In the early 1980s the East-West Soccer Club was formed by two brothers in the Cleveland, Ohio area. Their aim was to form a team and club based on the premise that good players become better when playing with and against each other on a full time basis. At that time there was no such thing as a “premier” club; all the good players in the area (of which there were many, as it turned out) were scattered among the local community and ethnic based teams.
Players were identified and asked to come play for this new club, which was going to have players from the East and the West sides of Cleveland on the same teams (hence the name East-West SC), an idea that was unheard of at the time.
As you might expect, the teams from the East-West Soccer Club were successful immediately. Numerous State Championships were won by East-West teams, including a ten year streak during which the Boys U-19 team never lost the Ohio-North State Championship (1983-1992). The East-West U-19 team won the Region II Championships three years in a row between 1984-1986. More than two million dollars worth of college scholarships were awarded to East-West players during a ten year period. East-West players were represented at every age group of the US National Teams program.
During this time the mission statement of the club was to seek out and offer the best possible opportunities for our players. Often this meant traveling overseas, which became a hallmark of the East-West SC. Frequently representing the USA in foreign competitions, the East-West teams shocked the world soccer “establishment” with their success on the fields. It soon became apparent that traveling overseas with our teams was the best way to accelerate the development of our players, both on the field but also off the field. International travel became a way to increase the overall awareness of the young people in the club, and to help make them more aware, well rounded “citizens of the world.”
An important chapter in the East-West history was the concept of Athletic Diplomacy. Because of the increasingly high profile of the club, both nationally and internationally, and also due to the positive image that the club promoted, soon the East-West Soccer Club was asked by the US government to represent the country on international goodwill missions. As a result, East-West was the first amateur team of any kind to travel to the Soviet Union following the boycott of the 1980 Olympics. The team received a White House send-off from President Ronald Reagan. Later, the East-West SC traveled to the People’s Republic of China, breaking ground as the first American youth team to do so in 1983. East-West also represented the USA on an athletic diplomacy mission to Havana Cuba in 1986.
The East-West Soccer Club has now morphed into East-West Global Travel, and we continue to grow and expand our horizons. We now offer tours to students, marching bands, choir groups, orchestras and virtually any group that wants to travel. We have gained a world of experience over the past thirty years or so. The world has changed, but our vision has not. We will always seek out the best opportunities and craft the best possible experience for our traveling groups, providing a lifetime of positive memories. We proudly offer our customized tour experiences to you.
An East-West SC team, featuring future
professional and US World Cup star Brad Friedel
(second row, right #1)