Club history is usually a boring paragraph stating “a group of like-minded staff wanted to do good for the game and give back. Blah, blah, blah,” which is extremely true, but that’s 1% of our history. I like to use this page to explain where Pipeline came from, where we are today, and where we’re headed. It makes the real history that much cooler.
I (Sean Rush) was sitting in a recreation office looking around at coaches who had never played soccer, or even took a coaching course, and they believed they were OVER qualified for the teams they were coaching. This was my first introduction into youth soccer in the USA after returning from playing in Portugal’s 3rd division. I sat and stared around the room and thought “We can do better than this.” The irony of this situation is that it is the same environment I grew up in. This club doesn’t exist anymore and I was appreciative of the opportunity to coach, but I knew — for Baltimore— we could and had to do better.
That night I sent my childhood buddy, Santino Quaranta, a message and said “Let’s grab lunch and talk soccer.” At that point, Santino was scoring goals for the USA National Team, leading D.C. United in Washington, and leading a dream life of every kid in youth soccer. Santino and I met at Desantis for lunch and instantly knew we were going to do things ‘our way.’ We didn’t know what that meant, but we were committed to it. Santino had just started running his own camps and, in December 2010, we rented an office. We had no way to pay for it, but knew we had to give the players the feeling they were professional. We began the process of building an idea of what we wanted to look like, play like, and, most importantly, focus on getting players from point A to B. We were going to be the pipeline for players to go from JV to Varsity, from High School to College, and maybe one day, from College to Pro Level.
In 2011, Pipeline was the first club to host co-ed tryouts at one location, at the same time. We knew at first families and players may be hesitant of a club built by some 25-year-olds who weren’t attached to a major organization. Our teams came out of the gate and we lost. We lost a lot. Most current players don’t realize - Pipeline lost all the time. Pipeline didn’t have great facilities. Pipeline had no financial backing. Pipeline was not attached to ECNL or ECNL RL. Pipeline most definitely didn’t have an indoor facility and Pipeline was figuring it out as we went along. It was an uphill battle from day one, which has led to the ‘NEVER SAY DIE’ mentality we have today. That mentality has led to 90 Club Teams, Three (3) National Championships, inclusion in the best leagues and tournaments in the nation, and a staff of coaches we couldn’t have dreamed of on day one.
Santino and I discuss the history of this club all the time and that continues to be the motivation for our present and future players. We will always remember where we came from, and push forward to continue to change and evolve the way our players are trained, coached, and perceived.