(CHARLESTON, S.C.) – US Club Soccer – a prominent member of the U.S. Soccer Federation and the leading organization developing soccer clubs across America – launches the highly anticipated Players First licensing, providing the proper structure for clubs nationwide to help young athletes thrive in soccer.

First introduced three years ago, Players First is a holistic club soccer experience for parents and players that emphasizes the development of each individual to his or her full potential, and helps parents make better choices about where their children should play. This is accomplished by providing a suite of resources geared towards clubs, coaches, parents and players.

Players First is supported by 16 partners and resources, including Nike and LaLiga, and is anchored by five pillars: Club Development; Coaching Development; Player Development; Parent Engagement & Education; and Player Health & Safety.

“It’s not just a program – Players First is the cornerstone of US Club Soccer and the most important thing we do,” says US Club Soccer CEO and Executive Director Kevin Payne. “Simply put, this is youth soccer’s ‘Good Housekeeping Seal.’ For clubs nationwide that aren’t quite at this level yet, these are standards that should be aspirational.”

Approved clubs immediately gain important recognition in their communities and nationally. In addition, they receive exposure through US Club Soccer’s best-in-class search engine optimization, more access and benefits from partners and resources, features on US Club Soccer digital and social channels, customizable content and more.

The licensing 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

US Club Soccer prides itself on fostering the safest environment for players in youth sports. They’ve implemented best-in-class background checks for all registered staff, and require personnel to complete a Sideline Sports Doc/US Club Soccer online injury recognition course, as well as SafeSport online training. 

About US Club Soccer

A prominent member of the U.S. Soccer Federation and the leading organization developing soccer clubs across America – has successfully created a standard of excellence for its more than 500,000 players and 70,000 coaches / staff across the nation, built off its Players First initiative. This is the stamp of approval that coach, player and parent engagement and education are balanced equally with a child’s health, safety and success off the field.

Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.

US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership. Additional partners include Beast Mode Soccer, Beyond Pulse, Coaching Stars, Fit for 90, Kimet Sport, Player’s Health, Positive Coaching Alliance, Sideline Sports Doc, Soccer Parent Resource Center, Scouting Zone, Sportgo, Sport Session Planner, TopYa! And World Football Academy.