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United Soccer Club kicks off Spring Season

After school soccer program expands to twelve sites

WASHINGTON, DC - D.C. United and its non-profit arm, United for D.C., today announced the spring season kickoff of United Soccer Club. The season’s first kick is Monday, March 14 and the program will continue until June 3. Through its partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Soccer for Success program, the spring session will include 12 sites and two new middle school teams in the district metro area. United for D.C. and the U.S. Soccer Foundation work together to support their missions to promote youth soccer, healthy lifestyles and provide mentorship in economically disadvantaged urban communities.

“We are very excited to launch a new season of United Soccer Club and reach even more at-risk youth,” said Kate McPhail, United for D.C. Executive Director. “United Soccer Club not only teaches the fundamentals of soccer and healthy lifestyles, but provides the youth with consistent mentorship, something that is often missing in their lives.”

Spring 2011 sites include Boys & Girls Club at Orr Elementary School, Barry Farm Recreation Center, Ketcham Elementary School, Boys & Girls Club FBR Branch @ THEARC, and Fort Davis Recreation Center in Ward 8, Fishing School at J.O. Wilson Elementary School in Ward 6, Turkey Thicket Recreation Center in Ward 5, Harrison Recreation Center and Parkview Recreation Center in Ward 1, Richard England Clubhouse #14 in Ward 7, Longbranch Community Center in Montgomery, Md., and Walter Reed Community Center in Arlington, Va. New middle school teams will be created at Friendship Charter School and Harrison Recreation Center.

In 2011, United Soccer Club, sponsored by Volkswagen, will continue to provide highly trained coaches to teach the fundamentals of the game. Other program elements include a “mini-league”, trips to D.C. United games, end-of-year tournaments, and a healthy lifestyles curriculum. In addition, the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and their Communities from Stanford University will conduct a detailed program evaluation of United Soccer Club, providing valuable insights into the program’s effectiveness.

United Soccer Club was born from a request in Ward 8 for more organized after-school activities for children. In the spring of 2006, United for D.C. launched a soccer program, in partnership with D.C. Parks and Recreation at Barry Farm Recreation Center. The program ran for eight weeks, teaching fundamental skills and hosting games and scrimmages.

United Soccer Club is one of the many community outreach ventures of United for D.C. Through the Kicks for Kids program, thousands of underprivileged children will have an opportunity to watch United play this season. United Reads, currently presented in six DC elementary schools, will distribute close to 10,000 books during player visits throughout the school year.

For more information on these programs or how fans can contribute time or money to these worthy causes, please contact United for D.C. at 202-587-5000.