By all accounts, the Davis Legacy/California Storm partnership has gotten off to a flying start since being announced just over two months ago.
The pairing immediately seemed mutually beneficial — the Storm desired a world class facility to train and play at while the Legacy were looking for a way to develop a women’s senior team after the successful introduction of a men’s senior team a few years ago.
Much has happened in the two months since the announcement. The Storm haven’t lost a single game in league play, California Storm II debuted as the club’s reserve team, and hundreds have packed the stands to watch some of the best women in the area ply their trade.
Several Storm matches have been scheduled to coincide with youth events at Davis Legacy Soccer Complex and are free of cost for every Davis Legacy family.
“It’s really nice with the tournaments we’ve had that people are able to come out and see the first team and realize that there’s a pathway to first team soccer with this club,” said Davis Legacy Executive Director David Robertson. “Anytime we can align ourselves with someone like the Storm, who have won the most WPSL national titles, it’s really good for our club.”
Founded in 1995, the Storm have captured three WPSL titles and have made three further finals. Board members include former world superstars Brandi Chastain and Sissi, both who have now visited the Davis Legacy Soccer Complex.
And it’s here that the Storm garnered the infrastructure to help with the dearth of competitive training and playing opportunities that exist for youth players once they age out of club soccer.
While open to anyone regardless of club, the Storm II roster includes 22 Davis Legacy alumni, from some who were born all the way back in 1999 to others who just finished up with the Legacy U19 team a few weeks ago.
“Players would finish off their youth careers with us and we weren’t really able to do anything but say, ‘goodbye’ and ‘goodluck,’” said Robertson, who also doubles as the Storm II co-coach. “We haven’t really had a place to help them continue to play. There’s nothing between club soccer ending in May all the way through July. Now they can get training free of cost.”
One player who has found this experience valuable has been longtime Legacy player Cailin Bloom, who just aged out of youth soccer and will play for Cal in the fall. Bloom has played for both Storm and Storm II, while regularly training with both squads as well.
“Storm has allowed me the opportunity to meet such amazing people who are also playing at a high level,” Bloom said. “I have really enjoyed the challenge of playing in such a competitive environment that is very fun.”
“Having the chance to train all summer and prepare for Cal has been a big help,” she added. “Most of the Storm players are current or former collegiate athletes so I have gotten the inside scoop on what it takes to be an athlete in college and that has helped me a lot mentally.”
While the Legacy/Storm affiliation is still new, just two months in, it appears as a win-win for everyone involved.
“It’s been a really good partnership,” Robertson said. “It’s gone well above and beyond our initial expectations.”