Puma Futbol Club became a vision of Rob Million in 2009 based on his experience with another local soccer club. His daughter, Payton, was playing on an independent premier team in Heartland Soccer League in Overland Park, KS, but they decided to look for a professional coach instead of a dad coach situation. So the team moved to another local premier club because they were seeking quality “skills” training, and a professional coach. After a long and frustrating year, Rob and the other parents were tired of dealing with the over arrogant coach who refused to communicate with the parents and acted unprofessionally. He cancelled lots of practices and constantly rearranged practices to fit his personal schedule , or had a substitute coach show up. All the coaches were consistently late for games and practices and would refuse to communicate or give feedback to the parents about their kids play or the team. After experiencing this frustration for over a year, Rob sought out to create a friendlier soccer club where families are treated with a higher level of customer service from the coaches. The vision was born.
Rob’s first step was to call Vladimir Roganovic to seek him as a partner. They knew each other from playing together in a men’s soccer league. Vladimir was currently coaching at another local club and had also seen the same need for kids and families. Rob and Vlad quickly discovered that they shared the same family values and vision, even though they grew up on different sides of the world and had very different playing experiences. Vladimir, being a Serbian native, had playing both professionally and on the Serbian National Team as a youth, while Rob grew up playing soccer in the United States, playing mostly for the fun and love of the game and reaching the club team level in at the University of Missouri- Columbia. The pair began planning and decided to reach out to their friend Jack Jewsbury, who at the time was a player for the Kansas City Wizards and Sporting Kansas City. Jack was quickly on board and the three were on their way working to create the foundation and future vision of the club. Captain Jack finished his career in the MLS by winning a MLS Championship title with the Portland Timbers. He is currently a member of the Portland Timbers front office staff.
What to name the club? Rob coached his son Jackson, on a recreational team called the White Puma’s. They chose this name based on the fast, controlled, and attacking style of play. The style and name was adopted by the founders and thus Puma Futbol Club was born.
The trio of Jack, Vlad and Rob quickly reached out to the community and Puma FC held their first tryout. In the fall of 2010, they had around 40 kids in the program. Word of mouth traveled fast and people began to come to Puma FC to be part of a soccer club with a family atmosphere and a higher level of customer service.
In the winter of 2013 Puma FC partnered with Ajax Academy to adopt their philosophy of Total Futbol for our Curriculum. Ajax is known for being the best in the world for developing highly technical, physical and well-rounded soccer players. This is Puma FC’s goal for all players within the club.
In 2015, Puma FC ended its relationship with Ajax Academy and sought out a deeper relationship with a club who not only would provide curriculum, but also coaching guidance and a path for top level players who could play at the highest level. It was also important that the relationship be directly with the club and their Academy Staff, not a marketing arm of a third party who merely purchased the rights from the club to operate in the United States. Lots of clubs do this, Puma FC has spoken with companies that represent Real Madrid, Barcelona, West Ham, Juventus, etc. However, the connection to the premier club is not real.
After 2 years of searching, in April of 2017, Puma FC reached a deal with Southampton FC. Southampton FC is widely regarding as the best developer of youth talent among all the clubs in the English Premier League. They have more players from their youth program playing for clubs in the English Premier League than any other club in England. The decision was easy and the quest was complete. Puma Futbol Club is now an Official Club Partner of Southampton FC.
In the fall of 2017, Puma FC established Southampton Pro Academy to serve its every raising level of players. This new program has continue to grow as they help kids at the highest levels achieve their goals to play high level college and professional soccer.
Due to the strong foundation of family values, professional attitude, organized fashion, and high level coaching and training, Puma FC has dramatically grown every year since inception. The totality of the club will reach over 1500 kids with teams playing in both recreation and premier leagues teams in many different parts of the Kansas City Metro area and surrounding markets. This coming year we will have teams practicing in Overland Park, Leawood, Lenexa, Shawnee Mission, Prairie Village, Brookside, Stillwell, Kansas City, MO, Manhattan, Kansas and Salina, KS.
Please come join Puma FC and experience the difference. Many Friends… One Family!