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 Pleasanton RAGE apply for Players First licensing?
Erin Sharpe, Director of Coaching: There are a lot of youth soccer clubs in the marketplace and determining the best fit can be a confusing and arduous process. While we have always believed that out product and service offerings set us apart, having the endorsement of US Club Soccer as a Players First-licensed club affirms this distinction, holds us accountable to our philosophical commitments and helps simplify the process for families in their search for a home club. Recognition as a Players First club is important for our existing membership to see and a proven differentiator to those looking for a holistic, professional experience with a focus on long-term development and commitment to players.
Q: What does it mean for Pleasanton RAGE to now be an official Players First-licensed club?
Sharpe: This recognition not only validates our steadfast commitment and hard work to create an exceptional experience for our members, but it holds us accountable to our continuous work in elevating standards. Additionally, it provides us with benefits to more easily enable us to raise these standards, including world class continuing education opportunities for coaches. We're honored to be nationally recognized and thank US Club Soccer and Players First for this distinction and support.
Q: What makes Players First licensing different from other initiatives or programs your club has participated in?
Sharpe: The Players First program is certainly the most holistic program we've participated in. Many other programs have a singular focus, but Players First is all encompassing in that it requires we are providing support and always working to raise the bar in the following five areas: Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety.
Q: What would you like the parents of Pleasanton RAGE to know about what this means to them?
Sharpe: Pleasanton RAGE is committed to providing the most exceptional all-girls experience in the country, and this licensing confirms that we are upholding the highest standards of any youth soccer experience in the country. Our mission is to empower our players to reach their full potential through soccer, service and leadership programming for all of our members, which also aligns with the Players First philosophical commitment to development, lessons and opportunity both on and off the field. None of this would be possible without the support of our parents and families with the RAGE community. We thank you for this and look forward to continuing to provide you with the holistic support and offerings that you've come to expect from RAGE, as well as additional resources that will accompany our Players First licensing.
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.