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 RISE Soccer Club apply for Players First licensing?
Georgi Dolence, Director of Operations: Players First represents our club’s commitment to placing the long-term interests of each individual player at the heart of every decision in structuring, operating and managing our club. It also highlights our club’s dedication as professionals of youth development to expect ongoing learning, education and development from all of our staff members. We strive to ensure that our players have the benefit of best-in-class information and resources in teaching and training young athletes. It is how we differentiate ourselves as a world class youth soccer club locally, state-wide and across the country.
Q: What does it mean for RISE Soccer Club to now be an official Players First-licensed club?
Dolence: The Players First license not only validates our approach but exemplifies our commitment to excellence in all aspects. Our Player Development staff works extremely hard to ensure that every player at RISE, regardless of their age or level of play, is prepared to advance to the next level they desire.
Q: What makes Players First licensing different from other initiatives or programs your club has participated in?
Dolence: As the club has evolved, we’ve constantly updated and enhanced our operational procedures and program offerings to meet the highest standards of player, staff and club development. Part of the process of reaching an optimal performance level is to be thoroughly assessed by unbiased third parties whose expertise lies in the evaluation of soccer clubs. We have been fully assessed by DoublePass and have received fantastic feedback. The Players First license provides us with a conclusive designation for clubs that align with their commitment to excellence. We believe we uphold the standards of youth soccer's “Good Housekeeping Seal.”
Q: What would you like the parents of RISE Soccer Club to know about what this means to them?
Dolence: Players First represents our club’s commitment to providing a holistic approach in player development for all of our players, recognizing that the soccer experience must include lessons and opportunity both on the field and off. We take pride in engaging and educating our parents, as well as helping them embrace the appropriate expectations and roles in their child’s overall development.
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.