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 Orlando City Youth Soccer apply for Players First licensing?
Laura Halfpenny, Executive Director of Orlando City Youth Soccer: At Orlando City Youth Soccer Club (OCYS) we are committed to providing opportunity for all and to the development of players, coaches, referees, parents, staff and volunteers. We seek to align with other like minded organizations. For this reason the Players First license is a distinction that recognizes our approach and we applied for this reason.
Question: What does it mean for Orlando City Youth Soccer to now be an official Players First-licensed club?
Halfpenny: We are delighted to have been recognized as a leader in our area.
Question: What makes Players First licensing different from other initiatives or programs your club has participated in?
Halfpenny: Its holistic approach to the game and serving all who are apart it [is what makes it different]. Higher level clubs and organizations seek to improve all facets of the game on and off the field. This license and recognition is a honor to us because we seek to improve players, coaches, referees and volunteers while maintaining operational excellence. It is rare to find organizations where the focus is across all.
Question: What would you like the parents of Orlando City Youth Soccer to know about what this means to them?
Halfpenny: This license recognizes not just our players, coaches and staff but it also recognizes their support to the club and its mission. In aligning with US Club Soccer, we set and adhere to a standard of excellence.
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.