I don’t think it would be melodramatic to say that I got where I am today because of soccer. I owe the game my closest friendships, most valuable life skills, and (last but not least) my college education. I’m the person I am because of the 5am workouts, the brutal playoff losses, and the countless hours of rehab. Yes – this is cliché – but it couldn’t be more true. Thanks soccer! You were my greatest teacher.
Soccer started as a sport I picked up at the age of 10 because a few parents saw me run during Field Day and urged my parents to sign me up. Since that day, soccer has paved my life’s path thus far. Albeit not a perfect path – there were some serious bumps and cracks in the road! From injuries to frustration with my coaches and my own performance, soccer has pushed me to my limits and taught me so many valuable lessons.
I thank soccer for my current opportunity to work in the “soccer world” everyday and to literally have the opportunity to spread the game to communities in need!
Shaina R. (washed up soccer player)
I spent the 2006 + 2010 World Cups in Berlin, Germany. The passion and excitement that pulshed through the city was something I’d never seen before. The Fernsehtrum was painted to look like a giant soccer ball and flags flew proudly from every window in the city.
I didn’t know people could care so much about soccer. During this year’s World Cup, I felt that same electricity in D.C. Whole offices abandoned work to watch games. It looks like the U.S. is catching on – soccer is awesome.
Growing up I never had the opportunity to play soccer. I’ve watched the games sometimes but never knew that I would come to D.C. to become a coach at something I wanted to learn.
Soccer for Success is an awesome foundation for kids who don’t know about the sort. I’m glad I came and am a part of this
I’m that guy that did not like soccer. Being a coach changed that. I actually went to watch a game. I like how this conference makes coaching easy.
I started playing soccer when I was about 6. I desperately needed an outlet to run around, kicking and screaming, but I also needed some structure. Soccer gave me much more than that. It gave me a family, the ideals of teamwork and, eventually, taught me how to be a leader.
As goalie on my team, The Cyclones, I had a huge role in overseeing what happens on the field, and helping my teammates get what information they needed to get the upper hand. To this day, soccer is the only sport I care about, scheduling my job hours around World Cup games once again this summer….More than just a sport, it is a real gift for young girls of this generation.
Hope Solo and Abby Wambach are new idols and role models, and frankly, I totally understand why.
This is my second conference and I have had a great time each time I come. I learn something different every single time. I meet and learn from different people while enjoying reuniting with old ones.
I have seen the difference in the students I teach and in me!
Brandi F. from New Jeresey
Being new to Soccer for Success I have learned so much + yes soccer is hard at first but so much fun. I can not wait to teach the kids what I’ve learned. Also want to say thank you to all the coaches for taking the time to teach us and everyone else for becoming friends.
TEAM MINT GREEN
Complete and total strangers from opposite sides of the country with one common trait. Training to be coaches to better our abilities and skills as mentors and teachers. One group made up of 3 distant guys and strangers in this team. Just now friends; new collegues and relationships that are unforgettable.
Thank you Soccer for Sucess.
On my childhood team we had these shiny white away jerseys that we rarely had a chance to wear. However, the would of course occasionally be reason to dawn these white satiny jerseys. On one such occasion, we had to travel out into the middle of nowhere. From start to finish it wasn’t the greatest of games. There was sleeting rain. The pitch was a mud puddle. We lost.
Despite the circumstances, I remember my teams’ spirits were surprisingly high. It helped that the sun decided to break through the clouds right as the final whistle blowed. In a moment of inspiration my team & I, despite losing, decide to celebrate by doing supermans in the mud. We ran. Jumped. Belly flopped into the mud & probably slid a good 5 feet.
Those jerseys were never again considered “clean.” I aspire to bring this sense of celebrating the game & each other, rather than wins, to my time as a youth soccer coach.
To the Mint Green Leaders!
Thank you so much for being so patiently with us folks who had no soccer skills whatsoever! Also a shot out to all the Mint Green members, they’re all so cool.
This weekend I had a blast, I played soccer with a pretty cool group of individuals, and even had a moment to sing some karaoke with Mint Green.
Please excuse my handwriting. I am walking to teachbacks while I write this. Wish me luck.
Soccer has given me so much in my life and has taught me so many life skills that I will carry on with me forever. There is truly no way to describe how much soccer can affect ones life. Here’s a little joke to brighten your day.
Why do soccer players do so well in math?
They know how to use their head.
I never knew anything about soccer (i.e. basics). I’ve learned to enjoy/love soccer at my 1st conference in 2014 with my coaches Suz + Charity! I found another hobby to have fun with or be competitive.
Yaay! I’m ready to continue this journey with the Soccer Foundation.
Michelle O. from New Jersey
Author: Sarah P.
Soccer was my first love. I started playing when I was six on a boys team in Alabama (there were no girls teams). My mom had wanted me to play tennis, and had heard Jimmy Conners say soccer is a great way to develop foot skills. Fast forward sixteen years later, thousands upon thousands of hours spent on the pitch practicing, training, and playing, (and three broken legs, one broken arm, and a surgery or two) – my step-father walks in my room to find me crying in a business suit and soccer cleats, and had to talk me through life without soccer. I didn’t watch soccer, or other sports, for a couple of years. It hurt too much. Yes…it was all very dramatic in my lil’ soccer lovin’ heart.
Thankfully, soccer started creeping back in my life, this time through coaching. I noticed, however, that my favorite element of coaching was the psycho-social element. Soccer now (again) plays a huge role in my life-through my job at the U.S. Soccer Foundation.
Through the help of dozens, perhaps hundreds of folks, we have developed an after-school program that provides children a free platform to experience the game recreationally, with supportive coach-mentors and focus on health and wellness.
For many kids, it will be a fun experience with lots of lessons learned. For some, they too might find their first love.
I fell in love with soccer when I was 23. I started a new job, working for the Mexican National Team, and never got into the sport before that point. My first game was electric. So many fans, so much passion – I was hooked. I wanted more. Early Saturday mornings watching soccer became my routine. I wanted to catch up, make up for lost time, gain insight into the world’s biggest secret, the world’s biggest party. I’m still amazed how the sport impacts so many people. How everyone has a story.
I never played when I was little, but now I have the opportunity to give the game, that passion, that excitement to someone else, our future generations. That makes me so happy!! Hope to see the game continue to grow…
I fell in love with soccer when I was 23. I started a new job, working for the Mexican National Team, and never got into the sport before that point. My first game was electric. So many fans, so much passion – I was hooked. I wanted more. Early Saturday mornings watching soccer became my routine.
I wanted to catch up, make up for lost time, gain insight into the world’s biggest secret, the world’s biggest party. I’m still amazed how the sport impacts so many people. How everyone has a story. I never played when I was little, but now I have the opportunity to give the game, that passion, that excitement to someone else, our future generations. That makes me so happy!!
Hope to see the game continue to grow…
Soccer at first was boring for me; but I like to pass the ball. My boss decided to sent me here and be more involve with soccer. Since I was playing before I gave it a try.
It has been really fun to continue playing soccer =). Moving around, passing the ball, and trying to do some tricks has been fun. Specially because I will be teaching my kids soccer and they will love it.
Hope this continues to expand more and more.
"True champions aren't always the ones that win, but those with the most guts" – Mia Hamm
This weekend was a great experience for me because I met so many people and got out of my shell so quickly which is unusual. I love my fresh mint green team and hope to see them next year or some other time. My team is always going to be a part of me and I plan to incorporate bits of my teammates into my teaching style.
Go Mint Green
Soccer was a major part of my childhood. Many of my memories up until high school involve playing with Friends. Whether it was on a grassy park field or asphalt in a school playground I always had a good time. I was never the most athletically gifted child but there was a place for many different skill sets on the soccer field which I appreciated.
I still remember many of my coaches and teammates from that time. Even though I left soccer behind when I entered high school, I will always cherish those childhood memories and the lessons I took from them about discipline and teamwork especially.
Thanks soccer, for shaping a great childhood and preparing me for the years to come.
Outside of lacrosse for one year & volleyball for another, soccer is the only sport I played growing up (my parents could tell from an early age that I lacked the hand-eye coordination for basketball or softball). I started playing soccer when I was 5 with the Severn Athletic Club in Maryland.
When I was 9, I was selected to play on the All-Star Team and was one of only two girls chosen. Our team, the Warthogs (the Lion King must have been big at the time) was the only All-Star team in the tournament with girls at all. We ended up winning the entire thing!
The only thing I remember most from the tournament were the trophies we received…it read “1997 All-Star Champions BOYS under 10.” That trophy still sits on my dresser at my parents’ house, a reminder that the only team with girls beat the boys teams.
Kristen (soccer player for 20 years =) )
20 years ago I was 12. Soccer was a big part of my life. Interestingly, neither of my parents played, so while I learned, they learned. Perhaps for that reason soccer was rarely on TV at my house. I watch the big three sports but played soccer. In two weeks I will be going to D.C. United’s first playoff game of the year. I am so excited to see the MLS where it is – about to break its own attendance record from last season. The next generation of soccer players will grow up with soccer on T.V., in the papers & in their lives. Its amazing what can change in just two decades.
Soccer is my favorite sport, I love going to practice twice a week because I get to see my best friends and my favorite coach. I play goalie but I always wanted to score lots of goals. My dad played soccer and so did my mom. That is how they met. Soccer is in my blood.
“ Vamos embora moleque,” said my uncle.
I was excited because my uncle was going to share the love of his life with me. We were in Santos,Brazil heading to a Santos FC game at the Vila Belmiro.
As we walked out on the streets we could hear the crackling of the fireworks in the direction of the stadium. With every block we passed the atmosphere was intensifying. I could hear the beating of samba drumbs, the sound of the “Santos” chants, and the horns of cars. I could smell the crisp Brahma, Skilll, and Gol beers, the sweat of the “torcida,” and the smell of fresh Brazilian BBQ. All around me was a seas of black and white shirts all chanting.
Once in the stadium it was a different world. You could hear the chants and the drums all around you. It seduced me. Suddenly I found the world moving up and down and realized I was also chanting and screaming and jumping. There was not a restless moment.
When Santos scored the stadium erupted in cheering and you couldn’t sit
sta sit still if you tried as the seats trembled with the weight of the fan base. This was my uncle’s passion. Now it was my passion. We left at a high in the game and my energy and bliss continues to this day. Whether you are rich, poor, black, white, educated, or not this is a game for the world. I hope that I can also pass along this experience to my children and grandchildren. This is The BEAUTIFUL GAME
- Rodrigo F.
I remember turning on the TV to watch Landon Donovan's last soccer game. This is funny because when I was a kid I wasn’t able to find soccer on TV. But I'm so proud of this country for the development of this great game from the professional rank down to youth leagues. Yea soccer!
I played soccer as a young girl, from ages 8-10. When I joined the team they had already been established for a while, and I did not have the skill set that they had. Unfortunately, the coach didn’t take the time to teach me and it made me feel left out.
If my friends had not been on the team, I would have quit within the first couple of months. While I didn’t learn much about soccer during the experience, I did learn how it feels to be ostracized. Going through this at a young age allowed me to consider more thoughtfully how I was treating my peers, something elementary schooler’s and middle schooler’s rarely do.
So though I wouldn’t ask for the experience I had with my soccer team, I’m glad to have had an impactful lesson in bullying and the effect it can have on others.
My brother grew up liking soccer. Soccer is the world to him and I think having kids to play games makes their life fun. My brother who is in the third grade enjoys soccer and hopefully will become the best soccer player to represent the United States. I love watching him make a lot of goals when we, as a family play soccer. Soccer is a good way to take your mind off stressful assignments in school.
My favorite thing about soccer is making goals and helping my team.
The important thing that I like about playing soccer is I been playing soccer since I was three.
I really enjoy soccer. My favorite thing is enjoying the fun of the game. Soccer is fun
I play soccer because it lets me get out all my energy and aggressiveness. It builds teamwork skills and makes other friends than school friends.
I feel soccer has improved Glenn's teamwork skills as well as being a part of a wonderful activities which works on development skills, fun and fair play. Didn’t have these types of programs when I was growing up. The US Soccer Foundation is providing a wonder experience for inner city kids.
Author: Jon Anderson
I played rec soccer as kid and my father coached me. Twenty+ years later, I began coaching my first son when he was 5 years old, caught the coaching bug, became passionate about the developmental process and continuing my education as a soccer coach. I now have a family of 6 and my first son is now 15 and helps me coach his two younger brothers while handling high school and high school sports. The whole family is involved and immersed. It has become a lifestyle and activity that continues to bond our family. As a coach and fully involved family, we actively share a contagious passion for the game and have the opportunity to positively affect others the same way. Soccer has not only help bond my family, but has help me develop leadership skills as well as successful personal and business relationships. Love the Game. Share the Passion. Have Fun with the Ball! Sincerely, Jon Anderson an American Soccer Coach
Author: David Berry
Since 1992 when I started working with high school soccer players from Special Olympians to the kids from the poorest area of Hawaii Island, US Soccer and Passback have always been there to support our needs with shoes, balls, and equipment. I wanted to thank all of you for all your generous donations.