add their logos to your jerseys in exchange for sponsorship fees.
You can also network and find local business owners, entrepreneurs, and investors who’d like to see a soccer team in their hometown.
Assemble Your Team
Next, it’s time to scout and find a team. You’ll want to have a team of coaches in place who know how to spot soccer talent.
You can host tryouts with the hopes of attracting talent from nearby colleges, high schools, and sporting facilities.
You’ll also need to work with lawyers to create agreements for players and staff so that everyone knows what to expect regarding commitments, payment, and so forth.
Get Your Gear
Now that you’ve got your squad in place, it’s time to get them outfitted. You’ll need custom jerseys made up with player names, numbers, and sponsors. There will be requirements based on whatever league you are playing in.
Make sure you work with a professional designer to come up with branding, colors, and a logo for your team that will attract new supporters.
You’ll need to invest in quality soccer footwear for your players. Good shoes are one of the most important factors to playing well.
Your players will appreciate separate training jerseys. To build up a fanbase, you’ll need merchandise and consumer jerseys as well. Selling merch can help support your team financially.
Find a Stadium
New teams likely aren’t building their own field or stadium. Depending on the league you plan to play in, you may need to rent an available stadium nearby for matches and training.
It doesn’t have to be extravagant. Often, local city fields or school stadiums will suffice for new teams.
Get On the Roster and Start Competing
If you’ve built out a team and you’ve made it into any division of American soccer, congratulations. Now it’s time to train your team, develop your style of play, and cause a ruckus in your division.
Hopefully, as more lower-level teams are birthed across the U.S., soccer’s impact and influence will grow in our society. From there, it could cause a chain reaction that one day shakes the globe, as the U.S. wins the world cup.
Until that day, don’t let the uncertainty of starting a soccer team discourage you. Make it happen. You, your team, and your fans will be glad you did.
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