Interview: Steven Ziegler, Between Star Wars And Soccer

Since 1998 is President of Weston FC soccer club, one of the most important in Florida. Steven divides his life between his wife Cristina, his twin sons Matthew and Allie, Charlie (a Goldendoodle), soccer, Star Wars and his responsibility as SVP in AvMed Health Plan. And he still has time to talk to SoccerPlus …

When do you fall in love with Soccer?
When I grew up in the 60’s in America soccer was not really known to Americans. I started playing in middle school because I was too small for American football and fell in love with the game. I have been playing and coaching ever since and started coaching competitive youth soccer starting at 18 years of age and coached for the next 40 years.

What is your vision for Weston FC in the next years?
My vision for Weston FC is to continue placing both boys and girls on the youth national teams. We also envision owning and operating our own soccer complex and having a residential program for youth players from around the world.

And the most important aspects to work with boys and girls?
For youth players, you have to balance building their self-esteem and giving them confidence while also holding them accountable for not playing in a committed way 100 percent of the time.

Why, on girls side, soccer as sport is growing?
Girls are falling in love with soccer in large part due to the success of the Women’s National Team. Also, the growth and success of the ECNL league has shown girls there is a top league to play in that will lead to National Team opportunities and college scholarship.

What do you offer to the families that bring their kids to play soccer with Weston FC?
Weston FC offers the families the top technical staff in the country and provides a fun safe environment for the kids to develop their game. We provide the same top level of service to the players regardless of what level they are playing.

Do you have, as Club, professional relationships with Universities and Colleges that facilitate the access to the players?
We have a robust college placement program for both girls and boys and currently have 50 players playing on college scholarships.

What is the most important value that you would like to teach to each kid that plays for Weston?
Respect for the game, the coaches, opponents, referees, and especially the parents, who sacrifice so much to give the kids a great experience.

Steven Ziegler
Age: 60
Food: all
Movies: Star Wars
Define your character: Good guy
Family: Wife, Cristina, and 12-year-old twins, Matthew and Allie
Pets: Charlie, the Goldendoodle.

“The future of US Soccer is very bright. Over the last 10 years the level of play at the youth level has gone up dramatically”