2017-2018 Year in Review

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2017-2018 Year in Review

Tom Frambach, General Manager

As we near the end of 2018, we are humbled and proud to reflect on DUSC’s fantastic fiscal year of 2017/2018. Thank you to all our players, parents, coaches, volunteers, donors, board members and everyone who made it happen.

This was the year we served 4,268 players in various programs throughout the club. Our commitment to provide soccer for all continued to take form as we added programs on both ends of development, rolling out our early childhood program for ages 3-4 and launching our U23 men’s team.  We now offer programs from ages 3 to 23 with a goal of adding a U23 women’s team in 2019.

This was the year—thanks to your generosity!—a record number of players received financial assistance, totaling over $376,000 in subsidized player fees and over $45,000 in subsidized uniforms for those in need.  

This was the year our partnership with New York City FC also helped provide FREE after-school soccer programing that establishes healthy habits and productive outcomes for an additional 130 kids who attend PS 20 and PS 134 as part of the Cityzens Giving project.  

This was the year our girls academy program took another step forward, increasing participation 14% while adding some notable coaches to our staff, Sarah Dwyer Shick and Annie Eckstein, who bring added experience and insight to our program. This was also the year Kevin McCarthy was hired as our Director of Youth Development, adding 20+ years of experience coaching at the collegiate level for both women and men at Division I Columbia University.   A native of NYC, he has navigated the soccer scene as player, coach, board member, volunteer and parent.

This was the year we launched the Development League (D League) program, giving players the opportunity to compete in a travel team environment as a bridge from our Rec League to Academy for boys in the U9-U12 boys.  52 new players were added to the D League.

This was the year 43 players graduated from our academy program to college.  Most are continuing to participate in intercollegiate or club soccer with their school while pursuing higher education.  Our alumni continue to spread out across the country and come back to DUSC after high school graduation to compete in our newly formed U20 + U23 teams, participate in our summer camp program as a coach/counselor or just say hello to former coaches and mentors.  

Accompanying the growth of our club is our continued commitment to deliver programming based on our core values: serving our players development first and foremost, creating environments for physical and emotional well-being, and offering inclusive opportunities for all members of our community regardless of income or ability.     

#WeAreDUSC

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A Look at DUSC's NYC Public School Program

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A Look at DUSC's NYC Public School Program

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DUSC is a model soccer club in NYC and beyond in facilitating soccer programs for all regardless of income or ability. One of our programs is the NYC Public School Program.

The program was run in partnership with New York City FC for the last three years. This year the NYCFC grant expired; however, DUSC decided to continue to fund and deliver free after-school soccer to Public School students at P.S. 20 and P.S. 134. From 3pm-5pm, our coaches provide after-school classes that spread the love of soccer as well as educate students on a healthy lifestyle. Between the two locations, we serve over 260 kids.

Our Coaches not only share the joy of soccer with new players to the game, but also the power of mindfulness towards a healthy lifestyle. The program stands as a wonderful reminder to keep active and practice healthy habits.

Our coach at the P.S. 20 location, Cristian Velasco, shared some of his favorite aspects and memories about the program with us. Cristian, who has coached in the program since its inception, shared that one of his favorite aspects is the immense growth the kids achieve through the sport.

Many students are new to the game when they start participating in the 2nd grade. By the time they have reached the 5th grade, these students can not only showcase their dribbling and passing skills, but also are willing to help their friends who are struggling with certain aspects. Cristian explained that the humility many of the students show in combination with care for their peers is a really special piece for him.

Cristian was incredibly complimentary of his students. In fact, he noted that he has arguably learned just as much from them as they have from him. For such reasons, we are extremely proud to continue support for the NYC Public Schools Program that unites our community and has compassionate professionals like Cristian Velasco to help make it happen.

Tiffany A. Rodriguez, After-school Program Coordinator/ Camp Henry Director at P.S.20 –

DUSC has been an essential part of our after-school program for several years now. For many of our students, this is their 3rd-4th year participating in the program. It is safe to say that DUSC hasn't only offered a healthier lifestyle through the sport of soccer itself, but also through the valuable nutritional instruction provided to the students prior to playing. DUSC has helped our 2nd-5th graders by instilling an enthusiasm for the game that inspires them to be the best they can be. The coaches do an amazing job encouraging the students through friendship, good character and sportsmanship in a fun and supportive way. It is no doubt that DUSC has helped develop personality and life-skills in our children. My favorite part of the program is hearing the feedback I receive from the students who look forward to soccer each week. Students that were once timid to show their true potential, have grown tremendously as a result of the DUSC program. Thanks to Adam Norse and the coaches, especially Cristian Velasco, for helping our students find a love for soccer these past several years.”

Adam Norse, Downtown United Soccer Club Program Director –

“Soccer and health go hand in hand. To share this mentality with our community is something we value each and every year. A program such as this is a great step towards a healthier community and a - Soccer for All - society.”

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DUSC Alumni Excel for College of Staten Island Men's Soccer

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DUSC Alumni Excel for College of Staten Island Men's Soccer

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DUSC has a strong presence in the College of Staten Island Men’s Soccer team. The CSI Men’s program currently has 5 players and 1 coach who are DUSC alumni.  Coach Alex Cuba, our B2003 Blue Head Coach, is the Assistant Coach for the CSI program. He shared with us some info on this past 2018 season and how our former players are doing at the DIII environment.

The first Alumni we checked up on was Bryant Navarro, who had himself an outstanding season. The forward led the team in scoring and points, led the conference in scoring and in points, was the 7th highest scorer in the country, a 1st team All-Conference player, and a 3rd team player All-Region. Quite a mouth full. Bryant finished the season 4th for all time goals in one season for the CSI program. Keep in mind this is only Bryant's sophomore season.

Next up on the DUSC Alumni roster is Michael Arellanes. Michael is a 3 year starter and has been an integral piece for the program.  Arellanes combines his versatility, skill, and tremendous knowledge of the game to allow himself to be used all around the midfield; no easy task.

The 3rd DUSC Alumni, Chris Li, is another individual that fits the utility mold.  Chris is versatile, strong, and skillful. As Cuba described, Chris plays the game the right way and is always willing to put the team first. In fact, Cuba shared that Michael and Chris are best of friends and have been a tremendous help in instilling the culture desired at CSI. We’d like to think that friendship was formed all those years playing at DUSC.

Macki Dougoune is the 4th DUSC Alumni and was the CUNYAC conference rookie of the year. He too works in the midfield with Michael and Chris. Macki is, “a force to be reckoned with as he dominates the center of the park on any given day.” Cuba expressed that Macki is the epitome of the type of player CSI seeks out when they recruit. Simply put, Macki is a great kid with a huge passion for the game of soccer. He continued to share that Macki’s willingness to put the team above all else is a quality every player can aspire to. In fact, Cuba’s favorite memory from this season was seeing Macki show up for preseason. “Being able to see his goal of playing collegiate ball finally come to fruition was fantastic to me.  I wanted everyone to see how talented this young man was and there he was jogging in for his first day of preseason, wide eyed and smiling right before sprints started” added Cuba.

Our 5th and final DUSC Alumni is Ryan Layman. Ryan was the captain for CSI this past year. He is a 3 year starter and also a 2x All-Conference team player. Cuba noted that cool, calm and collected is the easiest way to describe Ryan. “He’s smart, incredibly talented, self-motivated, a true leader and holds himself accountable. Ryan has all the qualities the CSI program looks for in an athlete and he's an even better person than he is a player” praised Cuba.

Just as it is valued at DUSC, culture is central to the CSI program. Their goal is to bring in athletes that understand the commitment not only that soccer requires, but also that the college requires on the academic side. The CSI ask is that their players self-motivate in all aspects of their lives. This hunger is what drove the team to improve their team from a 10-7-2 record in the 2017 season to a 15-4-1 record in the 2018 season. They also to reached the finals of the CUNYAC. While they may have lost in the conference finals to Baruch College in dramatic fashion, their hunger remains. Coach Cuba says that without a doubt you can expect to see the players putting in the work in the weight room or on the futsal courts this winter.

Images courtesy of the College of Staten Island Athletic Department.

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Eva Kellner Scores 27 Goals in PSAL Competition

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Eva Kellner Scores 27 Goals in PSAL Competition

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Our Girl's Academy program continues to evolve and grow both in the number of teams and opportunities offered as well as the recruitment of high level coaches. Your generosity has enabled us to support players like Eva Kellner and attract coaches like Annie Eckstein and will continue to help DUSC girl's development.


15 year old Eva Kellner plays Academy soccer for DUSC’s G2002 Blue under coach Annie Eckstein. Eva plays in the middle of the park as a central attacking midfielder, but her talent isn’t just limited to that traditional distributional role. She often finds her self on the scoring end of the spectrum and proved in this Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) season that she has quite the nose for goal. Believe it or not, Eva notched 27 goals in her 12 matches for Bard High School Early College.

As a sophomore, she was the second highest goal scorer in all PSAL competition and only bested by a senior who scored 28 goals. She has been on the varsity team for her two years of high school and likewise joined DUSC around the same time two years ago. We are certainly happy she did!

We sat down and chatted quickly about Eva’s experience this season and how she found the back of the net so consistently.

DUSC: With 27 goals notched, can you pick your favorite from this season?

Eva: My favorite goal this season had to have been against Hunter. In the game, we were down 3-0 at halftime, and then we made an amazing comeback to win the game 4-3. My goal was the equalizing goal, and though it wasn’t the most magnificent goal I had scored during the season, it was by far my favorite. The goal happened as follows: I was making a run into the middle of the field, calling for the ball from one of our center defensive midfielders. As she passed me the ball, I immediately turned and took a defender on. Once I got past the defender it was just me and the goalie. I was outside of the 18 yard box and I knew my best chance was to drive the ball to the goal. As I was sprinting into the box I knew the defender was gaining on me and that I had to shoot, but the ball was on my left foot (I’m right foot dominate). In the moment, I was a little bit unsure, but by this time it was now or never. I quickly realized that my chances of scoring would be better if my shot was towards the far post, so I did just that. I shot the ball as hard as I could and it curved in just next to the post. After scoring that goal, I felt pure bliss because not only was it the equalizing goal, but it really was a game-changer.

DUSC: Did you do anything different this year from previous years that may have resulted in more goals?

Eva: I think over the course of the spring season at DUSC, I really improved my touch on the ball as well as my agility. Last season I was still very fast, but I think this year my speed in combination with my improved footwork was what allowed for me to score 17 more goals from last year.

DUSC:  What was your biggest obstacle from this high school season?

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Eva: I go to Bard High School Early College, which means that starting my junior year, I take college classes rather than high school classes. Our curriculum in our two high school years is very rigorous because teachers are preparing students for the college program. This means I need to find a balance between my school work, my high school practice and games, and my club commitments.

DUSC: What are you looking forward to most as you shift more focus to DUSC this winter?

Eva: I’m looking forward to working on what I thought I could do better in the high school season. I think the winter season is a really good time to work on ball skill and also endurance. I am also excited to spend time with my team because we don’t all see each other much during the high school season.

DUSC: Will you be trying to top 27 goals next year?

Eva: 27 is a very high number when it comes to goals, and of course, I would love to top it. Let’s see what happens next season. I am equally happy to assist as it takes two or more to score.

DUSC: And last, but not least…who is your favorite player?

Eva: My favorite player is Dele Alli on Tottenham Hotspur. Like me, he also plays midfield, so I pay special attention to him. I think he does a really good job of moving off the ball, and though he isn’t a big goalscorer, he helps to create the plays that lead to the goal. I do try to model my play as much as I can off of him.

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New Partnership with U.S. Soccer Foundation and NYC Department of Education

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New Partnership with U.S. Soccer Foundation and NYC Department of Education

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Press Release via U.S. Soccer Foundation                                                                                        

2018 

New York, NY – Downtown United Soccer Club, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, and the New York City Department of Education announced a partnership to expand Soccer for Success through the city’s CHAMPS before and afterschool program. Through the partnership, as many as 2,000 students will be engaged in Soccer for Success, the Foundation’s afterschool program offered free to participants and proven to establish healthy habits and deliver positive heath and youth development outcomes.

The collaboration also supports the Foundation’s It’s Everyone’s Game campaign to ensure children in underserved neighborhoods can benefit from all that the game of soccer has to offer. This program year, the Foundation is on track to engage 100,000 children nationwide in Soccer for Success.

“We are thrilled to collaborate in this innovative partnership to provide opportunities for all players to be active and engaged in the beautiful game,” said Tom Frambach, General Manager at Downtown United Soccer Club. 

“We are excited to continue to expand access to the game across New York City,” said U.S. Soccer Foundation President & CEO Ed Foster-Simeon. “It is through partnerships like these that we can ensure that children have the opportunity to cultivate critical life skills that help them achieve success both on and off the pitch.”

“We’re incredibly excited to start this partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Downtown United Soccer Club to keep our kids moving and active. Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our students, and this collaboration provides our students with the tools to lead healthy and productive lives throughout their time in school and beyond,” said Deputy Chancellor of School Climate and Wellness LaShawn Robinson.

Supported by CHAMPS and Downtown United staff, U.S. Soccer Foundation representatives recently held a local training wherein CHAMPS teacher-coaches became certified Soccer for Success coach-mentors. This first year of partnership extends to June 30th, 2019. Every participant will receive a ball and jersey.

This collaboration represents a significant milestone on the way to engaging one million children annually in Soccer for Success by 2026 as a part of the It’s Everyone’s Game movement. For more information, how to stay updated and ways to get involved, visit itseveryonesgame.org.

ABOUT CHAMPS

The CHAMPS Sports and Fitness Program is an initiative of the New York City Department of Education’s Office of School Wellness Programs. CHAMPS promotes physical activity among children in elementary and middle school before and after the school day. The program helps students engage in activities regardless of athletic or physical ability and promotes connections and involvement throughout the school community. The name CHAMPS derives from the initials of the five values that define its participants: Cooperative, Healthy, Active, Motivated, and Positive Students.

ABOUT U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION

They U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has established programs proven to help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports. Its cost-effective, high-impact initiatives offer safe environments where kids and communities thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) organization. For more information visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @ussoccerfndn and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ussoccerfoundation.

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5th Annual Benefit Recap - The World Cup

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5th Annual Benefit Recap - The World Cup

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Our 5th Annual Benefit was a celebration to remember. This year we found it only fitting to make our theme The World Cup as we looked back on a wonderful Men’s tournament and look ahead to the Women’s competition in the 2019 summer.

November 8th, 2018 found Sound of Brazil lively as ever with the very popular VR Penalty Shootout Station from a year prior reincorporated along with a custom DUSC photo booth. The night kickoff with guests arriving to classic 70s and 80s tunes whilst a DUSC slideshow was shown on the big screen. Auction bidding began upon arrival, in which guests could place their bets on a range of items until the night’s end at 9pm. Some notable items were a Historic 5 Bedroom House in the Adirondacks for 6 Nights, NYCFC Exclusive Closed Training Session in 2019, and a Signed 2018-2019 Real Madrid Jersey amongst many others.

At the night’s midpoint, President of the DUSC Board, Andy Scruton, made remarks on the various DUSC programs we offer. Following his remarks, Kevin McCarthy hopped on stage to interview the evening’s Guest of Honor, Heather O’Reilly.

Heather O’Reilly is a 3 time USWNT Gold Medalist and 2015 Fifa World Cup Champion. In an engaging Q+A, Kevin asked Heather about some of the most memorable moments of her career. She was quick to harp on USWNT culture and how there’s space on the pitch for both joy and ravenous hunger for success.

We want to thank everyone who helped make this year’s Benefit a huge success. The funds we raised will go towards creating more pathways for NYC youth to enjoy the beautiful game. A priceless piece of the DUSC formula and part of the greater reason why our organization exists.

If you were unable to attend this year’s Benefit, we invite you to make a donation to support our cause. We thank you for your consideration.

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The Score October 2018 - New Academy Coaches

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The Score October 2018 - New Academy Coaches

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Fall of 2018 brought a collection of new academy coaches to the DUSC family. Each individual brings a unique skill set and background to the club. We’d like to introduce you to these new coaches and give you some background information on their accomplishments.

Girls:

Travis Blair - Travis is the Head Coach of our G2005 Blue and G2006 Orange teams. Before beginning his coaching career, Travis played for Wheaton College in Massachusetts. It was there he received DIII All-American recognition in 2014. Some of his previous coaching experience includes Assistant Coach of the Concordia Men’s program.

Kimani Calnek - Kimani is no stranger to the NYC soccer community as he worked for South Bronx United and Asphalt Green before coming to DUSC. He currently is the Director of Youth Development/Assistant Coach for MLK Boys HS Soccer aside from his role as our G2001 Blue Head Coach.

Nicole Carroll - Nicole is the Head Coach of our G2008 Orange team. Nicole played for Concordia before transferring to CCNY to finish her collegiate career. In 2012, she set the CCNY school record for shutouts in a given season (12). Nicole then went on to coach at CCNY, Monroe College, and now, DUSC.

Haley Chow - Haley joins us on the Academy side this fall. She was a Spring Classes Coach last year and is now our Assistant Coach for the G2002 Orange team. Her resume touts Division 1 experience for the Princeton Women's team, which surely will translate on the pitch to our players.

Eleri Earnshaw - Eleri is the Head Coach of our G2000 Blue team and brings plenty of experience along with her. She is the current Head Coach of the LIU Brooklyn Women's Soccer team with a UEFA B License. Prior to coaching, she logged an extensive career on the pitch. Eleri played for her home nation, Wales, as well as the North London club Arsenal W.F.C.

Annie Eckstein - Annie is our G2002 Blue Head Coach. We are fortunate to bring her on board as she has experience throughout numerous levels of play and currently holds a C License. Annie is a 2x NYC Girls Coach of the Year and has coached Bronx Science to 5 consecutive PSAL Championship appearances. She is also a Head Coach at University of Virgina's Soccer Centers of Excellence during the summer. Annie was an award winning player and captain at Dartmouth and still plays in the NY Metro Women's A Division

Sierra Kaufman - Sierra hails from the west coast with experience in coaching younger aged athletes. She is the current Head Coach of our G2012 team.

Boys:

Alvaro Acosta - Alvaro is our 2009 Development Coach. He grew up in Miami, Florida playing at Kendall Academy SC for their USDA side. Alvaro also spent a year playing abroad in Italy in the Serie C youth division.

Werner Dasbach - Werner is the Head Coach of our B2003 Orange team. He has a wealth of experience including knowledge from being the women's head coach at NYU and Associate Men's Head Coach at Berry College. Werner has a USSF A License.

Esteban Silva - Esteban is the Head Coach of three DUSC teams this fall: B2011, B2009 Orange, and B2008 Orange. He spent 10 years coaching for BW Gottschee, proving he knows the NY soccer environment well. Esteban has a USSF A License.


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The Score October 2018 - Katharine Fox's DUSC Way

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The Score October 2018 - Katharine Fox's DUSC Way

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By the way Katharine speaks you wouldn’t think she is a 17 year old high school senior preparing to take her next steps in life. With a mature tone, Katharine explained how she was born and raised at DUSC. She started her Recreation career at age four playing for team Ethiopia. As it turns out, she was paving the way for a long tenure at DUSC. With clearly a keen eye for history, Katharine found herself on the first DUSC girls travel team. It was on this team that she played until the spring of 2017, when she became a volunteer coach for DUSC Recreation. In quick succession, Katharine became an Assistant Coach to the program. Her time as an Assistant Coach was brief as she was quickly promoted to Head Coach.

Becoming a Recreation Head Coach is part of the continuous development of The DUSC Way for Katharine and symbolic of her enduring commitment and passion for DUSC. To support Katharine’s continued development, DUSC was happy to endorse her USSF coaching license for grassroots competition. Katharine took a near 5 hour course divided into two sections: classroom learning and real life implementation.

Katharine spoke to us about her new journey as Head Coach for a Recreation team and what about Recreation impacts her the most. She explained that Recreation is everything and anything. It is a mix of players touching the ball for the very first time in an organized fashion combined with seasoned players looking to have plain fun. For many, she explained, it is a period of exploration; What is soccer to you? For all, she continued, it is a wonderful community building experience.

We asked her to look back at one of her favorite moments from Recreation so far. She was quick to explain that her first Head Coach as a Recreation player was Oumou Toure, current G2011 and G2010 Academy Head Coach. Take a guess who her first Head Coach was when she was an Assistant Head Coach for Recreation? You guessed it, Oumou Toure. This full circle experience was a truly special moment for her.

Katharine explained how life long friendships can be formed in Recreation because it is pressure free. There are no team cuts or evaluations made, just pure sporting fun. She noted that some of her best friends throughout her soccer career started in our Recreation program. As we finished our chat, she explained that her favorite part of a Recreation season is opening day. As she put it, “little bundles of joy are running around and uniting around the coaches…” That sounds like a beginning of the DUSC Way to us Katharine, don’t you think?

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The Score October 2018 - Meet Alex Valles

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The Score October 2018 - Meet Alex Valles

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This is a Q+A with Alex Valles, our new DUSC Program Assistant. Inside the office, Alex helps with the staffing of coaches for classes and ensures the Recreation League runs smoothly each and every weekend. Outside of the office, Alex coaches a handful of our Classes & Clinics. We sat down with him to chat about his connection with soccer growing up, his move from Panama to America, and what he thinks is most important when coaching young players.

DUSC: You were born and raised in Panama City. How long did you spend there?

Alex: I lived in Panama until the age of 13.

DUSC: What was your transition like moving to America?

Alex: It was a bit difficult at first because of the language barrier and the sudden cultural change. I adapted quickly however and made friends through sports, especially soccer.

DUSC: Is there something specific that attracted you to work in soccer?

Alex: I wanted to be involved with it as much as possible. I got into coaching helping out with sessions in college with the freshman team and really enjoyed it. There's a good feeling knowing you can have a positive impact on the players and watch them apply the skills you've taught them.

DUSC: When you boil it down, what is soccer to you?

Alex: It's just a big part of my life. It revolves around everything I do. If I'm not coaching, I'm playing, reading/talking about it or watching on TV. I'm always eager to learn new things about the game as well.

DUSC: You spent 8 years with Super Soccer Stars / NY Stars Premier - what inspired you to move to DUSC?

Alex: I am very grateful for my time there but felt it was the right time for a change. I have several friends coaching for DUSC and they told me about how they were like a "family". To be honest, I sensed a feeling of unity and a great bond amongst these coaches. I was at Pier 40 a lot so I could see how they interacted with each other and how organized they were with their Academy sessions. I also loved what I read on the website from their core principles to their affiliations with NYCFC and Sky Blue FC.

DUSC: You have extensive experience working in the recreational soccer space, what do you think is fundamental to a great Classes program?

Alex: Plain simple, keep it fun and positive. Be organized, be prepared, and create a fun environment where players can learn at their own pace and can enjoy the social aspect of it as well. Spending time with their teammates, working together on the field, celebrating goals, high-fives etc. These things are fundamental. Of course, teach them the technical skills they need to know in order to get better as players, but always do it in a way where they actually enjoy it. Introduce fun games with the ball where they're mastering their footwork, using different parts of their foot, changing direction etc. Praise them, but also challenge them and correct their mistakes. Lastly, teach with enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Players feed off of positive energy. The more positive the class, the better the class.

DUSC: Can you tell us a bit about your coaching philosophy?

Alex: I have an overall philosophy for whichever level of soccer I'm coaching. Ultimately, I want players to realize their full potential as players and as individuals. Stressing important values such as discipline, respect, and good sportsmanship are essential and a must for proper player development. My ultimate goal is for all players I coach to develop the soccer skills and self-confidence they need to be successful. And to also learn life lessons from the sport which they can apply later in life.
 
DUSC: Is this something that has changed over the years?

Alex: Yes, it has. Although it has remained somewhat the same, I have made some changes to it. I think is inevitable for a philosophy to not evolve throughout the years. I base everything on my own experiences as a player and coach.

DUSC: What are the steps you take to create a positive atmosphere in Classes?

Alex: I think it just starts with a positive attitude and the willingness to teach with enthusiasm. Creating a positive class/team culture is important and it makes a big difference on the field. Allowing players to share responsibilities where they have to work together in class, giving them individual attention when needed, communicating to them their progress and how well they're playing, also correcting their mistakes "Nice effort, but try this next time...", challenging them, praising them when you have to etc. These things work well for me when coaching and make for a positive class atmosphere.


DUSC: If you could run the same Classes session forever, what would you focus on?

Alex: Great question! I'll probably focus on sessions that maximize touches on the ball. I think dribbling is the single most important skill in soccer so it's important to develop sessions where players get a lot of touches on the ball and work on their first touch. Players enjoy playing games like sharks and minnows, pac-man dungeon, king of the ring, lose your marker, bingo gates, stuck in the mud etc. All of these are fun games where the ball is at the players feet and there is constant motion, change of direction, and need for awareness.

DUSC: Looking forward to our DUSC calendar, what aspect are you most excited for?

Alex: I'm excited about the Annual Benefit at SOB's. That should be a lot of fun. But I'm also looking forward to the coach trainings I'm helping put together. Looking forward to the Winter season as well for the Recreation league and Classes.

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The Score October 2018 - 5th Annual Benefit

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The Score October 2018 - 5th Annual Benefit

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Downtown United Soccer Club strives to offer soccer for all, regardless of ability to pay or ability to play. Our community is our bedrock and every year we spend a single night honoring such a foundation. This year we ask you to join us in celebrating our 5th Annual Benefit.  With 2018 & 2019 being World Cup summers, we found it only appropriate make the World Cup our benefit theme! We want to gather our community and share cultures just as the World Cups have the power to do. The night will be full of positive energy, wonderful food, and a surely world class auction.

Help us continue to provide New York City with soccer for all as a vehicle for personal development and growth. Your support and donations go further than you can imagine, as the DUSC Annual Benefit generates invaluable funds for our club. It enables us the ability to provide financial scholarships and opportunities to our community members.

Join us on November 8th by purchasing a ticket below!

If you would like to donate something you can contact us at fundraiser@dusc.net or upload directly via 501Auctions.com

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The Score October 2018 - Starting the Season Prepared

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The Score October 2018 - Starting the Season Prepared

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A note from Director of Youth Development, Kevin McCarthy –

Many of you are familiar with the I am DUSC book that can be found in the player resource page on the DUSC website. It is a player directed journal that will help prepare players on their journey as they develop, grow and hopefully become the best they can be — both on and off the field.

It centers around 11 Character Strengths and their application in the game and in life. This year DUSC is integrating these character strengths into the practice curriculum each month. 


September was Preparation. Below you can see a sample of the guidelines and suggestions our staff were encouraged to weave into the fabric of their practices and games. 

Most importantly it was made clear that as we guide and encourage our players to be prepared, it is imperative that we model excellence in Preparation through our actions and behaviors. 

Player development in an organized environment is a key to nurturing a confident and skilled player. Preparation in our organization does not revolve around perfect spaces and surfaces, but rather purpose and clear functionality. 

Preparation is synonymous with a growth mindset. It is the belief and understanding that technical and tactical abilities can be developed. When players take stock of their equipment, think of how they should rest and eat before and after games, watch games on tv, practice on their own, they are resource priming -- using a clear and systematic way to prepare for the upcoming challenges on and off the field that activates their strengths and increases the likelihood that they will be successful and have a joyful, satisfying soccer experience.

October is Effort.  At DUSC we have an experienced, educated and licensed group of coaches. Yet, we coach our coaches that intention, energy - Effort - are the foundation of the best developmental platform.  Without that formula for Effort, players would not respond, grow or enjoy their soccer experience.

Integrating the belief that Effort is one of the most crucial aspects of performance and completely under their control, is a mantra we expect our players to embrace both in training and in games.  It is reflected in many ways - work rate, hustle, body language, transitions - and a core strength of any successful player and team.

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NWSL Rookie of the Year and Sky Blue’s Imani Dorsey Visits DUSC Camp

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NWSL Rookie of the Year and Sky Blue’s Imani Dorsey Visits DUSC Camp

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Imani Dorsey, the NWSL Rookie of the Year and Sky Blue FC player, joined DUSC Pier 40 Summer Camp to share her experience and story with the next generation of soccer players.

The 140 campers in attendance were able to hear the former Duke All-American speak, then interact with Dorsey on a more personal level when they broke into their training groups. Their questions were many and ranged from the soccer-related — “What does a typical day look like during the season?” or “How many juggles can you do?” — to “Do you play Fortnite?”

It was great for the campers to meet a professional soccer player up close and learn about the focus, commitment and effort required to be a top level player. Thank you, Imani! DUSC Program Director Adam Norse. 

The visit was part of an ongoing partnership between Downtown United Soccer Club and Sky Blue FC.

We look forward to this as a great beginning to an ongoing relationship with Sky Blue FC that will provide opportunities for our players to see and interact with athletes playing at the highest professional level in the U.S.. Seeing the level of play and the opportunities soccer can provide is essential for player development and the growth of the game.” DUSC Girls Goalkeeping Director Sarah Dwyer-Shick

The Sky Blue FC roster includes a number of National Team players from the U.S. and abroad. They include USWNT stalwart Carli Loyd and striker Savannah McCaskill. Janine Beckie and goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan join Sky Blue FC from the Canadian National Team and Kaitie Johnson represents Mexico. National champion and team MVP Rocky Rodriguez from Penn State is an international with Costa Rica.

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B2005s Explore England’s Finest

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B2005s Explore England’s Finest

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Our B2005s enjoyed football’s birthplace this August as they, like our Girls, traveled to England. During the trip, the B2005s took part in four competitive matches and attended two professional fixtures. 

The group arrived in Manchester on August 18th and got right to work with their Coach, Technical Director Jose Luis Rebay. After a light evening training at Manchester City’s Etihad complex, it was off to the hotel for some much-needed rest. The next day, they attended the first of two professional fixtures and was sent a special gift from Pep Guardiola’s side in the form of a 6-1 thrashing of Huddersfield Town. The bow on this surprise present was a beautiful hat trick by City’s amazing Sergio Aguero. 

After being inspired City’s tactical superiority, the team had an indoor training session the next morning with the Manchester City Academy coaches. For the main activity of the day, the B2005s found themselves exploring the National Football Museum complex in Manchester. This six story footballing fortress has everything a football lover could dream of. The B2005s explored decades old memorabilia and even interactive football games that test your touch! Undoubtedly, this provided a good warm up for the first of the boys four matches, this one against local club Egerton FC later that evening. 

One of their final day in Manchester, they enjoyed a full tour of the Etihad complex. It is regarded as the most advanced training facility in the world, and it amazed and delighted the boys, especially their walkthrough of the dressing room.  

Amongst all the fun, some business needed to be attended to. Before departing for London, the group had a two more hard fought friendlies against Heywood Lions and Orange Soccer Academy.

After a six hour bus ride to London and a full night's rest, the group was able to tour of Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge. Following this tour, the boys had their fourth and final friendly against the best named club of the trip, Walton Casuals FC. 

Just a day now before heading home, the B2005s shared a morning session with the Tottenham Hotspur Academy coaches, another peak into Premier League training philosophies and tactics. They then attended a Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Wigan Athletic at Loftus Road. Before Big Ben struck twelve, our group also snuck in sightseeing of Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and the House of Parliament. Not a bad way to sign off across the pond!

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DUSC Girls Impress in England

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DUSC Girls Impress in England

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A combined squad of DUSC Girls visited the birthplace of our game this summer, experiencing the cultures of England and of football. 

Upon arriving in London, the group was met by experienced Generation adidas tour guide, Jack Craven, who would prove to be an invaluable resource for the London part of the trip. Their first expedition was to a Premier League fixture at Fulham FC’s Craven Cottage against Crystal palace, an 0–2 loss for the home team. A London derby at Crystal Palace—a historic stadium known for it’s intimacy—on opening weekend. It was hard for the players to imagine how their trip could get any better. But it would.

The girls had their first training session at Emirates Stadium with the coaches of the Arsenal Ladies team, and were thrilled to hear that the coaches were impressed by their skills and attitude. Following the training, the group watched Arsenal Ladies U19 take on Charlton Athletic. Then they took to the pitch themselves, taking on Arsenal Ladies U17 Development Academy. 

Next was a tour of Emirates, England’s third largest grounds and a place steeped in heritage and history. Their new friends at Arsenal even had a special treat for the girls on arrival, greeting them with colorful gourmet cupcakes to celebrate the birthday of our own Maddie Chun.

After a whirlwind tour of some of London’s most photogenic sights, the girls took off by bus to the north country, headed to Manchester for the second half of the trip. After a night and some rest in Manchester, the team played the academy of a local professional team, Crewe Alexandra.

Next up was the highlight of the trip, a tour of Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium combined with training at the stadium that would be repeated for three consecutive days. Even after their time in London, the team felt that this was another level of football. The facilities are renowned as being the very best in the world and the training, under Pep Guardiola’s direction, the most advanced. Coach Guardiola has taken the philosophies and techniques he learned in Barcelona under Johan Cruyff and continued to advance them, first at Barça, then at Bayern Much and now at Man City. And it shows, in everything done at the club, at every level.

The girls third match was the competitive highlight of the trip, as they and their coaches felt that they were finally able to unite on the pitch and play with the same mentality, applying the lessons they had learned at Emirates and Etihad. Their performance earned them positive recognition from the opposing coaches, and they did well to represent their country and their club.

DUSC coach and trip chaperone Ulian Goga summarized what made this trip special: “It was a memorable trip for all of us. I believe that our players will remember this for years to come as those nine days in the capital of soccer and that it night have sparked a whole new desire and love for the beautiful game. We all look forward to our next adventures with the DUSC family.” 

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B2003s Visit Madrid and Barcelona

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B2003s Visit Madrid and Barcelona

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This August, our B2003s flew to Spain to enjoy an excursion that included stops at the two towers of world football — Madrid and Barcelona. This would prove to be an eye-opening trip for both athletes and staff, exposing them to new concepts in our game as well as new cultures.

Arriving at first at Real Madrid, the 2018 UEFA Champion’s league winners, the boys got to work quickly. The week would be full of training sessions, facility tours, games and cultural outings and they needed to hit the ground running. Within the actual Real Madrid training facilities, they enjoyed sessions with Real Madrid Academy coaches, then did an extensive tour of Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. The tour — an immersive experience that featured physical memorabilia dating from the club’s founding in 1902 — included digital recaps of nearly every one of the club’s games as well as the extensive trophy collection of the club voted “Best Club of the 20th Century.”

The players watched Real Madrid’s season opener against Getafe, a 2–0 victory, then played local youth teams CD Cobeja and Fratelsa Sports. All the while, they drank in the culture of Madrid, exploring the architecture and enjoying the food.

A high speed train brought the B2003s from the heart of Castillian Spain to that of Catalonia as they moved on to Real Madrid’s arch rivals, FC Barcelona.

As in Madrid, the boys were trained by Barcelona Academy coaches at their legendary training grounds, La Masia, “The Farmhouse”. In Barcelona, the school itself is important to soccer history as it was here that Johan Cruyff, refining ideas that he and Rinus Michels had developed at Ajax in Amsterdam, would develop the modern training systems and playing style so influential today. Training at La Masia, the boys walked in the footsteps of a good portion of the club’s legends as most of these have been homegrown.

After a match against local team Sabadell CF, the final match of the trip, the team had time for one day at the beach. The group took a bus about 60 miles north to a town called Tossa de Mar to enjoy the Mediterranean and the local Catalan cuisine. 

A tour of Camp Nou, Europe’s largest stadium, included a museum to rival that in Madrid, with artifacts mixed in with interactive experiences. And, of course, trophies. Lots and lots of trophies.

Our B2003s had included fans of both Madrid and Barcelona but after their experiences in Spain it was hard for any of the boys to avoid being fans of both. The trip proved to be an excellent example of using soccer as a vehicle to explore different cultures and our boys were very fortunate to have that opportunity. 

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DUSC Joins Sky Blue FC as Platinum Club Partner

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DUSC Joins Sky Blue FC as Platinum Club Partner

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Sky Blue FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced that it has entered a Platinum Club Partnership with Downtown United Soccer Club. Based in New York City, Downtown United Soccer Club is organized as a not-for-profit entity to educate, train and inspire youth soccer players of all ages and abilities in a positive, respectful, supportive environment. The club aims to foster a community that reflects the diversity of New York City in which children can develop a lifelong love for the beautiful game and realize their full potential as both players and people.

Sky Blue FC represents New Jersey in the NWSL and features U.S. Women’s National Team captain Carli Lloyd and midfielder Savannah McCaskill; Canada Women’s National Team players Kailen Sheridan and Janine Beckie; Mexico Women’s National Team striker Katie Johnson; New Zealand Women’s National Team defender Rebekah Stott; former NCAA All-Americans such as defender Erika Skroski (Rutgers) and midfielder Sarah Killion (UCLA); as well as 2015 MAC Hermann Trophy winner and Costa Rica Women’s National Team midfielder Raquel Rodriguez (Penn State).

As part of the relationship, Sky Blue FC players will be appearing at DUSC camp the week of August 13th to 17th, prior to Sky Blue FC hosting a DUSC Night on August 18th when the team takes on the visiting Utah Royals FC. DUSC players will receive exclusive experiences throughout the game, including escorting both Sky Blue FC and Utah Royals FC players during the National Anthem and access to a VIP Meet and Greet after the game.

“DUSC is extremely excited about beginning a partnership with our region’s professional club Sky Blue FC,” said Tom Frambach, General Manager at DUSC. “We feel it is important to offer players and families an opportunity to engage with and inspire to the highest level of professional soccer in our country.”

DUSC members, friends and family can purchase discounted tickets: HERE

Additional Sky Blue FC group and individual game tickets are on sale now, and fans can purchase by calling 888.SBFC.TIX (888.723.2849).

For all of the latest news on Sky Blue FC, follow on social media: @SkyBlueFC

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The View from England

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The View from England

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Program Director Adam Norse discusses his history, Rovers, England — and penalty kicks

In his various roles for DUSC, Adam has had an enormous and incredibly positive impact on the club. In this brief interview, he talks about growing up in Blackburn, coming to the US and to DUSC, and what it’s like to watch England in the World Cup this summer. He also gives us some insight into what England are doing differently this time around, and how learning from them may benefit the US.

You are from Blackburn, in northern England. What are your earliest memories of football?

Blackburn is an industrial mill town (population 100,000). Our team, Blackburn Rovers, was one of 23 founder clubs of the English league in 1878. Football is the heartbeat of the town. When the team is doing well, everybody is in an upbeat mood! My earliest memories were going to watch Rovers with my uncle at age 7 on a Saturday afternoon.  

Were Rovers your team, or did you support another team?

Confession time: growing up Rovers were in the 2nd division, so I supported them as my local team, but I also supported Manchester United, the big city club 30 miles down the road. In the early 1990s a local businessman invested millions of pounds into the team and within 5 years we were the number 1 team in England. A fairy tale of a story! I had a big decision to make as a young boy. My heart was always with Rovers.  We are still the only town to win the Premier League title (1995). Leicester City winning the league in 2016 doesn't come close to our story! 

Can you tell us something about your playing history?

I grew up playing football from a young age at school with a dream of becoming a professional. At 14, I was playing with Burnley FC but unfortunately didn't make the grade. I had other trials over the next few years, but was never offered an apprenticeship. 

Can you tell us something about your coaching history?

In 2001, an organization came to my university in England recruiting potential coaches to spend the summer in America coaching football. Traveling across the USA, coaching soccer and getting paid for it didn't take much thinking about! From there my passion for coaching was born. Since then I have looked to grow and develop as a coach as much as I possibly can, learning from other coaches all the time.

What brought you to the States?

During the global recession, circa 2010, I was working within corporate staffing in the UK. Since no companies were hiring staff, I was offered the chance to come back coaching in the USA for 6 months. During that time I met my wife and have been here in New York ever since.

What do you like best about the States?

I love the fact that it is such a melting pot of cultures and different people. 

What brought you to DUSC?

After meeting Gustavo Palomino and hearing about how DUSC were all about developing players on and off the field,  I knew that I wanted to be a part of the club. I was grateful that Gustavo gave me an opportunity to start coaching his U13 boys team.

What do you like best about DUSC?

I like the fact that we are a community soccer club. Regardless of skill level or ability to pay, there is a home for every player and family. In a big city like New York, where community can be hard to find, this is special. 

England last reached the semis of the World Cup in 1990. What do you remember about that team?

I remember staying up past my bedtime to see David Platt score in extra time to win against Belgium, sending England into the quarterfinals. We ended up losing to West Germany in the semifinals on penalties. The team had flair and were exciting to watch. The whole country was behind the team. Unfortunately, I thought this is how England always played! 

What do you think is making this England team so successful?  Southgate’s willingness to “go young”? Harry Kane’s awesomeness?

I think England have found their identity again after trying to imitate other countries' styles of play for too long.  English players are direct and hard-working, that's in our DNA and our culture. It doesn't mean we can't be skillful or play good football. The main thing is that we play as a team instead of 11 individuals.  No matter how you slice it, we aren't Spain and we aren't Brazil. Gareth Southgate has made the players proud to play for England once again. I think the English people are able to relate to this generation of players much more than over the past 28 years. I think the USMNT can learn a lot from the way England have tuned into their strengths and their true, unique identity. 

What has it been like watching this World Cup?

It's been a lot of fun! I've watched most games on the DUSC summer camp so we have had nearly every country represented. Watching the Colombia game got a little uncomfortable towards the end I must admit! It would have been good to have the USA, Italy and Ireland in the tournament though. 

Do you think England have gotten past their wretched history of penalty shoot-outs? ;-)

I loved that Gareth Southgate embraced the penalty shoot-out as a skill, instead of us just putting it down to luck. He has told his players to "own the process", from the walk from the center circle to the kick itself. I will wait to answer the rest of this question until after the final on Sunday...! 

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The View from France

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The View from France

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A DUSC alumna discusses her time at the club — and beyond

Located in the heart of America’s most cosmopolitan city, DUSC has always been lucky to have players and coaches from all over the world. Nina Gilden was born in France to a Parisian mom and a dad from Brooklyn. Spending her early years going back-and-forth between France and the US, she attended pre-k in Japan and then settled down in NYC for school. She lived in the same rent-stabilized loft her dad had lived in for 36 years — while playing and falling in love with soccer at DUSC.

How long did you play at DUSC?  

I started playing at DUSC when I was 7. My first team was the Cardinals, it was the Recreation League and we played on a small field by the Carmine swimming pool [JJ Walker]. I fell in love with the game and tried out for the U10 Girls travel team, made the team and haven’t stopped playing since. Back then, the only fields at Pier 40 where the roof top and the  indoor field. There was no beautiful center pitch, but rather a huge parking lot with beautiful views of the river and downtown!  Balls were constantly going over into the Hudson or landing on the hoods of cars! Girls soccer in the city has really improved since I started playing in the late 90’s, early 2000’s and it’s exciting to watch so many young girls getting into the beautiful game. Because competition wasn’t extremely high in the girls teams, DUSC made an exception to allow me to also play on the boy’s U-11 team. I loved it! I played until I was 12 with DUSC and then found a competitive girls team in Long Island. I started living somewhat of a double life: going to school in NYC while taking the LIRR six days a week to train and play games with my new club team. DUSC gave me my soccer foundation and the love to play, which I still carry with me today. 

What are your fondest memories playing with the club? 

Pier 40 is and always will be my favorite place in NYC. I’ve watched it develop and grow just as DUSC has also grown and is opening up a fun, competitive and memorable experience for its players. When you are young all you want to do is play with your friends. I felt so lucky to be able to play soccer with my friends, just to kick a ball around and bond with my teammates. 

What life lessons did you learn from playing the beautiful game?  

Hard work pays off! On and off the field, I had to learn time management skills to be able to play and get my homework done. Soccer was a reward. I definitely learned how to be a team player, which helps a lot in the work world. I am also very appreciative of my parents: without my dad I wouldn’t have started playing and without my traveling soccer mom, I could not have made it to any of my soccer practices or games. Plus she’s an awesome cheerleader. Go soccer moms!!

What are you up to now? 

I am a certified art teacher and have been teaching Art and French in the city. At the moment I am also applying to school for Interior Design.

What nationality are you?  

I am half French and American. 

What team are you rooting for in the World Cup? And why?  

France, allez les Bleus! I can’t stop watching highlights of the game against Argentina. Mbappé, wow!!! I also do really love watching Mexico play though, they are fast, technical and great on the counter. 

What interesting things should we know about you?  

I’m naturally a lefty but my dad trained me to play with both feet, he saw it as a great advantage. He made me practice every day and “Fake one way, go the other” has been drilled in my brain. I’m now almost better with my right foot!

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World Cup of DUSC

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World Cup of DUSC

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DUSC is proud of our diversity — a microcosm of our great city — with players, coaches and staff from countries around the globe. This mosaic of cultures, styles and beliefs makes for good soccer, and great people. 

Our global nature is never more apparent, nor more fun, then when the World Cup is played every four years. Below are some of the nations competing and the DUSC family members cheering them on. Which is your team?
 

Argentina

Colombia

England

Germany

Japan

Mexico

Peru

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Parent Night 2018

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Parent Night 2018

Thank you to all of the parents who were able to attend our Annual Parent Night on Tuesday, June 5.

Parent Night is an opportunity to communicate many of our club successes throughout the year, present feedback given by by parents from the Academy Survey, and celebrate together as a  community towards the end of the year.    

A major highlight of the evening is hearing from some of our graduating seniors on some of their stories through the club and the positive impact it had on their life.  

We are thankful to be given the opportunity to work with some exceptional young people and are grateful for your trust.  
 

See our Parent Night 2018 Presentation

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