The Sonoma County Sol FC serves as a model of both consistency and success. Year after year the Sol have been one of the NPSL’s top clubs, making the postseason on a regular basis and sending a large number of players to the pros.
The Sol last won the league title in 2009. They have been runners-up twice, most recently in 2013. They have been Golden Gate Conference champs four times.
Over the past ten years, more than 150 talented players have starred for the Sol. Twenty came from professional careers or went on to play professionally. This year alone the Sol roster includes an incredible seven players who have played professionally in the U.S. and around the world.
Sol alumni can be found just about anywhere. Take Eric Kronberg, a veteran goalkeeper that has played with the likes of Sporting KC and the Montreal Impact. Or Chris Rodd, a defender that won the NASL title with the New York Cosmos in 2013. Even Ross Middlemiss, a striker who won the 2013 NPSL Player of the Year after playing in both Germany and the Netherlands. And all were stars for the Sol during their careers.
“The culture in the Sol clubhouse has always been one of hard work and dedication,” Sol General Manager Zachary Lawrence stated. “The success of our players, and by extension, our club, is due to the hard work the players put in week after week. The Sol is simply a vehicle for them to showcase their skill and knowledge of the game.”
And what a vehicle it has been. All of this success leads to high expectations for the season ahead. The team hopes to make a deep run into the playoffs and be a contender for a national championship. In addition, the Sol have advanced in the U.S. Open Cup, one of the world’s oldest soccer tournaments.
“It’s an incredible honor to get to play in the Open Cup and have the opportunity to be challenged by high-quality teams from throughout the US Soccer pyramid,” Lawrence added. “It’s not every year that we get the chance to play in the Open Cup, so we’re trying really hard to let the community know how important this is for our club and Sonoma County.”
The Sol have been busy off the field as well. A new marketing effort spearheaded by Lawrence has created tremendous excitement about soccer in Sonoma County.
“This year we have partnered with six premier local youth clubs in a massive fundraising campaign that provides benefit to the youth club players as well as the Sol,” Lawrence concluded. “Through these partnerships, which have helped us to pre-sell 15,000 tickets for our regular season NPSL games, youth players get introduced to the Sol, youth players improve their game by spending time on the field with the Sol, and youth players begin to understand the path up the ranks in US Soccer. These partnerships have put us in front of over 2,500 youth soccer players, many of whom now see the Sol as the top of the soccer pyramid in the North Bay, a great next step after club or college soccer in North Bay.”
Those youth players are exposed to some of the best soccer in the league thanks to the Sol’s exciting and attacking style of play.