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 Encinitas Express apply for Players First licensing?
Andy Hargreaves, Director of Older & E3 Program: We like the values the program stands for, and we feel it aligns with what we want to represent in soccer.
Q: What does it mean for Encinitas Express to now be an official Players First-licensed club?
Hargreaves: We are honored to be part of the program. US Club Soccer is an outstanding governing body in soccer and Players First is another positive extension of our experience with US Club Soccer.
Q: What makes Players First licensing different from other initiatives or programs your club has participated in?
Hargreaves: The Players First program has expectations that a club needs to comply with to be considered and, therefore, keeps you accountable to maintain necessary standards in the soccer community. There are many other programs that are available but few promote and require ethical standards within the whole operation of the club.
Q: What would you like the parents of Encinitas Express to know about what this means to them?
Hargreaves: We would like the parents to know that we value their commitment and loyalty toward our club and their child's experience. We feel this program offers them the values to stay connected with what soccer is providing their kids, while helping them stay safe and educated on the important aspects of the soccer experience.
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.