18 Dec US Club Soccer announces first-ever class of Players First-licensed clubs, featuring 46 clubs from 19 states
The first-ever group of Players First-licensed clubs features 46 clubs from 19 states around the country. Through a rigorous application process, these clubs have all proven their commitment to providing a holistic club soccer experience for parents and players, which emphasizes the development of each individual to his or her full potential, and helps parents make better choices about where their children should play.
As youth’s soccer’s “Good Housekeeping Seal,” these clubs immediately take this newfound recognition into their communities and nationally, standing out as pioneers in improving the club soccer experience for players and parents.
These exemplary clubs have met the rigorous Players First standards of offering comprehensive Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety:
- Arizona Arsenal SC (Gilbert, Ariz.)
- Arkansas United (Little Rock, Ark.)
- Ballistic United SC (Pleasanton, Calif.)
- Barça Academy Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C.)
- BEST FC (Westborough, Mass.)
- Birmingham United Soccer Association (Birmingham, Ala.)
- Blaine SC (Blaine, Minn.)
- CAPS FC (Cleveland, Ohio)
- Challenge SC (Houston, Texas)
- Classics Elite (San Antonio, Texas)
- Crossfire Premier Redmond (Redmond, Wash.)
- East Meadow SC (East Meadow, N.Y.)
- FC Alliance (Knoxville, Tenn.)
- FC Stars (Lancaster, Mass.)
- FC Wisconsin Girls (Milwaukee, Wis.)
- Florida Kraze Krush (Oviedio, Fla.)
- Houston Dynamo/Dash Youth (The Woodlands, Texas)
- ISC Gunners FC (Issaquah, Wash.)
- Lake Norman SC (Mooresville, N.C.)
- Liverpool FCIA TX (Dallas, Texas)
- Lonestar SC (Austin, Texas)
- Manhattan SC (New York, N.Y.)
- Marin FC (Greenbrae, Calif.)
- Match Fit Academy (Brick, N.J.)
- Mustang SC (Danville, Calif.)
- North Carolina FC Youth (Raleigh, N.C.)
- Ohio Elite Soccer Academy (Cincinnati, Ohio)
- Ohio Premier (Dublin, Ohio)
- Placer United SC (Rocklin, Calif.)
- Prince William Soccer (Woodbridge, Va.)
- Sacramento United SC (Sacramento, Calif.)
- San Antonio City SC (San Antonio, Texas)
- San Francisco Elite Academy (San Francisco, Calif.)
- San Juan SC (Rancho Cordova, Calif.)
- Sockers FC (Palatine, Ill.)
- Southern Soccer Academy (Marietta, Ga.)
- Space Coast United (Melbourne, Fla.)
- STA (Randolph, N.J.)
- Sting SC (Dallas, Texas)
- SUSA (Suffolk County, N.Y.)
- TSC Hurricane (Tulsa, Okla.)
- United Futbol Academy (Cummings, Ga.)
- Villarreal Virginia Academy/Annandale (Fairfax, Va.)
- Virginia Soccer Association (Haymarket, Va.)
- West Florida Flames (Brandon, Fla.)
- Western NY Flash (Buffalo, N.Y.)
“We believe this to be the most rigorous and comprehensive attempt in U.S. Soccer history to identify those clubs that have demonstrated a commitment to creating the kind of infrastructure and culture necessary to provide the best overall environment for players,” said US Club Soccer CEO Kevin Payne.
In addition to this nationally recognized stamp of approval, these clubs also receive increased exposure through US Club Soccer’s best-in-class search engine optimization, more access and special benefits from Players First partners and resources, features on US Club Soccer digital and social channels, customizable content and more. They’ll also be invited to a Players First symposium in 2019.
Details about the licensing process can be found on this web page, including the terms and eligibility information. These 46 clubs enjoy Players First licensing status until Dec. 31, 2020, at which time there will be a renewal opportunity. Club applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, and approved clubs will be announced quarterly. Clubs that apply but do not meet the standards and requirements outlined in the application all receive a detailed letter explaining any deficiencies with suggestions and resources to correct those.
The application includes seven sections, in which clubs must demonstrate their commitment to the Players First pillars:
- Club and Applicant Information
- Club Leadership Expertise and Development
- Staff Education and Development
- Player Health and Safety
- Training and Competition Structure
- Staffing Structure
- Parent Education and Engagement
ABOUT US CLUB SOCCER:
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible environment for players of all ages.
Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.
US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership.