Eight clubs have been approved as new Players First-licensed clubs, bringing the total to 82 clubs in 25 states. These clubs completed a rigorous application process, proving their commitment to Players First, its philosophy and the five pillars.
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 eight new clubs – and 82 total – stand out locally and nationally as improving the club soccer experience.
Players First is built on a foundation of five pillars: Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety. Congratulations to these newly licensed Players First clubs:
• Boston Bolts (Framingham, MA)
• Chattanooga Red Wolves SC Academy (Chattanooga, TN)
• Orlando City Youth Soccer (Sanford, FL)
• Roadrunners SC (Downers Grove, IL)
• Schwaben Athletic Club (Buffalo Grove, IL)
• SCS United (Freedom, PA)
• Washington Premier FC (Puyallup, WA)
• Western United Pioneers (Ludlow, MA)
“We believe this to be the most rigorous and comprehensive attempt in U.S. Soccer history to identify those clubs that have demonstrated a commitment to creating the kind of infrastructure and culture necessary to provide the best overall environment for players,” US Club Soccer CEO Kevin Payne said.
In addition to this nationally recognized stamp of approval, these clubs also receive more access and special benefits from Players First partners and resources, numerous features on US Club Soccer digital and social channels, customizable content and more. They’ll also be invited to the inaugural Players First Summit to be held later this year.
Details about the licensing process can be found on this web page, including the terms and eligibility information. These eight new clubs enjoy Players First licensing status until Sept. 30, 2021, at which time there will be a renewal opportunity. Club applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, and approved clubs are announced quarterly. Clubs that apply but do not meet the standards and requirements outlined in the application all receive a detailed letter explaining any deficiencies with suggestions and resources to correct those.
The application includes seven sections, in which clubs must demonstrate their commitment to the Players First pillars:
1. Club and Applicant Information
2. Club Leadership Expertise and Development
3. Staff Education and Development
4. Player Health and Safety
5. Training and Competition Structure
6. Staffing Structure
7. Parent Education and Engagement
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.