IRVINE, Calif. – Orange County SC and Keisuke Honda’s company, Soltilo, announced on Wednesday that Honda’s company had become an investor in the USL club. The investment in Orange County SC is the first step in a comprehensive partnership in which the two organizations will jointly focus on numerous projects including youth player development, tournaments, camps and travel exchange programs.
The two groups are scheduled to host a Press Conference on December 29th at the Great Park in Irvine, and additionally Honda and Orange County SC will jointly host clinics each year at the Great Park that will include the attendance of the Japanese international. Additional details will be provided in the coming weeks.
Honda has been a key contributor this year for Liga MX side CF Pachuca, including being the club’s trip to the FIFA Club World Cup earlier this month. In the 2017-18 Apertura, Honda made 18 appearances for Pachuca, recording six goals and one assist. The Liga MX club is the latest stop that has seen Honda compete at the top of the game over the past decade, including being part of the Japanese National Team at the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup and for both Serie A’s AC Milan and top Russian club CSKA Moscow at the club level.
Off the field, Honda has conducted soccer camps around the world as UN Foundation’s Global Advocate for Youth with the goal of providing opportunities for children and supported the start-up community as an angel investor. His efforts as an entrepreneur have led to a fellowship at the MIT Media Lab.
“We could not be more excited to have the opportunity to join forces with an incredible professional soccer player, philanthropist and human being like Keisuke Honda,” said Orange County SC Owner and President James Keston. “Orange County SC and Soltilo share a common vision of the power of soccer to help young men and women reach their full potential on and off the field.”
Soltilo is a global organization with ownership stakes in three professional soccer clubs and more than 4,000 students in its youth soccer program. The partnership with Orange County SC will provide Soltilo’s affiliated teams access to a highly competitive youth academy structure and a clear pathway to the USL and beyond, reaching the highest levels of professional soccer around the globe.
“I’m extremely excited about the new partnership between our organization and Orange County. I’m frequently asked, “why the United States?” and “why now”? My answer is clear,” said Honda. “First, children in the United States have more potential than players in any advanced soccer nation. The United States will become a soccer powerhouse. Second, the United States unfortunately missed their opportunity to play in this World Cup and the next opportunity is 2022. We look at this situation optimistically as an opportunity to develop the youth system with Orange County.
“There are two projects we would like to accomplish as a first step. First, in order to discover and develop talent, we would like to put on an international tournament at the Great Park. Finally, we would like to create an international exchange and internship program in Orange County. We look forward to making Orange County the international hub for youth development.”