Mill Valley Soccer Club Rangers 1982-1998
The Mill Valley Rangers who for so many years enriched our community with a higher level of soccer had changed into something far different from its original vision. They dreamed of becoming a real club, much like those they had traveled to, competing against the clubs during the day, and sharing beverage and song with at night. Taking this home with them they formed an understanding of what it took to be successful in the game, and what it meant to be a club.
1998 to Present
In the summer of 1998 two soccer acquaintances from Marin County happened upon each other outside a stadium in Nantes, France, just as the United States warmed up for their final match of the World Cup. They reveled in the atmosphere and pure joy in the air as the match came closer.
The air was full of song. People with painted faces chanted with excited anticipation outside the stadium. Entering the stadium, a call to nationalism both for U.S. and Serbian was a galvanizing intensity setting one against the other, with passion, which I had never felt before. Following the match the snarls and jeers turned to hugs, kisses, and dancing again as all came together in celebration of the game.
As a result of the U.S. losing, and ending up placing last in the largest participated World Cup in history there was a thoughtful conversation about our nation's game. It was recognized that the structure in which our country was organized around youth soccer both helped and at the same time inhibited the growth of the game. This conversation continued for three weeks as they and others discussed our countries failings, and examined the root of the problem.
Mark Mackbee talked of his experiences playing in Europe and described how one team would support the other, and how not only the team had something to support, but how the community was made closer through the club. The experience of Tighe O'Sullivan, not only in Europe, but also in South and Central America only complimented the fact that everywhere in the world, but the U.S., the club system was the standard to develop and nurture young soccer stars of tomorrow. This understood truth bonded them and those that followed with ideas and contributions to a coming reality. The passion to be at the world cup inspired us to realize what we needed in our own back yard.
The idea of a club system is not a new one in our area. Mark described the Mill Valley Men's team and their dream of creating a bottom to top club. Unfortunately the board members of Mill Valley did not understand what influence these men could have on their children. They did not understand the significance of a real club, a family. Therefore, the Mill Valley Men's team stayed just that. They were a men's team with no affiliation to any other teams, and therefore a separate entity even within their own county. This could also be said of all current youth teams in Marin County and beyond.
Then the dawning of a new millennium happened a year early. One day in January of 1999, Mark called Tighe, and told him that the Mill Valley Men's team was going to fold. A meeting between them and their close friend Greg Bronshvag ensued. Together the three of them talked of the vision, and the commitment, which would be needed to change the team into a club.
Today in 2015 we have taken many large steps at accomplishing this goal, and vision.
Club Marin is now an entity within this community, which is closer than ever before at accomplishing a true club organization. We have grown from a single men's team into five adult men's teams. We are also competitive nationally on the beach soccer front having competed in most competitions of value around the country. At the same time our organization has offered opportunities abroad through the Spanish National Federation, and C.F. Real Madrid.
Every day we feel the proximity of the club system and culture coming closer. Our foundation and understanding of the worlds game and its business has given us the leadership at developing the correct system.
We are Club Marin, formerly the Mill Valley Men's team, and we would like to invite you to join us in the development of a community based soccer club here in Marin.
Our men's team has just embarked on another year in the Premier and Major division's of the SFSFL, our 16th season as Club Marin in +30 year history in this league.
Our aim is the development of a Marin based soccer club akin to the clubs of Europe and Latin America, which encompasses a system of teams that unites all ages and genders, and in so doing establishes a enduring local soccer culture which brims with enthusiasm for the sport, lots of fun, and much soccer camaraderie.
The Cornerstone of our club is our Men's teams. These teams are the end of the ladder, which will eventually bridge the gap between the Grasshoppers and the clubs Premier team. Club Marin's Premier team plays in the San Francisco Soccer Football League, which at a time was the highest level of Amateur Soccer in the United States.