Players First club spotlight: Santa Rosa United

Editor’s Note: Every quarter, US Club Soccer announces the most recent class of Players First-licensed clubs. In the weeks to follow, the newest clubs will be highlighted with Q&As from their directors.

Q: Why did Santa Rosa United first apply for Players First licensing?

Kevin Kilroy, Director of Soccer Operations: We applied for Players First licensing as a means of self reflection. We were taking stock of where we were, and planning strategically for the season and years ahead. Players First has given us a working list of projects to focus on and has confirmed our thinking that in some areas we are certainly on the right track.

Q: What does it mean for Santa Rosa United to now be an official Players First-licensed club?

Kilroy: It is extremely exciting to be an official Players First club. For a long time we have felt we were going in the right direction as a club in terms of player development because of the great work of current and previous leaders. Players First licensing is a confirmation of that belief. We are also excited by the opportunities to learn and grow further as promised by Players First licensing. We see Players First licensing as a provider of resources to continue educating our parents, players and coaches through continuous mindset improvement to everyone involved. We are grateful to US Club Soccer for having this process and now accepting us into the process moving forward.

Q: What makes Players First licensing different from other initiatives or programs your club has participated in?

Kilroy: I liked that way the Players First licensing process forced us to look at ourselves and ask the hard questions about how we are doing in particular areas. The whole process was enlightening and it highlighted our areas of strength and opportunity.

Q: What would you like the parents of Santa Rosa United to know about what this means to them?

Kilroy: We want all of our families to know that becoming a Players First-licensed club is going to further provide our players, coaches and families with more resources and opportunities to learn. In this environment, there is possibility to continually improve on and off the field. The Players First application process had provided the staff at Santa Rosa United with a pathway to improve our program over the next few years.


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.

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