FC Arizona is a Soccer Club based in Mesa, Arizona that plays in the National Premier Soccer League. Recently we got a chance to chat with FC Arizona’s owner Scott Taylor about FC Arizona and got to know their club a bit better. They are an incredibly ambitious club in the lower levels of American Soccer and are looking to make waves.
As part of a new ongoing series, we will be highlighting different American Soccer Clubs from the lower divisions who have bright futures ahead of them! So stay tuned for the next spotlight article coming out soon!
Scott thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us.
What is FC Arizona’s mission? What do you hope to achieve with FC Arizona?
Scott: FC Arizona’s mission is provide a great team for the people of this State, with Men’s, Women’s and Youth playing opportunities. And to deliver an excellent product on the field for people that enjoy great live soccer to come see. Something that is close to them and that is their team. Most people are amazed at how good the level of our squad is, when they see us for their first time. We will continue to elevate that, always.
Right on the home page of your website you guys say “FC Arizona is on a mission to connect with our community in a meaningful way and create a lasting culture of pro soccer.”
Why is community so important to you and how have you gone about building that community?
S: I think it is creating a team and culture that people enjoy watching. We have laid the foundation for that, but a Stadium of our own, Beer Sales, and Large Youth club where kids can come see High level Footy and wear the same Badge as the Pro Team. All that will really take us to the next level and inspire generations of fans in Arizona. True Community support happens organically, I have just tried to follow through on things with the community. It’s been really hard work to set this all up. But, we know we will look back in 10 years and we will have created something very special for the community for years to come. I remember our First year, a Mom heat pressed our Logo on a Onesie for her Baby to wear and that image sticks in mind all the time. Hoping that, that Baby will bring her kids to FC AZ games in 20 years. I love it when people call it “Our team or Their team” that means we are on the right track.
What kind of Impact overall are you hoping to have on the Arizona Sports scene?
I think a lot of people play a role. But, I do think it is impacting the Scene. I think when people continue to see us/me follow through on our Goals and Vision.
Then, it will be even more impactful noticeable.
This year, FC Arizona has launched a female team that plays in the WPSL.
What were the origins of the Women’s team, and why now?
The last few years. I noticed more 7 to 14 year old Youth teams coming to games, but the Majority were Boys teams. So, I really felt it was important for the Club to do a Women’s side and so far, it has been a great move. The community is rallying behind it and it provides a forum for the Elite Female players to play.
You guys have recently released some incredibly ambitious plans for an almost 11,000 seat stadium, which will also have 4 Full size soccer fields, Classrooms, and an Indoor facility for 5 Aside pitches. And on top of all of that, it will be 100% privately funded. Many clubs across all levels of soccer in America don’t have their own stadiums let alone plans as ambitious as yours.
What do you hope to achieve by building this amazing facility?
It is SO important for our long term plans to have a Home Facility. And to also have this Sports and Entertainment Venue for the local area. I do think the whole State will benefit from this facility. But, the East Valley residents will especially love having this right in their backyard. There many limitations that exist when you have to rent facilities. Most notable for us are Beer Sales, Sponsorship interest and scheduling priority. I am grateful for the places that have rented to us. But a Permanment Home was always our plan. It’s going to be very excited and we won’t stop until it’s a reality.
FC Arizona will be playing in the NPSL Founders Cup along some other exciting up and coming clubs such as Detroit City, Chattanooga FC and the New York Cosmos.
Why did you choose to play in the Founders Cup, and why should people be excited for the Founder’s Cup?
We are excited for the Founders Cup for many reasons. Testing ourselves against good teams, and playing more games. And I think we are breaking new ground with this new league and our hope is that will capture the attention of the US and World Soccer Community. More details will be announced soon. Lots of good work being done right now.
Building a club from the ground up cant be easy at all, even with all of your rapid growth.
What have been some of the biggest struggles of being a club in the lower levels of U.S Soccer?
I could definitely write a How to book on this. Many things to learn. But, I will say that I think the Federation must do ALOT more to support leagues like the NPSL and PDL that are doing so much to develop the American Player. Why not send some of the SUM Money down to these leagues and encourage them to develop Americans players, instead of pretending they don’t play a role in the Ecosystem. Let’s unleash the power of the game in this Country.
Soccer is clearly growing at a rapid rate here in the U.S and while there are many people flocking to the sport, our soccer system remains very messy and complex.
What do you believe is the biggest thing that needs to change?
There are many things that need to be done to improve the system. But, we will show and do what needs to be done, instead of talking. We’ve always been that way…..If enough people in the US have that mentality then we can create positive improvements. Roll up your sleeves, get to work. Coach your kids in a Local Rec League, and Support a local Professional team. That last part is very important. Go watch live soccer, adopt a team and support them through thick and thin.
Many people have called for the implementation of Promotion and Relegation here in the United States.
How do you feel about promotion and relegation, and do you see Arizona FC participating in that model if it ever is implemented?
I support Pro/Rel as I think it makes things more interesting for fans. Just needs to be done in stable manner after teams have established fanbases and finances and I do believe in the next 10 years, it will happen in a legitimate way.
You can learn more about FC Arizona here: FCArizona.com