CSUMB will be home for a new professional soccer team

Freeman Stadium at CSUMB

Photo by: Walter Ryce Freeman Stadium at CSUMB

February 2, 2021

The United Soccer League, sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation as a Division II professional league, has announced that its newest team will make its home at CSUMB.

The new team, Monterey Bay Football Club (Monterey Bay FC for short), will invest millions of private dollars in renovating Freeman Stadium and existing facilities. That work is slated to begin this summer to bring the venue’s capacity to 6,000 in time for the 2022 season. The league, headquartered in Tampa, Florida, has a national media partnership with ESPN and 30 soccer clubs across the U.S.

“We are excited at the opportunity to work with Monterey Bay FC and the USL in bringing world-class soccer to the Monterey Bay region," said CSUMB President Eduardo M. Ochoa. “We look forward to hosting fans from Salinas Valley to Seaside to Santa Cruz and beyond.”

CSUMB’s athletics director, Kirby Garry, said this will offer students training, internships, career development and competition; the region will get a boost in visibility as a sports hub; and the university will gain a powerful soccer recruiting tool as well as a renovated stadium.

“The entertainment, cultural and social value this brings to our campus community is exciting,” Kirby said.

Frank Yallop, a two-time Major League Soccer Coach of the Year — who also coached the MLS team San Jose Earthquakes and USL teams in Phoenix, Fresno and Las Vegas — will be Monterey Bay FC’s Sporting Director.

The team’s co-owner and chairman Ray Beshoff is a Dublin, Ireland native who lives in the area and whose daughters are co-owners of The Wine House in Carmel Valley.

“This is a club that will be committed to the community and our first priority will always be to listen to our fans,” Beshoff said.

To that end, Monterey Bay FC will hold a series of public virtual events and listening sessions in coming months to help design the club’s crest and colors. They have also opened up deposits for the 2022 season for fans to secure their spot. More information can be found at Monterey Bay FC's website.