Tudela FC LA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, all-girls’ soccer club, born out of the experience of being girls’ teams playing within historically boys’ clubs in Los Angeles. It is difficult for girls to receive the same level of training, the same access to facilities, the same attention to their development as boys; though things are changing for the better, soccer is still an unequal playing field when it comes to gender.
We are trying to speed up that positive change. Though there is nothing unique about an all-girls’ soccer club, we think that the level of our training is unrivaled in the Los Angeles area, as is our commitment to working with any girl, regardless of her family’s socio-economic situation. If we can’t break the pay-to-play model of youth soccer, we’re determined to bend it into something better. We are diverse, we are inclusive. We look like Los Angeles.
We want to be a model for best youth development practices, which is why an emphasis on technical ability and free play/pick-up soccer are both integral parts of our club DNA. Every week in our off-season we host “TFC Fridays,” where we treat our field like a big backyard and host small-sided tournaments for our players and their friends. For two hours, they get a rare chance in a big city to just… play.
We have forged community partnerships (such as sponsoring educational programs for the public schools whose fields we train on) to make our club a vehicle for social change. We are also launching our TUDI (Today You Dream It) program in 2018 to offer fully-subsidized training for girls between the age of 6 to 8 in underserved communities.
TFC LA was founded by Jacob Tudela a former stand-out player at Indiana University who grew up with the game – his father, Fernando, founded the successful Tudela Soccer Academy in Indiana. A passionate teacher, Jacob believes that character on the field reflects character off it, and he has hired skilled coaches who share that philosophy, including Chelsea Braun, a former national champion at UCLA, who is the Youth Academy Director. Together they are not only building great soccer players, but also strong young women.
That’s the story of Tudela Futbol Club Los Angeles. We’ve only just begun to write it; we welcome you to become a part of it.