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 F.C. Hawaii apply for Players First licensing?
Chris Cleveland, Director of Coaching Youngers: As F.C. Hawaii began to expand our International Programming, we needed a way to review our organization/operations and ensure that we were doing things right and on the right path. The Players First licensing is US Club Soccer's 'Good Housekeeping Seal'. It is their stamp of approval and recognition that F.C. Hawaii is meeting and exceeding the standards set here within the United States.
Q: What does it mean for F.C. Hawaii to now be an official Players First-licensed club?
Cleveland: When F.C. Hawaii was selected as Players First-licensed club, it solidified that we were meeting US Club Soccer's rigorous requirements for youth soccer development in 5 key categories: club development, coaching development, player development, parent engagement/education and player health/safety.
Q: What makes Players First licensing different from other initiatives or programs your club has participated in?
Cleveland: Recently, our experimental youngers Academy Program was selected by the Deutscheland Fußball Identification Program for its work on soccer science and training. That international recognition and this domestic recognition by US Club Soccer is something we are very honored by.
Q: What would you like the parents of F.C. Hawaii to know about what this means to them?
Cleveland: We want our parents to know that our work is not done. The constant pursuit of 1% improvements doesn't just pertain to your child. We as an organization want to practice what we preach. So, we are improving as well. We are opening an indoor training facility. We've also signed a lease to four acres of field space for our team's private use. We've earned national coaching licenses for our staff. We are adding International Academy coaches to our staff. Last year we medaled in several national competitions. Unfortunately, because of Covid-19 this year, we would just like to get back out and play.
Parents of F.C. Hawaii, we will continue to do the right thing for your child and we will continue to improve. That is ultimately what I'd like them to know. Aloha!
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.