"We are the new wave to the soccer world and a young and exciting team!"
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Good morning readers, welcome back to AP! I'm bunking down in the face of a wonderful Midwestern Winter Storm, (rain, then ice, then snow) but that won't stop me from getting you your weekly interview!
Ceephas Dean is starting Turbo Sports FC in the fourth division of the Minnesota Adult Soccer League, but that hasn't stopped him from dreaming big and setting some goals! He took some time to talk about just what those goals are, and where the team got it's unique name. Check it out.
Tell readers a little about yourself. Who you are, where you're from, and what you're role is with Turbo Sports FC.
My name is Ceephas Dean, I am 22 years old and I’m from Minneapolis, Minnesota! I created/started Turbo Sports FC. I played soccer at Prairie Seeds Academy of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, as well as club soccer for Minnesota Thunder Academy and Minnesota Twinstars Academy!
How did you come to be a fan of the beautiful game?
Ever since I can remember I was always on a field or around the game. My dad played, and my older brother played and was very good, he had many Division 1 offers but injuries ended his career. My dad was also a soccer agent and represented players around the MLS and overseas and built relationships around the League as well as managing players like Melvin Tarley, Francis Doe, Louis Crayton, Johnny Menyongar, and Ansu Toure and many more! I’ve been playing ever since I was a kid and here I am today starting my own club. I plan on being in the game for a long time to come!
Soccer really is in your family, then! What's the origin story beyond Turbo Sports FC? How did the club come into being, and what's the story behind the name?
Turbo Sports FC was gonna be a a sporting agency and a foundation for plans I have as I get older and after I finish school, but last year I wanted to start a team with my friends from local high schools and clubs. We play a lot of pick up and not everyone really had a team to call their own so I talked to a close friend of mine, he’s like my brother, Emmanuel, and we decided to start this club now due to the fact a lot of kids from our area don’t get the recognition they deserve and are really slept on. It was time to get us a solid roster and go out and compete and try and create something for future generations! The name turbo was a nickname given to me by my cousin Shadrach and it kinda always stuck and when I put it all together, it just sounded right. Overall, it’s very different and unique.
Per your Twitter page, you're going to be playing in the Minnesota Adult Soccer League. What are they doing right that prompted you to join their league, rather than someone else?
Yeah it should be exciting! I’ve played in the league for a couple years with Lions FC, an affiliate of our club, and it was a good experience and it’s a good steppingstone for new clubs. Honestly I’ve seen teams grow from this league like Stegmans SC with Minneapolis City SC and now they’re playing in the Open Cup I believe VSLT started off in the MASL and now plays in theNPSL and Turbo Sports is striving to play in those types of settings. The ultimate goal of the club is to get the opportunity to play in the Open Cup as well as gain NPSL status within 2 years. Overall it’s a good opportunity for our club and players and will mature us and give us the experience we need to grow.
What are some of the strongest teams in the MASL, and who do you see as potential rivals when you begin league play?
In the MASL I would say some of the strongest teams are Spam FC, VSLT, Lions FC, Both Stegman Teams, and Vlora City SC. To me those clubs stand out! As for potential rivals I can see us having a challenge against CG Raptors, Spam FC 09, as well as Head FC cause those games last year when I guest played with them were really competitive and strong and it was always great battles so we will all be fighting for those 2 Promotion spots, but our goal is to win the league and score as many goals as possible and stay consistent.
How many divisions does the MASL have?
The MASL has 4 Divisions and they’re all connected with Promotion and Relegation.
Nice, so you'll be starting in D4, looking to win your way up?
Yes we will, and that’s why we set up matches with a D2 Team, Lions FC, and Minnesota's first non league professional team in FC Minneapolis. So we have some good matches coming up and are reaching out to more clubs as well.
Goals and plans are a big part of ensuring any business or organization has a clear vision and path forward. What are some of your goals and plans for year one, and then three to five years down road?
For year 1 the plan is to win the League or finish top 2! And within the next 5 years the goals are to gain NPSL status, try to get into the Open Cup, as well as start camps, run a foundation with clear goals and equipment drives, and try and start a youth academy.
With some of the changes being worked on by the United States Adult Soccer Association, are you excited at the prospect of potentially being to win your way to a league like the NPSL?
Yes! I feel like the changes that are being made benefit us in many ways and it’s alot hard work, and if we lock in and trust the process, we will be in the NPSL within 2 years.
Since moving up to the NPSL will be quite a jump on the financial side from playing in the MASL, how do you hope to bridge the 'money gap,' so to speak, to play in NPSL?
You’re right, but we have some investors lined up that support the dream and more want to see how we will do in games against FC Minneapolis and other teams that we are trying to play within the NPSL and MASL. Our performance really determines all of this, but we have investors that are locked in and ready to go.
I got you. That's really cool that you've been able to line up that kind of extra investment. Is Turbo Sports based out of Minneapolis, one of it's suburbs, or some place else entirely?
It’s been a blessing, we are all from Brooklyn Park but will be playing in Minneapolis. A couple locations are being discussed, but one hasn’t been decided yet but it’ll be in Minneapolis in the heart of the city.
What can you tell me about your neighborhood, Brooklyn Park? What makes it special, and convinces you it will rally behind a local team?
It has its good parts and bad parts, there is so much soccer talent that people normally don’t recognize and I feel if we stand out and win and get results and keep growing and progressing people will hear about us and start to follow.
What are one or two things that have been easier than you thought about starting a team, and one or two things that have been more difficult?
I’d say planning it all, honestly, and getting a good, committed squad together. It’s all a lot of work but it’s truly fun if you have the passion for it. That's been the hard part, but the league process I thought was gonna be difficult has been easy. Just follow the steps and listen, and the field search has been pretty easy.
What field are you guys going to call home for the upcoming season?
Right now it's between the U of M Rec fields or a local college, but the one we are really trying to get is Parade Stadium.
Isn't Parade Stadium right in the middle of downtown?
Kind of, it’s more of in uptown.
Got it. Ready to start wrapping this up with some short questions?
What's your favorite league and or team to watch for fun?
Hmmm I’d have to go with the English Premier League and of course Manchester United!
Favorite players, one past, one present.
I have to go with Maradona and Cristiano Ronaldo
Do you have any books or podcasts, soccer related otherwise, that you would recommend to the people reading this?
That I’m interested in? I watch and listen to Men in Blazers a lot!
If you could meet one person from world soccer, who would it be and why?
If I could meet one person from the soccer world it would be Cristiano Ronaldo because his work ethic is inspirational and I could learn a lot from him and of course he is the greatest ever to play.
Greatest ever is debatable. Where can people find out more about you and the team online?
As of now my personal Twitter is @Ceephas_Dean23 and our team Twitter and Instagram are both @Turbosportsmn and our website will be done by February 1st.
What would you say to someone asking you, 'why should I go out there and support my local amateur team, like Turbo Sports FC?'
We are the new wave to the soccer world and a young and exciting team!
Ceephas, thanks again for taking the time to do this interview, I really appreciate it. Remember, if you are enjoying the content I'm putting out, please consider supporting us on Patreon by Clicking Here. Or you can click here to Follow me on Twitter, or here to Like the page on Facebook. Make sure to spread the word by sharing these interviews, telling friends about the blog, those kind of things. I can't accomplish my goal of maximum exposure for all levels of the American Soccer Pyramid without YOU. Until next time, Stay Loyal, Support Local.