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A Wild Soccer Idea from Ed.

Coach Gianni,

I was reading the article from the Chivas Team who are seeking funds to go to Florida to play in the Super Y tournament.

Now this same idea came to me a year ago. Yes the very same circumstances were unfolding before my eyes in Oakland. I was watching two U14 hispanic teams and I asked one of the parents (who turned out to be their manager) what competitive league they were from because I didn't recognize the club uniforms. Hah, they were not club teams at all but division 4 teams from Oakland.

Some of the boys played better than the Div 1 boys I was used to seeing from the more affluent areas. I found out that the reason some of these kids, who had been playing together for 3-4 years on the same team, were not playing "competitive" soccer was simply they could not afford to. The manager of the team told me they had to hold fund raisers just to pay for the uniforms. She said that the parent coaches were trying to keep the team together so that the boys would have an outlet and something positive as a way to compete with the allure of gangs in their neighborhoods.

It struck me at that time the Bay Area and maybe the nation, needed a way to fund soccer and soccer players who had the love of the game, the skills, and desire but didn't have the money to play and develop in accordance with their abilities.

This idea has been bouncing around in my head and I hope it isn't rocks. What if we could find a way to put together a Not for Profit that either funds individual players who have need, or sponsors teams from cities and towns where teams such as the Chivas need money to play soccer. I see soccer as a passport to higher education or a better life (even if only to divert kids away from gangs long enough to get on track with their lives).

One of the things that occurs to me is that there are already so many soccer organizations in the US, and soccer clubs and the professional soccer model. But as you stated in your last newsletter, in Europe, there would be 20-30 professional soccer clubs which grow and develop talent in California based on population size alone.

I have been on the founding committee that started a Not for Profit - that is what scares me a little - the time and energy necessary to get something like this off the ground. The first thing would be to get several like minded and influential folks together to see what takes shape - if anything.


Posted on 05 Sep 2007 by coachgianni
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