The Huron-based Edge Futbol Club will combine with the Huron County Youth Soccer Club (HCYSC) starting this year.
Since 1983, the HCYSC has coordinated soccer programs for youth players in Norwalk and the surrounding communities. Run by parent volunteers, the club offers recreational soccer programs with membership peaking at more than 500.
In Huron, Edge Futbol Club was founded in 2015 by coach Nico Samaniego to provide competitive premier-level youth soccer. Players develop under professional coaching and a disciplined and rigorous training schedule.
Kate Lovitt, 12, is a goalie and has been with Edge FC since 2017.
“Coach Nico is strict and practices are hard, but I like it. I learn the most from our passing and defensive drills and I like that I get to meet and play with lots of different people,” she said.
Skills such as the ability to be coached, work collaboratively and develop a strong work ethic are emphasized, giving Edge FC players the tools needed for success on and off the field.
While both clubs have enjoyed many successes independently, together they promise to develop the next generation of soccer athletes at every level. Starting Jan. 1, both clubs will combine under the Huron County Youth Soccer Club, with Samaniego serving as the new chief executive officer. Sean Steffanni is the president.
For the first time, HCYSC will offer three levels of training — recreational, competitive and premier — all in Huron County.
“I am very optimistic about the level of soccer talent in Huron County and the surrounding areas. I am seeing much more interest and passion in the sport and that is the first step to having talent,” said Samaniego, a Huron native.
After graduating from Huron High School and playing at Heidelberg University, Samaniego began a semi-professional soccer career in Sweden.
“At both Heidelberg and in Sweden, I was taught the mental side of the game. I teach my players the need to understand and anticipate the work that gets done on the field,” he said, explaining his coaching approach. “Working with a whole new group of coaches, parents and players is really exciting to me. I look forward to developing passionate players up to the premier level.”
The merging of Edge FC with HCYSC will offer a complete soccer experience never before seen in the area. For the first time, Huron County Youth Soccer Club can develop young athletes at any level of play — recreational, competitive or premier.
Premier players can develop under skilled and experienced coaches. Online registration for competitive and premier divisions is currently open; registration for recreational soccer began Feb. 1. Follow “Huron County Youth Soccer Club” on Facebook for the most recent updates and check out its website at hcysc.org.