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Breakup Leaves Youth Soccer Org. Scrambling for Fields

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When a San Pedro, Calif., youth soccer league severed ties with the American Youth Soccer Organization earlier this year, the Field of Dreams soccer complex was caught in the middle.

Following a series of disagreements with the local AYSO director, the San Pedro youth soccer team parted ways with the governing organization, reestablishing itself as Harbor Youth Soccer Club, a member of the nonprofit FRAM Soccer Club.

The $1.5 million, 10-acre complex was built in 2002 and has received approximately $50,000 in maintenance funding from AYSO over the years. The Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department oversees the facility and scheduling, and announced last week that it would be granting Harbor Youth Soccer League a one-year exclusive use permit.

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“While AYSO has proudly served San Pedro for many decades, I cannot deny the overwhelming community support for (Harbor Youth Soccer League),” city councilman Joe Buscaino said in a written statement about the decision. “Our goal is and always will be to build a stronger community for our children.”

Registration for the new Harbor YSC Former AYSO regional commissioner Liz Parker (now affiliated with Harbor YSC), hopes that the league will attract 600 to 800 of the 1,000 youth players previously enrolled in the AYSO-affiliated league.

Meanwhile, AYSO is scrambling not only to find a new field to host games for its 2017-18 season, for which registration begins in a couple of weeks, but will also need to reestablish its volunteer roster.

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