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 Classics Elite Soccer Academy apply for Players First licensing?
Aaron Metzger, Director of Coaching of Classics Elite Soccer Academy: We felt it was important to align ourselves with like-minded clubs that put an emphasis on developing players and coaches, educating parents, and creating a positive sport environment that helps grow the game in this country.
Question: What does it mean for Classics Elite Soccer Academy to now be an official Players First-licensed club?
Metzger: It means a great deal to us because it validates our dedication and hard-work to create a club culture that has a unified message and direction. This message and direction revolves around the players, their development, and their enjoyment of playing soccer, regardless of their age and/or level of play. We are proud of being recognized for this by becoming a Players First-licensed club and it inspires us to continue to work hard for our players.
Question: What makes Players First licensing different from other initiatives or programs your club has participated in?
Metzger: The difference from other programs was the stringent application process that required extensive documentation of philosophies, standards and best practices in many different areas of the club's programming.
Question: What would you like the parents of Classics Elite Soccer Academy to know about what this means to them?
Metzger: Being a Players First licensed club can assure our parents that their young athletes are in a professionally run, player-centered environment that prioritizes trying to always doing the right things in the right ways.
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.