US Club Soccer announces nine more Players First member clubs
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Nine clubs have been approved as new US Club Soccer Players First-licensed clubs, joining more than 100 existing members across 30 states.
Players First licensing is led by a robust application, in which clubs prove their commitment to Players First, its philosophy and the five pillars: Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety.
When clubs apply to become 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.
The following clubs have been accepted to the Players First program:
- Chargers Soccer Club (Clearwater, FL)
- Gretna Elite Academy (Gretna, NE)
- Kansas City Scott Gallagher (Lee’s Summit, MO)
- Keystone FC (Mechanicsburg, PA)
- Mt. Rainier FC (Bonney Lake, WA)
- Roseville Youth Soccer Club (Roseville, CA)
- Rush Union Soccer (Atlanta, GA)
- Soccer Chance Academy (Portland, OR)
- Spokane Sounders (Spokane Valley, WA)
“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.
In addition to this nationally recognized stamp of approval, these clubs also receive more access and exclusive benefits from Players First partners and resources, numerous features on US Club Soccer digital and social channels, customizable content and more.
These nine new clubs enjoy Players First licensing status until March 2023, at which time there will be a renewal opportunity. Club applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, and approved clubs are announced quarterly. Clubs that apply but do not meet the standards and requirements outlined in the application all receive a detailed letter explaining any deficiencies with suggestions and resources to correct those.
The application includes seven sections, in which clubs must demonstrate their commitment to the Players First pillars:
1. Club and Applicant Information
2. Club Leadership Expertise and Development
3. Staff Education and Development
4. Player Health and Safety
5. Training and Competition Structure
6. Staffing Structure
7. Parent Education and Engagement