Editor’s Note: On Dec. 18, US Club Soccer announced the first-ever class of Players First-licensed clubs, which featured 46 clubs from 19 states. In the weeks to follow, those clubs will be highlighted with Q&As from their directors.
Question: Why did Marin FC apply for Players First licensing?
Evan Cross, President of Marin FC: We have always taken the club culture view that all our efforts are ultimately focused on providing for each player. From programs, to professionals, to resources, to events, we simply felt that the focus on providing for the player is the preeminent task, and Players First would be an important recognition of this for us. Further, Marin FC sees that embodied in Players First is critical potential to focus and advance the state of our craft as soccer coaches and administrators.
Question: What does it mean for Marin FC to now be an official Players First-licensed club?
Cross: The Players First moniker validates our efforts and magnifies our voice in our community and for our families and players. Our ability to speak to our community about how we lead and innovate in the soccer landscape is bolstered by the affirmation that our approach elevates a vital shared belief in players and their potential.
Question: What makes Players First licensing different from other initiatives or programs your club has participated in?
Cross: Marin FC was attracted to the plateau and umbrella aspects of Players First. That is to say that elevating clubs that prove their commitment to their players represented obvious benefit, but as importantly, the fact that Players First transcends leagues, club size, club age, demographics and other widely varying factors, spoke to us about recognizing value throughout the spectrum of player development.
Question: What would you like the parents of Marin FC to know about what this means to them?
Cross: Marin FC has strived to be transparent and utterly honest with our players and their families. For example, in establishing costs (we are entirely non-profit and volunteer led), we make conservative estimates and almost always issue refunds at the end of the season. Building our programs and hiring our staff obviously has a cost impact, and we strive for the highest levels while preserving value. We would like to share with our current and future families that these efforts to build and maintain a superior player development environment is recognized nationally as leading the way to what serves the players and families best when it comes to striking this quality-to-value balance.
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.