San Diego 1904 FC Ready for Home Opener

San Diego's newest professional soccer franchise is (finally) playing its first home match

It’s an event five years in the making. Finally, on Saturday at SDCCU Stadium, San Diego 1904 FC will play its first home match.

The club is part of the National Independent Soccer League (NISL), on the third tier of the United States professional soccer hierarchy behind the United Soccer League and Major League Soccer.

But that’s not where they plan on staying.

“For us it’s simple,” said head coach Alex Gontran. “We are all competitive guys. Our goal is to play at the highest level in the U.S., win the most titles we can and prove that what we are doing is based on passion and passion can drive a very strong club. Like the best in Europe.”

San Diego is a fierce but at times fickle soccer city. Independent research shows America’s Finest City is on of the Top-10 soccer market but it’s been exceedingly difficult to establish a long-term outdoor club (the indoor Sockers have long been a staple of the San Diego sports scene). Gontran is hoping to change that.

“Some teams came and they failed,” said Gontran. “Now I think we’re in the balance of being happy to have a team but they don’t know what to expect so every day we are spreading the word and our passion. I think that’s the only way to make it.”

They promise to play an attacking, offensive-minded style that Gontran thinks San Diego soccer fans will enjoy. 1904 FC lost their first official match last weekend on the road against the L.A. Force. But the home opener against California United Strikers FC will be a nice payoff after five years of work.

“When you know that it’s not easy; you know every day you want something that’s not possible because it’s not your country and you don’t know the rules,” said Gontran. “It’s difficult to find a field just to train. It’s the kind of sacrifice you have to do every day.”

And how did Alex get through it all to see this club become a reality?

“Just be passionate about what you’re doing and, more than that, keep your faith.”

That leap of faith kicks off Saturday night at 7:00.

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