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 Legacy Soccer Club apply for Players First licensing?
John Barata, President & CEO of Legacy Soccer Club: Our club was eager to measure our commitment to Player and Coach Development against our club soccer peers in New England and across the country. Alignment with the core principles of Players First has been a focus of our young organization and our application was a major milestone in our maturation as a club. Our commitment to helping our families succeed on and off the field is paramount. We believe that Players First is the Gold Standard for club development and applying for the license put our organization under the microscope and encouraged us to be better.
Question: What does it mean for Legacy Soccer Club to now be an official Players First-licensed club?
Barata: Players First recognition further differentiates us from neighboring clubs, and gives our Legacy family a greater sense of:
Question: What makes Players First licensing different from other initiatives or programs your club has participated in?
Barata: Player First licensing is a uniquely transparent, highly-visible, and purpose-driven initiative that is tightly aligned with the deeply held values of our staff, and the hopes and aspirations of our athletes and their families. No other program seeks to measure our club's success and objectives so publicly, and allows us to differentiate ourselves in an ever-changing youth sports ecosystem. The focus on the player and the program development versus on field results makes this very different. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to measure ourselves not only against all other clubs but most importantly to the standards set forth by US Club Soccer and our own standards within Legacy. Many clubs won’t take the hard look in the mirror and find ways to improve or evolve. Players First makes you get ahead of the game and always push for improvement.
Question: What would you like the parents of Legacy Soccer Club to know about what this means to them?
Barata: Simply said, this means that our parents, who entrust us with their child/children's soccer experience can be assured that we care about the overall health of the individual both on and off the field. Parents can hold us here at the Legacy Soccer Club to the highest youth soccer standards, to demand more from their club soccer experience, and to remain an active, critical integral partner in their young athlete's development. We want our families to know that we are always looking for ways to improve their child's’ soccer experience and evolve as the game evolves. We exist as a club for the families and to help spread the passion for the beautiful game.
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.