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Meet Colin Chesters of Rise Soccer Club

Today we’d like to introduce you to Colin Chesters.

Colin, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I played professionally for Derby County in the English Premier League – 1975-1979. I signed as a schoolboy and made my debut when I was 18 years old vs. Aston Villa and was voted man of the match. I went on to play for Crewe Alexandra from 1979-1985 and Northwich Victoria 1982-1985. I was an FA trophy finalist and winners in back to back seasons scoring at Wembley Stadium. After my playing career ended, I moved to the United States to begin my coaching career.

In 1993, I became the Director of Coaching for San Diego Surf Soccer Club where we started an unprecedented run of building nationally ranked youth soccer teams.

Accomplishments at San Diego Surf since joining in 1993:

Total of 78 State/National Cup Championships
Total of 19 USYS Regional Championships
Total of 6 USYS National Championships
2 ECNL National Championships
1 Red Bull league champion 2008/09
Surf was voted #2 ECNL club in the nation 2011 and 2014
Surf has always been ranked in the top 10 in ECNL since joining the league in 2010
Surf was named #1 club in the country in 1999 and #1 girls club in the country in 2004 by Soccer America
Surf was given the 2016 IMG title for “Producing the Best Female Players in the Country”

At Surf, I helped place dozens of players into college and recently calculated that, on average, 10 players receive full scholarships at $60,000 per year x 4 years = $2-4 million a year in full ride scholarships. In addition to full rides, approximately 20 Surf players annually receive 50% scholarships at slightly less prestigious $50,000 schools.

Over a 4 year period, that is another $2 Million for a total of $4-6 Million per year for the last 5 years grand total $22 million. Over 23 years which is when Title IX came in that figure would amount to over $100 million. I also helped players secure walk on spots. I currently hold a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) A License.

A record 6 Surf girls represented the GU18’s National team in Spain in 2016. In their game against Denmark, 5 of the 6 Surf girls were in the starting 11 for a record breaking 45% of the starting line-up coming from one club.

I was hired as the Executive Director of Houston Express Soccer Club, on July 1st, 2016 and will continue in this capacity for Rise SC which is a newly formed club that combined Houston Express SC, Eclipse SC and Pearland United SC.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
To excel in competitive sports is challenging. The road is never smooth. Overcoming obstacles is part of the individual development of both players and coaches. In running a large youth soccer club, there are a variety of struggles that come to mind. The most frequent struggle is managing the expectations of the parents. The youth soccer landscape in America is extremely competitive.

Helping parents understand the balance between player development and winning is always a struggle. In a game with 7 year olds, the score or end result doesn’t matter. Our objective is to get kids playing and having plenty of touches on the ball. We want kids to have a blast and take chances.

Young players have to make mistakes in order for coaches to point them out and help correct them. Some parents take issue to that. They associate winning with development. For older kids, sometime we have to coach to win. If we are building our players properly at the younger ages, this is much easier. Older players are playing to get into or maintain their spots in advanced leagues. They are trying to get noticed by college coaches. Older teams have to perform well to get into top level events so winning is more critical at the older ages. Some parents can take issues with this approach because if a kid is making mistakes and struggling their playing time could be affected, finding a balance is the key. I handle these situations with direct conversations with parents. I explain to them what we are trying to accomplish and that we want their kids to be successful. We do a lot of parent education so that parents know exactly what the plan is.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Rise SC is a full service soccer club, our programming serves players of all levels – from recreational to college-bound – in a safe, supportive environment. Integrity, respect, honesty and sportsmanship govern everything we do.

Formed through the merger of Houston Express Soccer Club, Eclipse Soccer Club and Pearland United Soccer Club, Rise SC is dedicated to helping all players achieve their goals. With top coaches, a proven player development curriculum and unmatched facilities, Rise SC is poised for a great future in recreational and competitive soccer.

As a full-service soccer club, Rise SC offers the most comprehensive programming for recreational and elite players and everyone in between.

Rise SC’s unique, player-centric curriculum reflects our philosophy of providing soccer for every player. We seek to instill a love for the game and in an environment where each player is encouraged to participate according to his or her interest and ability. We take great pride in developing our players as athletes, students and responsible young men and women.

Player success depends on player environment, proper coaching and club support. Since 1999, we have helped over 225 student athletes advance to the collegiate level at universities such as Wake Forest, Notre Dame, Carnegie Mellon, Colorado College, Dartmouth, LSU, Babson, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Rhodes, Washington and Lee, Sewanee, Harvard, MIT, Columbia, U.S. Air Force Academy, Vanderbilt, Colgate and nearly every university in the State of Texas. Along the way, a few players have represented their countries on youth and full National Teams or played at the professional level.

I firmly believe that Rise offers the most comprehensive programming in the city for players of every level and with any goals.

What were you like growing up?
I was a footballer! I grew up playing and have always been around the game. I think I am a fun person to be around. I have a very light sense of humor and have never had any trouble getting along with people.


  • Recreational Programs start at $200 per season (Fall and Spring)
  • Competitive Programs start at $1600 annually. Payment plans are available.
  • Friday Recreational Flash Camps – FREE. The details are here:

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jack Thompson

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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