San Francisco City FC
|Full name||San Francisco City Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||SF City, The Iron & Gold|
|Owner||San Francisco City FC Members Organization|
(nonprofit, supporter owned) (51%)
|League||USL League Two|
|2019||6th, Southwest Division|
In 2016, SF City qualified for its second U.S. Open Cup, the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the U.S., after winning two preliminary qualifiers and receiving a bye into the first round of the tournament.
San Francisco City Football Club was founded in 2001 by Jonathan Wright, and entered the San Francisco Soccer Football League beginning with the 2002 season. After a decade in the competition, the club won back-to-back promotions to reach the SFSFL Premier Division in 2012. On the heels of the club's SFSFL success, and with enthusiasm for soccer mounting in the buildup to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, former SF City player and current club president Jacques Pelham began discussions with members of the San Francisco Football Supporters Association and the San Francisco chapter of The American Outlaws about building a grassroots, supporter-owned professional soccer club in the city.
The club began offering membership in August 2014, but a bid to join the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) for the spring 2015 campaign was blocked by San Francisco Stompers FC, who claimed territorial exclusivity in the league. SF City filed a grievance with US Soccer contesting the Stompers' claim. An independent arbiter eventually sided with SF City, but by the time the decision was made the club had already agreed to join the US Club Soccer NorCal Premier Soccer League.
In early 2015, with administration staff in place and membership on the rise, SF City approached dominant NorCal Premier Soccer League side Ticket Arsenal FC about merging its on-the-pitch player talent, which included many former NCAA Division 1 players and some former Major League Soccer prospects, with SF City's organizational and supporter infrastructure. The merger was executed on the eve of the semifinal of the regional US Open Cup qualifying tournament.
The new-look SF City went on to defeat Redwood City-based Juventus Soccer Academy 7–1, then toppled Modesto-based Stanislaus Academica 3–0 in the final hosted at San Francisco State’s Cox Stadium, setting up a date in the preliminary round of the US Open Cup with Thousand Oaks-based amateur powerhouse Cal FC. SF City became the first team from San Francisco to qualify for the competition since the 2007 California Victory, and the first amateur San Francisco side to qualify since the reintroduction of professional clubs to the tournament in 1995. The April 25 play-in match between SF City and Cal FC set a US Open Cup preliminary round attendance record, with 1,519 spectators in the stands of the newly refurbished Kezar Stadium. SF City eventually fell 2–1, exiting the competition after two controversial second half penalties awarded to Cal FC made the difference in a tightly contested match.
In March 2015, San Francisco City confirmed via its official Twitter feed that it was looking into becoming an expansion club of the North American Soccer League.
|Year||Division||League||Regular Season||Playoffs||Open Cup|
|2016||4||USL PDL||3rd, Central Pacific||Did not qualify||First Round|
|2017||4||USL PDL||3rd, Southwest||Did not qualify||Did not qualify|
|2018||4||USL PDL||6th, Southwest||Did not qualify||2nd Round|
|2019||4||USL League Two||6th, Southwest||Did not qualify||Did not qualify|
Ownership and operations
Club president Jacques Pelham, club founder Jonathan Wright, and VP of Community Development Steven Kenyon control SF City's minority share and perform club operations. Charles Wollin serves as SF City’s director of media and as the broadcaster/commentator for their games.
In 2016, SF City announced a new round of minority investors, including Alex Bard, CEO at Campaign Monitor, previously EVP at Salesforce; Mitch Lowe, Active angel investor and advisor, previously Co-founder & COO at Redbox; Gary Benitt, General Partner at Social Leverage, previously Co-Founder & COO at Desk.com; Ethan Kurzweil,Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners; Scot Chisholm, CEO & Co-founder at Classy; Andy Jones, a 15-year veteran in the financial services industry; Andrew Housser, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Freedom Financial Network; and András Petery, a mobile tech media executive and investor who led mobile partnerships at Yahoo and founded Enable Venture Partners.
The supporters of SF City are known collectively as "El Lado Norte" or "The Northsiders," as they would gather in the north stand at Kezar Stadium during matches. In addition to standing, singing, chanting, waving flags, and displaying tifos during matches, Northsiders frequently gather to socialize, watch away matches, and perform community service.
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- "ANDRÁS PETERY AND ANDREW HOUSSER JOIN FOUNDING INVESTOR GROUP!". SF City FC. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
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