In youth soccer, elite has become a buzz word. At Legends FC, elite is the only word that aptly describes the 2012 season. Legends FC qualified four teams for the prestigious US Youth Soccer 2011-2012 National League. In March, Legends FC earned four National League divisional titles to send four teams to the US Youth Soccer National Championships. Legends FC Under-15 Girls claimed the National League title with a 7-0-1 record. The Under-16s barely beat out perennial powerhouse Match Fit Chelsea Beat to claim the berth to nationals. Both U-17 divisional titles belong to the club, with Legends FC and Legends Breakaway rising to the top of their respective groups.
"Every team’s competitive calendar was geared toward success in the US Youth Soccer National League," said Director of Coaching at Legends FC Josh Hodges. "We create a real good competitive environment to make sure all the teams are moving in the right direction. To win National League, you can have a good team and play good soccer, but you have to have a little bit of luck, too."
Just 10 years ago, Hodges founded Glendora FC after graduating from Asuza Pacific University. Fast forward a decade and that club is now Legends FC which has not only thrived in the highly competitive Cal South, but has achieved national success and recognition in a few short years. What is the secret to the Legends FC success? Loyalty, Hodges said.
"We’ve been real loyal to the kids and they’ve been real loyal to us," Hodges said. "They’ve stuck it out over time and we’ve been able to build on making the kids that have stayed better and adding kids as we went. Kids in youth soccer go through a lot of ups and downs and we’ve done a good job in not abandoning them or bringing on new players just to have more players. We’ve been able to hold on to the players and see them past the challenges and give them the opportunity to overcome that challenge."
As players have improved and stayed within the club, Hodges said his staff has been consistent in their message to each player and each team.
"It’s not just about you and about you, it’s not just about your team it’s about the club and that jersey and what it represents."
Around Manchester Meadows in Rock Hill, S.C., that jersey means Legends FC is one of the top teams in the U-15, U-16 and U-17 age groups and can bring home up to three national championships.