Support Local Soccer Series: San Antonio Runners Sports Club

We continue with Part 2 of our “Support Local Soccer Series” on the local soccer clubs of San Antonio that play semi-professionally at the lower league level. . The San Antonio Runners Sports Club founded by Mason Rankin. Runners SC have had success in their league and producing young players to the next level.

US Soccer pyramid. Photo from reddit user Braedown

The United States Soccer Association currently does not have promotion/relegation between the leagues, instead has a structure soccer pyramid of Leagues and Divisions that those leagues play in. For example, Major League Soccer plays in the top division and is the lone representation of Professional Division I soccer in the United States. Our local semi professional clubs play in the fourth division of the US Soccer pyramid. Many soccer players have developed in fourth division and moved on to USL, MLS and even National Team status.

Tell us a little bit about your club, when was it founded and brief history. What league do you play in, when does the season run, any past success (ex. Division Title, Championships, US Open Cup, etc…)

  • Founded in 2018 with 1 men’s adult team competing in the United Premier Soccer League – Central Conference – Heart Division
  • Now 1 Men’s team in UPSL, 1 Women’s Team in UWS
  • Fall 2018 Undefeated Division Champions, lost in Conference Semi Final
  • Spring 2019 Heart Division Champions
  • Lamar US Open Cup Local Qualifying Rounds 2019, Lost 1st Round, 2020 Lost 2nd Round , (Covid shut down the tournament) 2022, Lost in 1st Round

Why was the club founded and what were the expectations when the club was formed?

  • Club was founded to fill the void for lack of adult men’s team in a national league representing the Greater San Antonio community

What are the philosophy and values of the club?

  • San Antonio Runners Sports Club is committed to establishing the top successful sports programs in the community that can promote locals to the next level through the professional development of our athletes, quality coaching, leadership, discipline, and team advancement.

Values:

  • Leadership
  • Professionalism
  • Discipline

Many small lower league clubs in Europe not only claim the city that are in but more so represent the neighborhood or side of town. Does your club represent a side of town or more a representation of the city?

  • Representation of the area. We have players that drive from Austin, Corpus, Boerne, San Marcos

Some players have shown success in lower league soccer and moved on to play at a higher level and even professionally. Has your club developed any players or in the processing of developing any promising players to the next level.

Photo from SA Runners SC Facebook.

Mikey Maldonado played four seasons for the Runners from Fall 2018 to Fall 2020, he was a dangerous goal scorer and was able to get his first professional contract with USL1 side North Texas Soccer in 2021 and is now with Forward Madison FC, also in USL1 for the 2022 season.

Eleojo Okeme, spent time with Runners and signed with FC Metalist Kharkiv of the Ukrainian 1st League until 2023. Eleojo is currently a refugee in the Ukraine helping teammates, his eight year old son and aunt flee the area. Someone has set up a gofundme to assist Eleojo: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-the-fc-dynamic-players-return-home?qid=b4c50d31298cb17bb8329fe6a206afe2

Kyle Miller from Boerne Champion Class of 2021 is a goalkeeper who is attending UT Tyler a NCAA DII school, Miller was goalkeeper in Runners SC in Round 1 of US Open Cup local qualifying.

Adrian Maldonado – Texas Lutheran University NCAA DIII 2019-2021

Many clubs have a defining style of play, in general terms, what kind of style does your club have? (ex. High press, tiki-taka, counter, etc..)

Fast pace, in your face, high intensity

Photo from SA Runners SC Facebook.

Where does the club call home? What field or stadium do you play in? What is match day experience like for fans and supporters? Are there amenities like concession stands, merch, or other things. Are matches free to attend or purchase tickets

  • Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, tickets can be bought at sarunners.com, UWS inaugural match Sunday May 15, 6:00PM. Live Music Entertainment

How can a person or organization sponsor or donate to the club to help with league fees, operating costs and field a team?

Donate button on our website: https://www.sarunners.com/donate,

email: sarunnerssc@gmail.com, Contact Executive Director, Mason Rankin

We are excited to offer new opportunities for our community through our growth of adding a women’s soccer team in a national league. Growth costs money, and to do it the right way costs money, we promote our community and the people in it to the world in a way no one else in our industry has. To help our players secure funding for school or through building professional careers, we need assistance in raising working capital to fund overhead expenses. We are actively seeking new partners who want to have a global impact from right here at home to sponsor uniform, staff, facility, travel, and other potential self-sustaining club revenue streams. All donations are tax deductible as we are a Registered 501 c3 nonprofit corporation.

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