FULLERTON, CA (SEPTEMBER 30th, 2022) The California State Soccer Association – South (Cal South) has retained DLA Piper LLP (US) to lead an independent investigation into the events surrounding the abrupt departure of its former President Bob Turner and his subsequent hiring as the new Executive Director of a competing youth soccer organization, Southern California Developmental Soccer League, now known and marketed as “SoCal”. It is alleged that Turner – along with SoCal – inappropriately persuaded certain youth soccer teams, coaches, and youth players to leave Cal South and to move to the newly rebranded league, SoCal. It is further alleged that Turner and SoCal offered possible financial and other inducements in an effort to effectuate the movement of teams between leagues.
DLA Piper’s investigation will be led by its Workplace Investigations and Disputes team, including Rocky Delgadillo (former Los Angeles City Attorney and partner in the Los Angeles office); Ben Gipson (employment partner in the Los Angeles office); and Lisa Tenorio-Kutzkey (LT-K) (former federal prosecutor, current US Chair and Global Co-Chair of DLA Piper’s Antitrust & Competition Group, and partner in the San Francisco office). This team brings decades of experience in complex internal investigations with deep connections to competitive and recreational youth soccer in California.
Cal South is saddened to have to partner with DLA Piper, but we believe that Cal South has a fiduciary duty to every organization, team, coach, and family involved in the Southern California soccer community to shine a light on the misgivings within the business of youth soccer. We are committed to ensuring that all organizations can make decisions based on the interests of the players and families involved. DLA Piper’s investigation will be conducted on a pro bono basis and be given full autonomy with access to any available information. The team is tasked to follow the facts wherever they may lead. Cal South hopes for the full cooperation of all parties, including current and former Cal South affiliated clubs, board members, and staff, and looks forward to a fact-driven investigative conclusion.