Former Sacramento Knight to lead team in MASL
(Sacramento, CA) – Former Sacramento Knight Mark Bickham has been named the Sacramento Surge’s new Head Coach, the team announced today. Bickham succeeds Jorge Fernandez, another former Knight and member of the 1999 WISL Championship team. Fernandez coached the Surge in the first two seasons of the franchise’s existence. The Surge would like to wish Jorge all the best in his future soccer endeavors
“I am honored and excited to have this opportunity to work for the Sacramento Surge. The MASL matches will be skillful, exciting, fast paced and fun to watch. My hope to build a team that will compete for the MASL championship”
Born in London, England, Coach Bickham grew up across the road from Queens Park Rangers of the EPL. His family immigrated to Seattle Washington in 1978 when Mark was 14. Although English Mark had never played organized soccer until his family immigrated to America, he signed his first professional contract when he was 20. He went on to play 7 professional seasons with the Milwaukee Wave (AISA), Canton Invaders (NPSL), Denver Thunder (NPSL), Sacramento Knights (CISL), and playing for his adopted home town, the Tacoma Stars (MISL). Marks last kick of the ball as a professional player resulted in a goal.
Mark began coaching youth soccer during his playing days, and when he finished playing in 1994 he decided to dedicate his future to developing the game. Since that time, Mark has accrued many years of coaching experience at all levels including professional, college and youth. Bickham currently holds a USSF B license, Coerver Coaching Certificate, Brazilian C license, NSCAA Premier Diploma and NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma.
Mark just completed his first season as assistant coach for the San Jose Earthquakes U23 PDL team and currently coaches for Ethos FC (ethossoccer.org) youth club based in El Dorado Hills
With the help of two passionate soccer parents, Christopher Slatt and Steven Beck, Mark is credited with being the inspiration, visionary, and co-founder of Starfire Sports Starfire Sports (www.starfiresports.com) is a world class soccer only training facility, a Washington State 501c3 non-profit organization and the home training site to the Seattle Sounders youth academy and Sounders first team of the MLS. He calls this his proudest achievement in soccer to date.
About the Sacramento Surge
The Surge begin their 3rd season of indoor soccer in Sacramento and the first of the new MASL era in November. The Surge will be playing in an arena at McClellan Park, which is being developed by Jackson Sports Academy for the Surge. The arena will originally be 2,000 seats, have room for expansion, and will be utilized for other events.
The team will announce tryout dates open to public in the coming week. The Surge home opener is scheduled for November 15, 2014. The full 2014-15 MASL schedule will be announced in late August or early September.
The Sacramento Surge are a member of the Major Arena Soccer League (AASL), a North American indoor soccer league that features a coast-to-coast presence across the United States, and top soccer talent representing players from around the world. Announced on September 7, 2012, the Surge made their competitive debut in November, 2012, with the beginning of their first regular season. Located in Sacramento, California, the Sacramento Surge play their home games at Jackson Sports Academy at McClellan Park.