About Tudela FC
Almost four years ago, Jacob Tudela agreed to coach a bunch of then eight-year-old girls who wanted to make the move out of AYSO. Jacob had grown up with the game—his father, Fernando, founded the very successful Tudela Soccer Academy and the Tudela Futbol Club in Indiana, and Jacob and his older brother, Josh, played at Indiana University. Josh went on to play for the LA Galaxy; Jacob’s professional career was derailed by knee injuries, so he moved to Southern California and coached two boys teams at Beach FC, leading each from last place in the lowest tier of U12 to number one in Southern California and top 20 in the nation by U17. He then became the youngest ever USL W-League coach when he took over three-time champion Pali Blues in what was, at the time, the highest level of women’s soccer. And then…he decided to pursue acting, which is why he was available, on a Monday afternoon in May 2014, to train four girls in a park. His knowledge of the game and his passion for teaching it immediately won over the girls and their parents. They had their coach; soon they had a team.
In his first seasons, Jacob’s girls exceeded all expectations, making to the semi-finals of their first State Cup. But even though his teams managed to grow and thrive, Jacob felt strongly that they were not getting the support that they needed or deserved. He received offers to fold his teams into larger, established clubs in the area, but Jacob grew up believing that Tudela Futbol means something—that expectations are meant to be exceeded; that character on the field reflects character off the field; that the game should be played hard and also played beautifully. And he insists that his girls deserve more than to be fed into what he sees as an often flawed Academy system. So he made a choice: to create Tudela FC LA.
Within months he had secured a field five days a week in the heart of Los Angeles, a sponsorship from Nike, and a core of coaches who share his philosophy and are excited to be a part of his project. These former professional players and college national champions believe, as Jacob does, that it is not just desirable but absolutely essential to provide a top club experience for every girl, regardless of their parents’ financial situation. They see diversity as an asset not just for building successful teams but also for building successful young women. Which is why Tudela FC LA looks like Los Angeles. And every time our teams walk on the field, win or lose, they will be proud to represent the badge on their shirt, their city and the beautiful game.
That’s the story of Tudela FC LA. We welcome you to become a part of it.
Tudela FC LA