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 Magic Soccer FC apply for Players First licensing?
Ricardo Pierre-Louis, Director of Development of Magic Soccer FC: We applied for the Players First license, because it is a great program to hold clubs accountable to the highest standard of player development in the USA. Our club is serious and committed to the development of players, and we thought this is a license we needed to acquire to keep this culture real.
Question: What does it mean for Magic Soccer FC to now be an official Players First-licensed club?
Pierre-Louis: It means a lot to our coaches, players and parents in many different ways. Being in North Dakota, a small soccer state, people don't look at us on the same level as states such as California, Ohio, Kansas, Michigan, etc. I personally feel like it is the best way for clubs to prove what they say they do. The Players First license platform should be a requirement for every organization in order to be an official club, if we are serious about developing soccer in America.
Question: What makes Players First licensing different from other initiatives or programs your club has participated in?
Pierre-Louis: As a former professional soccer player and spending all my life around soccer, I have vast knowledge of the game. The Players First club license is a real program. The application is low-cost; the process is real and rigorous. You can't become a Players First club if you are not a play-first club. Some other initiatives tend to be monetary-driven and political-oriented.
Question: What would you like the parents of Magic Soccer FC to know about what this means to them?
At Magic Soccer, our success in the past few years evolved around the focus of each individual player. Now, having the Players First license to prove what we do, we can promote our players at the national level. It is a huge accomplishment for our club. To mention, we have national team-caliber players, like Reece Voracheck and a few others - we now open the door to the soccer national scouts to consider looking at our club and our players.
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.