A History of Excellence
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A Brief History of Cal South

In 1974, at the Annual General Meeting of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), Don Greer and others established the United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA). At that time, USYSA was the youth division of the USSF and was incorporated later in 1984. In discussions with Norm Nielsen, Greer expressed the desire to start youth soccer associations in their own right. With this encouragement, Mr. Nielsen helped establish CAL SOUTH under the USSF/USYSA affiliation with 5,000 players. Four charter organizations comprised the fledgling association: CSL Jrs. Soccer League, PSL Jrs. Soccer League, Golden State Soccer League, and West Valley Soccer League.

In 1976, the Association grew to 8,500 when leagues from San Diego County joined, and by 1977, there were some 11,000 players in Los Angeles and San Diego counties. We grew to 15,000 players by 1978 and to 26,000 players in 1979, adding Orange County to the membership. Along the way, members were added in Ventura, Santa Barbara, Riverside, San Bernardino, and later Imperial, Kern and San Luis Obispo counties.

The year 1979 saw the incorporation of Cal South, and by 1980 the membership had grown to 32,000 players. By 1990 membership had grown to 62,000 players. Throughout the '90s, interest in youth soccer continued to accelerate (encouraged in part by the 1994 World Cup) so much that, by 2000, the Cal South membership was at 96,000 players. Cal South continues to bring in new affiliate member leagues and clubs -- over 280 in all through fall 2012 -- with a current total membership of around 156,000 players, both youth and adult playing on over 11,000 registered teams. Cal South also has over 30,000 coaches, administrators, and referees in its registered membership.

From its initial establishment in 1974, the annual operation budget for the Association has grown from less than about $25,000 to its current level of $3 million. Also, the necessity for a state office was realized and was first established in District 5 in June 1978, where it remained for four years. Prior to that, an administrative office was maintained in the home of Hope Weaver, Cal South Office Manager. In November 1982, the office was moved to a new facility in Anaheim, and remained in Anaheim until 1999, when the Association purchased its current 6,500 square foot facility in Fullerton.

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Past Cal South Presidents:

Norm Nielsen | December 1977 to June 1979
Gary Patton | June 1979 to February 1980
Becky Sheridan | February 1980 to June 1980
Gil Oftedal | June 1980 to June 1981
Rod Chambers | June 1981 to June 1982
Reg Banks | June 1982 to 1986
Roz Houser | 1986 to 1988
Lee Ann Harris | 1988 to 1990
John Harper | 1990 to 1996
Ray Horspool | 1996 to March 2000
Rod Short | March 2000 to October 2005
Gregg Falk | October 2005 to February 2010
Johnnie Garza | February 2010 to February 2013
John Mullen | February 2013 to February 2014
Derek Barraza | February 2014 to present