Soccer in Foster City


Just in case you might have missed it, or have been in a coma for the last 20 years and have just awakened, Soccer is a big deal. In fact, it’s a really BIG DEAL and when it comes to Foster City I don’t have a font size large enough to express how big of a deal it is here. Let’s just agree to say that in Foster City people like it a whole bunch. Maybe it’s because this community is enormously blessed with many wonderful and expansive parks with fields large enough to allow soccer to be played there and people from all over the Peninsula have been attracted to them like Stanford alums to a good Cabernet. Five parks, Edgewater, Boothbay, Port Royal, Catamaran and Sea Cloud have soccer fields and the last one is the most coveted destination…maybe on the whole Peninsula. Drive over to Sea Cloud Park some weekend and check it out…you’ll be amazed.

Because of all this interest a brouhaha has sort of developed because groups of recreational adult soccer players like to meet and have pick up games during lunch hours or after work in the parks and at Sea Cloud in particular. The city put tough new restrictions on field use and wants these groups to organize, pay fees and be insured to use these city parks. Recently, games in which players don’t have permits have been broken up by the Police. The recreational players argue that it’s impossible to buy liability insurance for pick up games since the participants are different from one day to the next.

Parks and Recreation committee meetings have been exciting as debate has gone on about the purpose of the city’s fields, the nature of liability insurance, and what constitutes an organized group as opposed to a pick up game. Naturally, the fact that Foster City is such an attractive location for soccer for the whole Peninsula underlies the controversy and makes competition among groups an inevitability. At this point it appears there is actually some movement toward compromise and in this mornings San Jose Mercury-News we had this story:

So, back to the original point…soccer’s big, and it’s not gettin’ any smaller. If you’re at all interested in youth soccer in Foster City, and you’re not aware of this already, click on the following local links for more details. 



  1. I’ll bet it’s mostly the employees at Oracle who use the fields at lunch time. Maybe Larry Ellison could make a handsome donation to the Parks & Rec to help maintain the parks on behalf of his employees and settle the issue. On second thought, what a silly idea. Some non-employees might stand to benefit and that just wouldn’t be prudent.

  2. Mike Mac says:

    OK, I like the blog. Looks great and well organized. Didn’t think you had that writing blood in you but looks like maybe we’ve had a regular F. Scott Fitzgerald right under our noses here in FC and we didn’t know it. I’m impressed.

    Anyhow, I did want to add to your soccer (futbol) entry.
    Our Under 16 AYSO boys team is honored to have a chance to play in the national tournament this July,
    and it just so happens to be located in Hawaii this year. I know because my son is going and I’ll be a chaperone.

    FC has had a wonderful AY organization for many years, has had great participation across all ages boys & girls,
    and really has benefited from the incredible diversity of FC inhabitants … with many experienced coaches living here from strong soccer cultures around the world (including Ireland, Nigeria, Korea, India, Argentina, Turkey, Spain, etc …). We are really fortunate to have parents and kids from every corner of the globe bringing their futbol skills to the pitches in FC.

    Like the commercial goes “joga bonita”

  3. Isnt it true that you need a city permit to play in foster city if you are more than 6 people. Whats the use of having so many grounds if you cannot play a casual game with friends and family?

  4. Last I heard it was 10 people or more…plus you needed liability insurance too. This was a pretty big deal in February of this year and I’m not sure if the City’s softened up in this area or not. Foster City’s pretty strict about appearances in town. My broker had to take down an umbrella from the 2nd floor deck at our Marlin Cove office because the umbrella had a logo on it and somebody complained that it cheapened the appearance of the building.

  5. SteveTinFC says:

    The low down on the City’s change in its parks use ordinance can be found at this link. The City’s ordinance change does not prevent a family get-together for a drop-in soccer, flag football, softball, cricket, field hockey, or any other type of game. The City understands there will be that type of drop-in uses. What the Parks & Rec department WAS having a problem with, however, was recurring use by what was deemed to be organized players that were using the field and was adding to the maintenance requirements of those fields. So the # of people using the field that would require a permit was reduced from 25 to 10. The link above will also show that there have been designated drop-in fields on a first-come, first-served basis during mid-day to accommodate those corporate groups that wanted to play pick-up games during lunch that doesn’t require permits, liability insurance, etc. The Parks & Recreation Committee comprised of residents made the recommendation to the Council when it was adopted, and continues to monitor the situation.

    Hope this information helps.


  6. Ladies and Gentleman, Steve Toler…THE MAN!

  7. Always good to read about Soccer, my ex was of olympic standards.. really good!

    Can I ask though – how did you get this picked up and into google news?

    Very impressive, is it something that is just up to Google or you actively created?

    Obviously this is a popular blog with great data so well done on your seo success..

    Did you catch the latest game on this?

  8. Buenas ! seria mucha molestia brindar un poco mas de info sobre este tema ??? esta muy bueno el blog, un saludo y arriba el futbol !

  9. SteveTinFC says:

    FIFA, see my post from June 13 above. The ordinance was passed, and drop-in locations have been provided at various parks as provided at the link I indicated above. It has been working very well … the corporate leagues that wanted to use the fields on a drop-in basis have been able to do such. Standing groups that wanted to use the fields as a league I believe have started paying the fees and registering as required. In the end, there has been very little furor over the ordinance.

    Is that the update you were looking for?


  10. Thoughtful post and well written. Please write more on this if you have time.

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