Soccer Across America (formerly known as Soccer Start) is designed to introduce the sport of soccer to youngsters living in communities not yet served by existing clubs and leagues. Focused on making soccer available to lower-income children in underserved communities, Soccer Across America provides soccer training and administrative guidance to players and organizations who might otherwise not be exposed to the sport. Soccer Across America also helps new programs find the funding and equipment to begin and then to expand their activities. In the past several years, US Youth Soccer has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial and material support to programs across the United States.
How do I participate?
Contact us to find out more about getting involved with our local Soccer Across America program.
Why do we need a Soccer Across America Program?
Soccer is the fastest growing sport in the United States. It has reached into communities from coast to coast and from north to south. Yet, soccer has not always served inner city and rural communities and all economic and ethnic groups. In order to insure that every child has the opportunity to play our beautiful game, US Youth Soccer founded the Soccer Across America program.
Goals of Soccer Across America
Creating Your Own Program
Soccer Across America programs are run locally by existing clubs and leagues, by Boys and Girls Clubs and Y’s, by neighborhood and parks and recreation departments. There is no one size fits all model for Soccer Across America.
Each program starts differently and is created locally to meet the needs and capabilities of the organization and of the players. Programs in the nation’s biggest cities may include thousands of children, and yet there are hundreds of small programs that focus on one or two teams, one group of kids in a single neighborhood or one corner of a rural farming community.
Programs may last as little as a few weeks in the fall to as much as full seasons in more than one part of the year. Many programs adopt traditional soccer rules with full-sized fields and full length games while other choose to introduce soccer through “Small-Sided Games” on smaller fields. The choices about how to begin are as varied as the places in which they begin. Soccer Across America can help your community decide on how to get started by providing written information and hands-on technical assistance.
The First Steps
In order to promote the Soccer Across America program at the local levels and gain community involvement and awareness, certain equipment, services and financial support is needed. Some of these needs are:
The cost of participation varies depending upon your registration fees, insurance premiums and uniform and equipment costs. At all times, cost should be kept to a minimum for all possible participants. Grants are available through US Youth Soccer and the U.S. Soccer Federation Foundation. There are other philanthropic entities, such as the Shriners, which offer assistance. Research other avenues of funding such as local, state and federal government grants and community groups such as the Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs, Chambers of Commerce, etc. Approach local retailers, companies or corporations for cash or in-kind donations.