US Club Soccer announces 12 new Players First-licensed youth clubs
Twelve clubs have been approved as new Players First-licensed clubs, bringing the total to more than 100 clubs in 27 states.
These clubs completed a rigorous application process, proving their commitment to Players First, its philosophy and the five pillars.
When clubs apply to become Players First licensed, they’re extensively reviewed by US Club Soccer. Then, they’re either approved in the same term of which they applied, or their applications remain open for up to six months to allow them to meet any additional requirements necessary for licensing. About one-third of all approved clubs have been accepted after their initial evaluations required them to raise standards.
US Club Soccer is currently detailing the various sections of the Players First club licensing application via an ongoing Facebook Live series.
Players First is built on a foundation of five pillars: Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety.
See below for the newly licensed Players First clubs:
- AC Brea (Brea, CA)
- Almaden FC (San Jose, CA)
- Encinitas Express (Encinitas, CA)
- Hawaii Soccer Academy (Honolulu, HI)
- Kernow Storm Futbol Club (Waxahachie, TX)
- MD United FC (Crofton, MD)
- Players Development Academy (Somerset, NJ)
- Pleasanton RAGE (Pleasanton, CA)
- San Jose Surf Soccer Club (San Jose, CA)
- Santa Rosa United (Santa Rosa, CA)
- STMA United Soccer Club (St. Michael, MN)
- Tonka United (Deephaven, MN)
Players First is described as US Club Soccer’s“Good Housekeeping Seal”.
“We believe this to be the most rigorous and comprehensive attempt in U.S. Soccer history to identify those clubs that have demonstrated a commitment to creating the kind of infrastructure and culture necessary to provide the best overall environment for players,” US Club Soccer CEO Kevin Payne said.
All licensed clubs also have access to the annual Players First Summit. The inaugural event was held in December 2019 in Miami Lakes, Florida. US Club Soccer is currently planning the second annual Players First Summit, to be hosted later this year.