Players First Summit, sponsored by Verizon, goes virtual in its second edition; registration now open

Players First

Registration is now open for US Club Soccer’s second annual Players First Summit, which is being hosted virtually on Tuesday, December 8th and Wednesday, December 9th from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET. The Summit is an educational and collaborative experience for attendees, and due to health and travel concerns attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be the first large-scale digital symposium in US Club Soccer history.

Given its digital nature, the 2020 Players First Summit, sponsored by Verizon, will be free to attend and will extend beyond last year’s audience of Players First-licensed clubs directors and will also include all US Club Soccer members.

Register for Day 1 here.

Register for Day 2 here.

Lectures, panel discussions, keynote speeches and various presentations focused on the five pillars of Players First – Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety – will make up the Summit schedule.

Presenters and special guests include:

  • Sebastian Coe – President of World Athletics & Non-Executive Chairman of CSM Sport & Entertainment
  • Benjamin Ziemer – President & Founding Member of NorCal Premier Soccer
  • Ellie Maybury – USWNT Head of Performance
  • Christian Lavers – President of the Elite Clubs National League, Inc. & FC Wisconsin’s Director of Methodology
  • Andy Jacks – National Speaker on Best Practices in Education and Leadership, Principal at Ashland Elementary School & National Association of Elementary School Principals Senior Fellow
  • Carlos Casal – LaLiga Soccer Projects Coordinator & UEFO Pro Licensed Coach
  • Ed Foster-Simeon – President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation
  • Kristine Lilly – Former USWNT Player & CEO of Kristine Lilly Soccer Academy

Sessions will begin at the top of each hour. The exact schedule and more information on each presenter can be found here.

The Players First initiative has come a long way since it was launched in August 2015. In the first two years of Players First licensing, more than 100 clubs have been approved after undergoing a rigorous application process. Thirteen best-in-class partners, including the world-renowned LaLiga professional league, are sharing their resources to back the initiative. And ultimately, this Players First movement has achieved a more fulfilling environment for youth soccer players – supporting players of all levels and different ambitions.

The inaugural Players First Summit was held in December 2019 in Miami Lakes, Florida. Here’s a recap.

“While we hoped to be able to host the Players First Summit again in person, we recognize the enormous opportunity of a digitally-based event,” said Kevin Payne, US Club Soccer CEO. “This year, we’re able to expand the audience to all individuals under the US Club Soccer umbrella. Ultimately, the Players First movement is about education. The more people we can share our mission and resources to, the better youth soccer becomes.”

Players First is a branded, 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. This is youth soccer’s “Good Housekeeping Seal” and these licensed clubs stand out locally and nationally as improving the club soccer experience.

You can follow along with the Players First Summit here, and you can view all current Players First-licensed clubs on this Players First licensing web page.


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 pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Referee Development, Parent Engagement 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, DICK'S Sporting Goods and Gatorade. | Facebook | X | Instagram | YouTube |