Burlingame Dragons FC Home Opener This Saturday
San Jose Earthquakes Legend Joe Cannon Leads New Advisory Board
After a very successful inaugural season as the official U-23 affiliate of Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes, Burlingame Dragons FC are excited for the first home match of the year this Saturday. The founding season for the franchise saw impressive results both on and off the field. The Dragons won the PDL’s Southwest Division Championship with an undefeated record at home and had star midfielder Ty Thompson drafted in the MLS Superdraft. The Dragons also saw impressive community support with home game attendance in the top three across the entire Premier Development League.
“Last year was a magical first season for the Dragons. The incredible community support powered us to a division championship. We are committed to investing the resources to make year two an incredible experience, and one fans all over the Peninsula will enjoy.” Nick Swinmurn, Dragon’s Co-Owner.
Going into year two, the Dragons are creating a world class fan experience and building off the success from last season. There will be new, premium food vendors at all home matches including local favorites Blue Line Pizza and Nachoria. Blue Line Pizza will be the Official Pre & Post Game Headquarters for all Dragons matches, and will be serving Pizza throughout all home games. The family friendly game days will again include the popular Dragon’s Lair bounce house and fan favorite mascot Torch. The Dragons have also added a post game player autograph session after each match, so fans can get an intimate experience and interact with their favorite players.
Deep community ties throughout the Bay Area continue for the Dragons this season. The Dragons have strengthened existing relationships with the Mid-Peninsula Boys & Girls Club and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Activities League. In addition, Gatepath has joined as the presenting non-profit partner for the season. Strong relationships have been created with local non-profit soccer organizations including AYSO and Cal North. Whether it’s helping underprivileged children, people with disabilities, or youth soccer organizations that need equipment, the Dragons are committed to being an integral part of the community throughout the Peninsula. Each Dragon’s home match has been designated with a community cause, including Homelessness Awareness, Disability Inclusion and Health & Wellness.
The Dragons also have an impressive array of corporate partners on board this season. The club is proud to have Stanford Health Care on board as the presenting sponsor and official team physicians. In addition, the Dragons have partnered with major corporations throughout the Peninsula such as Genentech, UBS, ABD Insurance, Provident Credit Union and Crowne Plaza just to name a few.
On the field, the club has made significant additions to provide a world class level of quality soccer. Menlo College coach Eric Bucchere was hired in the off season to strengthen the coaching staff. The Dragons roster consists of U-20 and U-23 Youth National Team Players from the United States, New Zealand, and Panama along with collegiate All-Americans and several members from the recent NCAA Champion Stanford Cardinal squad. The Dragons also continue a strong affiliation with the San Jose Earthquakes, building through the Earthquakes youth system to develop future professional athletes.
This past offseason, the club revamped the front office by hiring veteran business executive Jordan Gardner as President. Jordan assembled a top notch team to run the club, including Mike Jenkins as Vice President and Jim Kirks as Director of Marketing & Operations. In addition, the Dragons are proud to announce that San Jose Earthquakes Legend Joe Cannon will be leading the Dragons FC Advisory Board. He will still maintain his role as Executive Director of the Mountain View Los Altos Soccer Club and Color Commentator for the San Jose Earthquakes. In addition to Joe, the Dragons are adding seasoned business executive Erik Nierenberg to the club’s advisory board as well as Ash Pirayou who is a partner in Rutan & Tucker's Government & Regulatory Law Section, where he has practiced since 2008. Ash is also the General Counsel for the Dragons FC.
“I'm very excited to join the Dragons and get involved with soccer in San Mateo County and Burlingame. I'm also thrilled to be a part of the Earthquakes extended family with my background playing for the club and growing up in the Bay Area.” Joe Cannon.
Only 200 tickets remain for the Burlingame Dragons Home Opener, this Saturday June 4. Tickets are still available at burlingamedragons.com. The Dragons are currently in third place in the PDL’s Central Pacific Division with a 2-2-1 record. The club will play all seven home matches in the months of June & July at Dragons Stadium at Burlingame High School.
About the Burlingame Dragons Advisory Board & Counsel:
Joe Cannon is a highly decorated former professional soccer player who grew up locally playing for St Francis High School and Santa Clara University. Joe was the goalie for the San Jose Earthquakes when they won the MLS title in 2001 and was MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2002 and 2004. Joe played for multiple teams in MLS over the years and earned multiple caps for the US Men’s National Team. Joe currently is the current Executive Director of the Mountain View Los Altos Soccer Club as well as the color commentator for the San Jose Earthquakes.
Erik Nierenberg is a technology executive and advisor who worked for years at Salesforce.com in a variety of roles across sales, marketing, product management, business development, strategy, and operations. Erik also was a SVP at Lynda.com and a consultant with Bain and Company before and after receiving his MBA at Stanford. Erik is a founding Burlingame Dragons season ticket holder.
Ash Pirayou is a partner in Rutan & Tucker's Government & Regulatory Law Section, where he has practiced since 2008. Mr. Pirayou is one of Silicon Valley's premier government relations attorneys, advising clients on all aspects of their government relations and community outreach initiatives, and has helped clients navigate the complex interactions of law and public policy relating to government contracts and procurement, including advising clients seeking to develop public private partnerships involving sports facilities, with a particular expertise in the sport of soccer. Mr. Pirayou has also serves as a public policy attorney to a number of nonprofits advising clients relating to their community initiatives and partnerships.