Big News for St. Louis Soccer – Sporting StL – Rangers and JB Marine join forces in new partnership!
The St. Louis Soccer community just got stronger. Two of the city’s premier soccer clubs, Sporting STL and J.B. Marine, have entered into a partnership. The new venture brings together two clubs that strive for excellence rather than revenue.
“This partnership is not a merger or acquisition,” Sporting STL’s President Kevin Howe explained, “It is a strategic partnership between a group of like-minded, passionate soccer people committed to creating the best youth and player development model possible.” He added, “Neither club is going into this for financial or political gain.” Howe also noted that families with both sons and daughters playing now have a new opportunity to have their kids play under the same banner.
Bob Schneider, Executive Director of J.B. Marine, also emphasized the unique opportunities created by “the collective efforts of these two strong soccer clubs and communities.” He pointed to the history of success that both clubs add to the equation. “Tommy Howe [Sporting STL’s Director of Coaching] has been associated with more State, Regional and National Championships than any other coach in Missouri or the Midwest,” he said, “and J. B. Marine Soccer Club has accounted for 6 of the 8 national championships won by any girls’ program in the state of Missouri.”
Each club will continue to operate independently in many areas, but training, events and player opportunities can be provided to members more efficiently, economically and productively for both players and their families. Both clubs are looking forward to working together and sharing resources to allow the area’s most qualified coaches and clinicians to continue producing the area’s most outstanding players.
JB Marine is a premier girls’ soccer program started in 1978 by George Foster and Bill Laub that is rich with tradition, success, expertise and stability.
“Our mission is to provide quality training and to maintain an environment that embodies the core values of integrity, leadership, perseverance, respect and teamwork while enhancing self-esteem, promoting self-confidence and cultivating a lifelong passion for the game with an overall mission of being recognized nationally as a leader in youth soccer.”
To learn more, go to: jbmarinesoccer.com
The new endeavor also reunites, “Big Cat” Mike Gauvain with his mentor, Tommy Howe. Mike Gauvain serves as J.B. Marine’s Director of Coaching education. Tommy and Mike have had a close working relationship for over 25 years. Together, they have provided high-level training and have developed countless college scholarship recipients and numerous professional players. Additionally, numerous coaches from both clubs have played for one or both of these soccer legends, providing a continuation of their emphasis on a highly-skilled, possession-oriented style of play.
The clubs will be part of Sporting Kansas City’s Academy Affiliates and Club Network. Their teams will compete in the Pro Youth Club division of the Midwest Regional League. The division operates as a separate league within the MRL and is open only to affiliates of Major League Soccer teams. In addition to divisional play, the teams will participate in spring and fall showcases. This is an unprecedented opportunity for players to compete under the supervision of MLS clubs.
For more information related to the partnership between Sporting St. Louis and J.B. Marine, their affiliation with Sporting Kansas City, or opportunities to join, contact Mark Goldstein, for Sporting St. Louis, or Robert Schneider, for J.B. Marine.