The Nevada Wonders men's soccer team's three-year run in Carson City has come to an end.
Randy Roser, who has been the team's owner and general manager since its inception, has effectively reached an agreement to move the team to San Francisco. Roser said he has reached an agreement with Tom Simpson, the owner of the San Francisco Seals, a now defunct A League team, to take over the operations of the Wonders.
The A League is the highest level of soccer in the United States next to the Major Soccer League. The Wonders will be called the San Francisco Seals and will play in the Premiere Development League at the University of San Francisco beginning in the spring, 2006.
Roser said the United Soccer Leagues, which govern all of the major professional and development leagues in the U.S., including the PDL, has given its blessing to the agreement. Roser also said the agreement should be finalized by the end of the week.
Roser said he will stay as a stock holder and may even maintain ownership in the club. He also said the club will continue to maintain ties with the local Wonders Academy youth boys and girls soccer program, which will stay in tact and keep its name. Roser said it's also planned for the Seals to play at least two of their home games at Carson High next season where the Wonders have played their home contests the past three years.
The boys youth program, which will operate under the Seals, competes in the Super Y League, which is the nation's highest level youth program. Roser said many boys in the Wonders Academy will receive the chance to compete with the Seals youth program in the Super Y League.
Roser, who also coaches the Carson High girls soccer team, said he just doesn't have enough time to continue to operate the PDL franchise. "I've still got young kids at home," he said.
University of San Francisco men's soccer coach Erik Visser has also wanted the Wonders to move closer to his program. Visser has sent many of his players to play for the Wonders during the past three years.
Now that the Seals will be playing in San Francisco, they should be able to draw from other top Bay Area college programs, including Stanford and Santa Clara. "It's better for everybody," said Roser about the move.
The Wonders won one game in 2003, six games in 2004 and five games in 2005 and finished below .500 each year. Because of their location, the Wonders were limited in the number of college players they could recruit, making it difficult for them to keep up with many PDL teams, particularly those in Southern California, who had no trouble recruiting top college stars.
But with the Wonders' presence also came the addition of lights at Carson High's soccer field, which allowed the school to host the NIAA 4A State Boys Championships in 2003. CHS will also host the 4A State boys semifinals this year.