Ethio LA Stars Soccer Club
The genesis for Ethio L.A. Stars Soccer Club can be traced to those Ethiopian players who were instrumental in putting UCLA on the North American Soccer map in the late 60's and early 70's. After finishing their collegiate careers started a tradition of playing soccer on Friday afternoons. The games then included players from Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe.
At about the same time across town at USC a group of Ethiopians had started playing semi organized soccer. Talking among themselves, the two groups decided to combine their forces and play together on a weekly basis,once the UCLA group had secured a regular playing field on the UCLA Campus. The positive atmosphere created by this merge became the cornerstone for the solidification and growth of our organization. The late 70's and 80's witnessed the unprecedented heights to which our organization grew. Every Saturday afternoon, our club fielded four teams (with reserves to boot!)they played year-round of exiting and competitive soccer.
The year round games were capped by a tournament amongst the four teams that produced a champion at the end.These annual championship tournaments were eagerly awaited both by the players and the Los Angeles Ethiopian Community at large. Fans and invited guests numbered in the hundreds, making it one of the biggest gathering of Ethiopians for any event in Los Angeles.
In 1983, Fisseha W. Emanuel proposed program to our organization that would take a selection of players from our club to Washington D.C. for a soccer match, with a promise that the Washington D.C. Ethiopian team will come for a return match to Los Angeles. With the force of his personality and perseverance,a team was sent to Washington D.C. and the promise of the return match realized, thus laying a firm building block for the establishment of ESFNA on year later and the rest as they say is history.
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