Editor’s Note: Every quarter, US Club Soccer announces the most recent class of Players First-licensed clubs. In the weeks to follow, the newest clubs will be highlighted with Q&As from their directors.
Q: Why did Juventus Academy Silicon Valley apply for Players First licensing?
Anders Perez, General Manager of Juventus Academy Silicon Valley: We applied after reviewing the criteria US Club Soccer used to award this status to the other accepted clubs. We believed this was in line with our vision and approach to how we look at player development and is at what we strive to execute on a day-to-day status. We wanted to check our progress through this application process. Needless to say, this validates that we are certainly on the right path, but of course, there is still more we can do.
Q: What does it mean for Juventus Academy Silicon Valley to now be an official Players First-licensed club?
Perez: It's an honor, to be honest. To be listed among the other prestigious clubs across the country already designated as "Players First" is really exciting. It is also a testament and nod to the hard work the entire body of directors, staff and volunteers do to help us achieve this. Finally, we represent and are a part of Juventus FC. We feel it is a nod to the values of the home club and their approach in youth development.
Q: What makes Players First licensing different from other initiatives or programs your club has participated in?
Perez: The biggest difference is what is on the title "Players First." In everything we do, we should always have our players in mind. I believe that is the “secret” to creating the best development model for youth in our country. The criteria is definitely extensive, and we're happy that we can meet such high standards.
Q: What would you like the parents of Juventus Academy Silicon Valley to know about what this means to them?
Perez: I would like them to know that our philosophy and approach is now nationally recognized by a professional governing body, such as US Club Soccer. That the work we do on a day-to-day basis is truly centered on their son/daughter first and that we are here to help our youth make an impact in this world - both on and off the field.
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.