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It Takes a Village: How Future FC Won Silverware Undefeated

calendario 10.08.2022
by: Salvador Torres
  • California
  • SoCal
  • UPSL Women Spring Division
  • United States
It Takes a Village: How Future FC Won Silverware Undefeated

In one of the bordering IE cities, the city of Corona, Ca, is home to many current and former professional players. Such players include Joey Digiamarino, who played with the Colorado Rapids, Eric Gonzalez, formerly of Las Vegas Lights (USL C) and Oakland Roots (at the time NISA), and currently active defender Leonardo Sepulveda in Grenada B in Spain. Home to lots of soccer talent, the city's amateur soccer scene is still forming and trying to make its presence known to the broader IE soccer landscape. One notable establishment is Future FC. A youth club rebranded around 3-4 years ago from BYSC (Blues Youth Soccer Club), which was an affiliate to the famously LA Blues, now named OCSC by American businessman James Keston's takeover of the club back in 2016. Since then, the club has transitioned to Future FC under the guidance of Coach Shayon Jalayer. 


A former professional player and coach, he is the director of youth coaching for Future FC and coaches the adult women's side that competes in the UPSL Women's division. The UPSL Women's division is an adult amateur national league that competes at a high level for players striving for a professional career or continuing their fitness before college season. The league season runs twice a year, broken into the fall and spring, including the postseason. The league is broken down into regions where Future FC competes in the SoCal division facing teams from LA, San Diego, and Orange County. 


In their debut for the adult side in the spring 2021 season, Future Fc finished 2nd place in the table, recording seven wins and scoring 23 goals. There were no playoffs during that season as it was the first run for the league operating a women's division. The FFC didn't take on the field again until this past spring 2022 season. 


"I think we were cautiously optimistic," said coach shay when asked about his expectations for the spring 2022 season." [I wasn't sure] about which players were going to return. That was our biggest question, but we developed a model to build the foundation of our oldest club players. So that there was a true pathway from our youth club to the senior team. But it was also very important for us to recruit the local college talent. I think once we signed a few of our targets, that really put the season in perspective. I think we were prepared to do some good things. 


The season started in May with a 6-0 smashing of Desert FC in the first match, a scoreline not foreign to the girls in blue. Starting the season in style, the momentum for FFC just didn't stop. They then went on a 3-game winning streak scoring 13 goals and only allowing 3 goals (which they won't allow any more goals for the rest of the season). In their 5th game, they tied with AMSG Elite 0-0 which marked the only match they didn't win for the season. Afterward, they kept the wins coming for the regular season, winning the remaining 5 games ( 1 of which was a forfeit) and wrapped the regular season with a win at home as table leaders of the SoCal division.

Below are some stats of the regular season. 


This season, fortunately, there is a postseason to be crowned SoCal division champions. The top 4 teams advanced to a one-leg knockout to determine the winner. Future FC matched with 4th place finishers Crown & Anchor Lionesses in the semifinals and blanked them 2-0 to go on to the final. There they faced Desert FC, and to no surprise, FFC lifted the trophy, topping DFC 2-0 to be named SoCal division champions for the first time in club history and doing it without losing.   


Below are the top goalscorers of the season. 


After the season ended, coach Shay was reached out to share his thoughts about the fantastic season. 


How do you feel about winning the title and doing it undefeated? 


It was a fantastic feat that the ladies pulled off. I'm a firm believer that it takes a village to have this kind of success, and I couldn't have done it without the players. We had a great set of 28 players we use throughout the season, both post-college, youth club players, and current college players. I couldn't have done it without the help of my wife and assistant coach Lindsay Jalayer who was just a great balance of my coaching ways and couldn't have done it without her. But, I think the biggest things have to go out to our donors and our two title sponsors in impact canopy and balance and movement and fitness (BAM). Without their support, we could not have run this club as efficiently financially and kept this as a free platform.


Was not losing any games this season part of the game plan, or did it just happen along the way? 


Our goal was to put a good product on the field. One of the things we talked about to players was to give them an environment where they could continue to develop as current college players or stay on top of their dream if they were post-college players about playing at the next level. If they were youth players, they should take the opportunity to learn from the players who have already done it. I think we were so focused on the journey that we weren't really worried about the destination. Maybe it was about six, seven games in, which was probably two-thirds of the season, where we started thinking, hey, we could probably go on defeated here, but we didn't make that a focal point at all, to be quite honest.


Compared to the last season, what were some changes that made the spring 2022 season better? 


We had a great group of girls last year, and we felt that the coaching staff was in a good place. But I think what we did this year was to definitely create a mission and let that be the starting point. From the mission, we developed some core values, and one of the biggest things we talked about was setting standards and developing a culture of collaboration from the coaching staff to the backroom staff. Collaboration in that respect amongst the players and between the players and the coaches. It was just a very family-oriented group. Really added a good competitive value to training sessions and when we needed to make some changes during games. So it was just a really wonderful experience. I think it's just a typical evolution. We don't want to say it was better in any one way or the other, other than the fact that we learned from things that we did, maybe not as well last year, and we improved on it.


Do you view the undefeated season as a milestone in your career? 


I'm not gonna lie. I think definitely winning games, and winning championships are important to me. I think that would be very superficial of me to say that, but humbly it's not the first run at success for me at a relatively elite level. I won three W league championships with my colleague Charlie Naimo with the Pali blues of the W league. We had, I believe, two undefeated seasons. It might've been one undefeated season. A lot of special players, but I think what made this special was this was kind of a family affair. My wife and I, with the support of a couple of backroom staff members like Thalia Peraza, who was very influential in developing the brand for us, and having our youth players be involved in this process meant a lot. Frankly just developing a lot of relationships. So, what may not be a first time or a milestone for me will certainly be a championship and a group to remember. 

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