La Jolla-based Nomads Soccer Club changes its play field


By Ashley Mackin

The Nomads Soccer Club has moved from its longtime home at Allen Field to Hickman Youth Complex in Clairemont; has formed a new partnership with the Jewish Community Center to start a no-experience-necessary recreational league; and is seeking alumni to act as mentors to incoming players.

“We’re looking for kids who went through the program who might want to come back and be like a big brother,” said Mary Kaliff, Nomads general administrator.

Kaliff explained that the Nomads is a competitive soccer club eager to get the word out that it has simply moved, and not gone out of business nor been replaced by another club.

That rumor was brought to Kaliff’s attention at a pediatrician’s office in La Jolla, where another person in the waiting room told her that La Jolla Impact Youth Soccer had absorbed the Nomads Club into its program. Kaliff worried that Nomads’ alumni might erroneously think the same thing.

“It’s a shame that after 30 years of coaching youth soccer, with most of those years here in our La Jolla community that we are a very big part of, our alumni might think we are no longer around,” she said.

Nomads Head Coach Derek Armstrong said the intensive Nomads Soccer Club is one of the 81 U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams created in the United States by the U.S. Soccer Federation. A national team program oversees the training curriculum. Players train three to four times a week and play games on weekends.

“This is not the program where kids come for eight weeks and play with the volunteer dads ... we train year-round,” Kaliff said.

Since 1988, the Nomads have won 32 championship titles and have had Nomads alumni participate in every World Cup since 1986, Kaliff pointed out.

Several former players have been drafted to Major League Soccer (MLS) teams. Current MLS Men’s National Team members Joe Corona and Steve Cherundolo are both Nomads alums. Brothers Michael and Gabriel Farfan currently play for the Philadelphia Union soccer team. Danny Delgado, another Nomads alumnus, was recently drafted to the San Jose Earthquakes team.

“I don’t think there’s any club that puts kids on the national teams as much as we have,” Kaliff said.

The Nomads also operate a “community school” that is a stepping-stone toward making the Nomads teams. Coaches train the players to help them “develop to their fullest potential,” Kaliff said.

Contact The Nomads

■ For information about the teams and training levels, which start at age 5, or to become a mentor, visit