The development of talented players into members of professional soccer leagues, including MLS, USL and a lot of international professional leagues. Our purpose is to encourage young men and women to have widened global perspectives, and contribute to the community.
We focus not only on the development of professional soccer players, but also on high academic achievement, and we will exist to assist San Diego County to generate a large number of young people who excel both academically and athletically.
- Provide a positive environment for the continued development of soccer in the San Diego region.
- Promote the USL PDL brand definition and advancement in San Diego and the World.
- Enhancement of a soccer exchange program between the World and the U.S.
- Support of international soccer players pursuing sports in America.
- Support of American soccer players pursuing sports in world-wide.
The San Diego Zest FC was established in 2016 by a sports management company called San Diego Sports Authority, hereafter SDSA, located at San Diego, CA. The project was started in 2014 with aim of developing the local community soccer level and providing Japanese soccer players the path to pro in the U.S. On January 21, 2016, the Premier Development League announced that it had awarded the franchise to San Diego Zest FC, starting with the 2016 season.
“San Diego has for a long time been a target city for the PDL, we are very excited the outstanding leadership of the San Diego Sports Authority will be the group that brings the league to a great soccer city, and are looking forward to working with the club for many years to come.” said league director Todd Eason.
The club hosted its first ever open tryout on Saturday February 6th, 2016 at James Madison High School, and two weeks later gave an announcement that approximately 30 prospective players participated. The second open tryout was held a week later, February 13th at the same field and the number of participants increased to 60. On July 6th 2016, San Diego Zest FC announced its first affiliation agreement, partnering with Japanese club Avispa Fukuoka, which competes in Japan’s first division. SD Zest FC became the first PDL team to partner with a J1 League club, signing a renewable one-year agreement.
The SD Zest FC defeated PDL 2016 season’s only unbeaten club at the time FC Tucson, which had went on to win the Western Conference Southwest Division Title by a score of 2-1 on July 9th at Kino Sports Complex. The Zest will be holding open tryouts for the 2017 season on Saturday, February 25th at Alliant University and another on Sunday March 12th with location to be announced. The Zest will begin the 2017 regular season on May 6th by visiting the Southern California Surf and then follow up with a three-game homestand with the first being against last year’s division winner FC Tucson on Saturday, May 13th at Madison High School.
On February 22nd, 2017 The San Diego Zest FC officially qualified for the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Zest will be one of 21 teams who will be participating in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as they try to overthrow the current defending champion FC Dallas who defeated the New England Revolution 4-2 in last year’s championship. The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the U.S. and the world’s third-longest-running open soccer tournament. Last Year’s tournament was contested by 91 clubs from the three professional leagues sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation: Major League Soccer (MLS), the North American Soccer League (NASL) and the United Soccer League (USL), and also amateur clubs in the earlier rounds of the tournament after qualifying through their leagues. The overall champion earns a quarter million dollars in prize money while the runner-up receives $60,000, and the furthest-advancing team from each lower division league receives $15,000.In addition, the tournament winner qualifies for the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League. The 2017 SD Zest will be competing in both the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the USL PDL season with a revamped squad made up of almost exclusive new players.
The SD Zest finished the 2016 regular season with 8 wins 5 draws and 1 loss. They finished with a 4 wins 2 draws and 1 loss at home and a record of 4 wins 3 draws on 0 losses on the road. The team scored a total of 27 goals and gave up 12 goals during the 2016 regular season with a +15 goal differential.
Playoffs: July 19, 2016 Divisional Playoffs San Diego Zest 2 – 3 OT FC Golden State Force @James Madison High School Stadium San Diego, CA