Editor’s Note: Every quarter, US Club Soccer will announce the most recent class of Players First-licensed clubs. In the weeks to follow, those new clubs will be highlighted with Q&As from their directors.
Question: Why did FC Wisconsin Boys apply for Players First licensing?
William Solberg, Co-Director of Coaching of FC Wisconsin Boys: It was an opportunity for us as a club to be comprehensively evaluated by US Club Soccer to determine how we are serving our membership. We wanted to go through this rigorous process to highlight what we are trying to accomplish as a club while always striving to improve.
Question: What does it mean for FC Wisconsin Boys to now be an official Players First-licensed club?
Solberg: The Players First license is being referred to as the first "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" in youth soccer, and the club's recognition is a credit to all of the staff in the club, and the parents and players that choose to be part of the club every day. It is a huge honor and testament to everyone associated with the club that we are part of the Players First license alongside some of the top clubs in the country. We take this accolade extremely seriously and this will only motivate us to continue to improve to provide the best possible player development platform for our members.
Question: What makes Players First licensing different from other initiatives or programs your club has participated in?
Solberg: This was the most rigorous process that we have been through in terms of being evaluated as a club. However; it was also the most enjoyable experience as the process was conducted in a collaborative and club-centric manner. The Players First licensing not only evaluates you as a club but also offers help, guidance and initiatives to help grow and improve yourselves as a club which is very different from other organizations we have been a part of.
Question: What would you like the parents of FC Wisconsin Boys to know about what this means to them?
Solberg: This continues to reaffirm that we as a club are striving to do things the right way for their continued long-term development. As a member of the Players First licensing we now have a responsibility to always uphold these values which only benefits all our players throughout their development process. We are certainly not perfect and must continue to improve, but we are proud that our infrastructure, culture and environment has been recognized by US Club Soccer to be among one of the best clubs in the nation.
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.