February 19, 2012

YouthCollegeAdultProHigh SchoolEditorial

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New England youth powerhouse Seacoast United change to “for-profit” status

28 Dec, 2011

New Hampshire’s Seacoast United Soccer Club, one of the strongest youth clubs in the Northeast region, has become a for-profit organization in order to gain improved access to working capital for facility developments and other growth.

"It was very difficult for us to borrow money and be able to do some of the things that we ultimately want to do," club co-founder and executive director Paul Willis told the Portsmouth Herald. “By doing this, it will allow the club to continue its growth."

Officially dubbed Seacoast United Sports Clubs Inc. as of December 16, the club has grown to include over 100 teams of various ages, including programs in lacrosse, field hockey and baseball, since its birth in 1992. The club operates its own artificial-turf outdoor fields complex in Hampton, N.H. as well as a nearby indoor facility. As part of this month’s restructuring, both have been sold to a club-affiliated realty trust and leased back to the club, raising nearly $4 million.

A Nike Premier Club and member of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and U.S Youth Soccer’s Northeast Pre-Academy League, Seacoast United also competes in Super Y-League and launched a USL Premier Development League team, the Seacoast United Phantoms, earlier this year.

Willis even holds out long-term ambitions of advancing the club into the professional ranks.

“I know this might sound crazy,” he told the Portsmouth Herald. “We will never be D.C. United or New York Red Bull because we are not a city or big metropolitan area. But if you look everywhere else in the world, there are smaller clubs, but they are professional and play professional soccer.

"I would love for this place to be a MLS club and be the first one that was started from scratch."

[ +Read the full Portsmouth Herald coverage here ]

[ +Visit Seacoast United’s website here ]


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