SOURCE: The San Diego Sunwaves

March 07, 2007 15:26 ET

New Women's Soccer Team a San Diego Phenomenon

Best International Athletes Flock to 'America's Finest City'

SAN DIEGO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 7, 2007 -- The best female soccer players in the world have flocked to San Diego to join the Sunwaves, San Diego's new women's soccer team. Part of the highest division of soccer -- the women's division of the United Soccer League (W-USL), the Sunwaves is comprised of both college stars and World Cup athletes, including team captain Maribel Dominguez, the all-time leading scorer in Mexican women's national team history. Sunwaves soccer season begins on May 23 against the Real Colorado Cougars. June 17 marks the first home game at Torero Stadium, also against the Real Colorado Cougars.

"We receive calls each week from top players around the world who want to sign on as Sunwaves," said Mike Deeney, general manager. "The word is spreading. Like The Chargers and The Padres, Sunwaves athletes are the highest caliber athletes in their sport."

Nike Signs on as Sunwaves Sponsor

The most popular sport in the world, soccer has been slow to start in the states, but with leading athletes like David Beckham, who recently became a Los Angeles fixture, the sport is picking up pace. While some might question the ability for women's sports, especially soccer, to garner interest in Southern California, history shows that women's soccer, above all other forms of women's athletics, has a proven track record in bringing in the masses. In 1999, 90,000 fans packed the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, to witness the United States and China go head to head for the women's World Cup soccer final, thereby achieving the largest U.S. crowd ever to watch a women's sporting event. With world-class athletes from around the world, Nike has just signed on as the Sunwaves uniform sponsor, further indicating the popularity of the sport.

The ability to attract top talent like Dominguez and other Internationally acclaimed female athletes comes from good management and coaching. Elio Bello, a former championship player in San Diego and in Europe who has 25 years of professional playing and coaching experience, will lead the team as coach. Mike Deeney is the team's general manager.

"Sunwaves players live and breathe soccer," Deeney said. "Each game will ignite in fans a paralleled passion, unmatched by any other sport in the world."


Maribel Dominguez (Team Captain, Forward)

The all-time leading scorer in Mexican Women's National team history, Dominguez competed in the 2006 Gold Cup against Trinidad and Tobago, scoring Mexico's third goal in dramatic fashion in a 3-0 victory. The team advanced to defeat Jamaica 3-0 in an important third place match, setting up a two game playoff with Japan for a final World Cup spot. Dominguez' San Diego affiliation is especially exciting for her Mexican and American fans who rarely get to watch her play live as she plays for world-class soccer club FC Barcelona.

Sophia Perez (Goalkeeper)

Competed in the 2006 Gold Cup against Trinidad and Tobago, the United States and Jamaica. Perez held Trinidad and Tobago scoreless with a 3-0 victory. The team advanced to defeat Jamaica 3-0 in an important third place match, setting up a two game playoff with Japan for a final World Cup spot. Perez was twice named Most Valuable Player during her time with San Diego's former women's soccer team, the Gauchos. Perez is also noted for breaking records during her tenure as a star goalkeeper for the San Diego State Aztecs.

Editors, please note:

Players available for interview in English and Spanish. High-resolution photos also available. Tickets, which begin at just $7, are on sale now for the 2007 season. Call 619.303.7290 or visit

For more information about the San Diego Sunwaves or to set up an interview, contact Brook Larios.

About the San Diego Sunwaves

America's finest city welcomes the San Diego Sunwaves women's soccer franchise into the Western Conference of the United Soccer League (USL)'s Women's League.

Competing with the top female players in the world, USL W-League players feature international and former professional stars. Additionally, elite collegiate athletes have the opportunity to compete in the league while maintaining their collegiate eligibility.

Led by head coach Elio Bello, a former championship player in San Diego and Europe, and General Manager Mike Deeney, the Sunwaves are developing a strong presence in the community and will advance the development of a first-class reserve team and elite youth program. Their goal is to join the USL Super Y-League while providing universal support to all club organizations.

The Sunwaves support the ALS Association in the fight to find a cure for Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Brook Larios
    Senior Account Executive
    SZPR, Inc.
    760.943.2333 (Direct)