Our Story – First Club in Pittsburgh to offer a full development Pathway
1980s - Hotspurs founded in Sewickley, PA. 1985 is the first official recorded year.
- Hotspurs has always been focused on the players.
- Only one team competed at a time for over 11 years.
- The team was always a high school aged team that only competed and was formed when the Coach, Leo Moss, determined it was a group of players that could compete at the higher level.
- These teams went on to consistently earn the title of State Champs and go on to compete at the National Level.
During this time, Hotspurs was one of the founding teams in the PA West Classic league.
- Coach Dan Grant and Ron Hitchens approached Moss to take over the club name when he wrapped up his final season.
- In the coming years, the Classic League would shift to requiring specific numbers of teams to compete at the club level. Hotspurs would determine that they would welcome coaches/teams to play as a member of the Hotspurs club while too having the ability to function independently as long as they had a focus on the club philosophy -- that was to have fun, teach and develop soccer players, have a positive team experience valued more than winning championships, and keep the costs affordable for families.
- The club started girls teams and shifted their home location to the North Hills.
- Under the leadership of Grant and Hitchens, the club expanded to 5-6 teams, spanning multiple age teams.
- Two of the teams earned recognition as the National Indoor Champs, under Coach Grant.
- With the new league changes, Hotspurs would again make a cultural shift to meet the required number of teams needed to be recognized as a club.
- Coach Tom ‘Tommo’ Ovenden joined Hotspurs as the Academy Director. With a vision to grow as a club, define a true club culture, and establish a dedicated long-term player development model, Ovenden has grown the club to 450 athletes from 9-19 years old in 2019.
- The club had planned to launch a men’s and women’s adult team by 2023, but with an opportunity to ensure that Pittsburgh had representation in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), in 2019, the club launched their own men’s adult team.
- 71% of the inaugural team were Pittsburgh area players. 8 players were still competing in the academy level (5 with Hotspurs, 3 with Riverhounds), and another five just graduated high school as the season got underway.
- The academy program announced the expansion to include a second site in Butler, PA. The initial site is comprised of 15 boys teams (U9-U18), 185 athletes. The site will expand to include girls teams in fall 2020.
- With a strong relationship with Steel City FC (WPSL), in November 2019 a merger was made with Pittsburgh Hotspurs SC now owning the women’s team to continue on the mission of providing females a full soccer pathway. With the announcement of the Hotspurs WPSL team, the Pittsburgh Hotspurs are the first club in Pittsburgh to provide a full pathway from youth through adult for both male and female players.
If you're good enough, you're old enough.
- Hotspurs began a collaboration with Arsenal FC to provide an additional Phase of development and training for this #homegrown talent furthering the professional development for both programs, giving them greater opportunities to train and compete with the First Teams.
- 2020 saw our First Teams getting the chance to continue to train, but as the world was on pause, limited opportunities to compete. The Men's First Team participated in a 4-team Members Cup and earned Champion status.
- With the women’s team ready to compete, and on track to see the goal of 50% of our first teams made up of homegrown talent by 2023, we are looking out at the goal of owning our own facility.
- We aim to develop a homegrown Hotspurs player to achieve professional level competition.
- Maintaining our focus on homegrown talent, we will expand our international connections to help top players come to play in Pittsburgh and our Pittsburgh players greater opportunities to play internationally.
..is to have long term player development at the forefront of everything we do. To this end, our goal is to have 75% of our College Prep Phase players (U16-U19), to have been with the club at some point in the Foundation Phase U9-U12. Furthermore, we want 50% of Hotspurs-grown players to make up our adult team programs by 2023.
...is to play our role in the US Soccer development pyramid by always putting the player first. To ensure each and every player gets to play at their level to enhance their opportunity to develop, even if that means sending them to another program. We strive to think differently and consistently improve our program ensuring we play our part in the player development pathway set out by US Soccer.
The principles we use to identify players that are a longterm fit for Hotspurs SC are as follows. These are also the core values that we continually hold as a standard guiding our actions and decisions.
Open & Transparent Communication Always
Striving for Excellence
Positive & Passionate About the Game