FULLERTON, Calif. (September 22, 2021) – Cal South announced today an exclusive, multi-year strategic partnership agreement with Portuguese powerhouse Sporting Clube de Portugal [SCP or Sporting] in which both organizations will combine their resources to create greater opportunities for both player development and coaching education in Southern California and abroad.

“We’re very excited to partner with a club as storied and successful as Sporting Clube de Portugal,” said Cal South CEO Terry Fisher. “The opportunity to work directly with their prestigious youth development academy was one we could not pass up, as it will benefit our Affiliate Member leagues and clubs for many years to come. We will also assist Sporting in their efforts to explore opportunities to increase their reach within the United States, specifically California, both on and off the field.”

The primary focus of the partnership is to promote collaboration on training and development and player identification and outside opportunities for those identified. The agreement also includes the creation of co-branded and scouted identification camps, tournaments, coaching courses, and development programs, as well as possible internship and camp opportunities for players, coaches, and teams abroad.

“Sporting has been one of the most consistent and successful programs in Europe, and we’re looking forward to working with their staff to share best practices, player talent, and scouting resources,” said Cal South Technical Director Steve Hoffman. “Both organizations have been recognized for our youth development programs, and we are anticipating a tremendous, shared benefit by this partnership.”

Diogo Gama, SCP’s Director of Sports Projects, reinforced that “SCP’s success throughout the years has been based largely in scouting and talent identification as well in the development of the players, and this is what we expect to continue with this partnership. Cal South is one of the best soccer associations in the U.S. with a very big talent pool where we are sure to find players that can be scouted to Sporting. There are also other opportunities that we will develop together that will make this partnership unique and differentiated. We recognize Mr. Terry Fisher and Steve Hoffman’s capacity for strong leadership, and we are confident that this collaboration will be a success.”

Gama added, “I’d like to say thank you to Francisco Marcos, Founder and long-time President of USL – also SCP External Advisor and life member – for creating this opportunity between both organizations.”

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About Sporting Club de Portugal:
Sporting Clube de Portugal, founded in 1906, is a Portuguese club based in Lisbon. One of the “Três Grandes” (The Big Three, in English) football clubs in Portugal, Sporting has never been relegated from the Primeira Divisão (First Division) of Portuguese football, along with FC Porto and Benfica. Sporting has more than 100,000 registered club members throughout the world, and its teams, athletes and supporters are often nicknamed Leões (English: The Lions) by its fans. It is the third most successful Portuguese football club in terms of total titles, with 53 titles throughout its history. SCP is internationally renowned for its player and coaching development academies, which helped produce two FIFA World Player of the Year winners in Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Figo, as well as top players such as Nani and Eric Dier. In the 2020/21 season, SCP were crowned League Champions, with 11 players from their academy playing on the first team, such as upcoming star Nuno Mendes (since transferred on to PSG). Most recently, SCP won the ECA Youth Football Award for their player development model. For more about SCP, visit https://www.sporting.pt/en/.

About Cal South:
The California State Soccer Association – South (Cal South) is a 501c(3) California public benefit corporation and is the official youth and adult state soccer association of the United States Soccer Federation, US Youth Soccer, and the United States Adult Soccer Association. The organization, with a service area that extends from San Luis Obispo to San Diego, provides rewarding recreational and competitive opportunities for players of all ages, genders and skill levels. For more information about Cal South, visit www.calsouth.com.