Seaside, CA – Monterey Bay Football Club, one of the newest members of the men’s professional league USL Championship (USLC), will play their inaugural home game in May on a freshly installed AstroTurf® pitch purpose-built for elite soccer. Monterey Bay F.C. opted for one of AstroTurf’s leading products, the LigaTurf RS Pro II system, for the new Cardinale Stadium at the California State University at Monterey Bay (CSUMB) campus.
The LigaTurf RS Pro II system is the product of years of research and development and a commitment to creating the most technologically advanced soccer fields in the world. Integrating monofilament fibers designed to deliver grass-like traction and superior aesthetics, it’s a fitting choice for the newly renovated stadium in beautiful Seaside, California. Monterey Bay F.C. funded the project privately, spending $11 million to expand the seating capacity to 6,000, add premium seating areas and a Broadcast Box, and install high-performance FIFA-approved turf.
“Monterey Bay is really an ambitious club and they want to do things the right way,” said AstroTurf’s Manager of Soccer Carl Capellas. “As a USL Championship team, it was important to them and us to have that level of soccer being played on the best performing turf for soccer. That’s why they are getting LigaTurf.”
Cardinale Stadium will be the official home pitch for Monterey Bay F.C., as well as the main playing field for the CSUMB men’s and women’s soccer teams. The first home game for the Union is on May 7th against the Las Vegas Lights Football Club.
Monterey Bay F.C., which is branded as The Greatest Union of Land and Sea, joined the USLC in 2021. The team played their first game ever on March 12th of this year against Phoenix Rising FC in Arizona. They’ve also played Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, Oakland Roots SC, Sacramento Republic, El Paso Locomotive FC, and LA Galaxy II, giving them the chance to test themselves as a group against some of the best soccer teams in the western United States.
Coached by two-time MLS Coach of the Year and former Premier League player Frank Yallop, the Union will be an exciting team to watch as the 2022 USL Championship season unfolds. Club Owner and Chairman Ray Beshoff brought together a formidable group of athletes from all over the world when he founded the Monterey Bay F.C. Players include forward Walmer Martinez, formerly of Hartford Athletic and a player on the El Salvador National Team, defender Hugh Roberts from Maryland, who played with Charlotte Independence for three seasons and is ranked 9th all-time in appearances in USL Championship history, and Seku Conneh from Liberia. Conneh competes on the Liberia National Team, and he’s played professionally for Fortuna Sittard in the Netherlands, Philadelphia Union II, Las Vegas Lights, and the Icelandic club iBV. He also scored the first goal ever for Monterey Bay F.C.
“Coach Yallop is a Hall-of-Fame coach,” said Capellas. “He’s one of the big boys. He had a long professional career in Europe and was just inducted into the San Jose Earthquakes Hall of Fame. He was integral in this process. He was in the weeds as much as anyone I’ve ever worked with. He was watching film with our turf, calling guys in Europe, calling the coach at the University of Pittsburgh (Jay Vidovich), standing on the fields, watching players on the turf. He was adamant his team had the top-level turf system.
“He was a big part of the process. When someone on that level agrees with what we’re doing and is pushing for it, that confirms what we’ve been doing.”
After their match against the Las Vegas Lights on Saturday, May 7, Monterey Bay will play the Rio Grande Valley FC at home on the following Saturday. Soccer fans can buy tickets online or watch Monterey Bay FC play on the new AstroTurf® field at Cardinale Stadium on ESPN.
For athletes and sports enthusiasts, AstroTurf® has redefined the way the game is played. The brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport, and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of high schools, colleges, professional sports teams, and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit AstroTurf’s website at www.astroturf.com.
About the USL
The United Soccer League (USL) is the largest and fastest-growing professional soccer organization in North America, possessing more than a decade of experience in bringing the world’s game to communities across the United States. Overseeing the USL Championship (USSF Division II), USL League One (USSF Division III), USL League Two and W League (Pre-Professional), the organization is built on a proven and recognized model in international football and counts more than 150 clubs in its membership. In September, the USL announced the USL Super League, a new professional women’s league that will apply for Division II sanctioning from USSF and aims to begin play in 2023. For more information, visit www.uslsoccer.com.