USL PRO Profile: The Los Angeles Blues
On November 7th, 2010 it was announced that the USL PRO’s newest expansion team would be the Los Angeles Blues. Although based out of Orange County their first official game was in the Caribbean. It was a 3-0 victory over Sevilla Puerto Rico followed by another victory against Antigua Barracudas. After a rather slow first season, slow as far as ticket sales are concerned at least, the Blues hired the former CEO of Orlando City Steve Donner as vice president of business operations. In their 2012 season they averaged around three times as many ticket sales as their first.
Name: Titan Stadium, Fullerton, California
Playing Surface: Grass
Owners: Maryam Mansouri
Managing Director: Ali Mansouri
General Manager: Warren Barton
Business Manager: Sophie Russell
Director of Sales & Marketing: Sem Ibrahim
Charlie Naimo, originally the coach of the Pali Blues, lead as head coach for the Blues inaugural season. After two seasons it was announced that he would not be returning for their third. He would instead be returning to the Pali Blues. Dr. Jesus Rico-Sanz will be head coach for the 2013 season. Rico-Sanz is going to be a very technically advanced coach. He has a B.S. in Exercise Physiology, a M.S. in Exercise Science, and a PhD in Human Physiology. He has written extensively on soccer in many technical publications. It should be very interesting to see what Rico-Sanz will bring to the Blues.
The Blues Brothers:
From the ‘About’ section of their Facebook page:
Our Mission is to passionately support our team through the good times and the bad times. We will stand 90+ minutes every match giving every ounce of energy our bodies can spare to our team. Through our passion and dedication we aim to become the envy of the league.
We are an all inclusive Independent Supporters Group for the OC Blues (aka LA Blues) that strives to see professional soccer flourish in Orange County.
The LA Blues have had a very hard time with their attendance. On their first season they had an average of around 380. While for their second season they saw a substantial jump in attendance, to about 670, they were still the least attended team in the league.
So far there has not been any sponsorship deals made for jerseys.
The LA Blues future is a little uncertainness. They go into this season with perhaps the smallest fanbase out of any USL PRO team. Will the fans show up this season? Can they keep up the growth they achieved last season? Will coach Rico-Sanz help the Blues climb higher in the standings? How much will having another western team in the league help things?