#GrowTheGame Review – 500 People Contribute To A Major Shift In The Approach We Should Take When Planning The Growth Of U.S. Soccer

The pilot for the #GrowTheGame project which was tasked with increasing exposure and participation in San Diego soccer has been an overwhelming success, with over 500 people getting involved with events held across various San Diego locations this past weekend.

#GrowTheGame is a national project that aims to bring people together to promote grassroots soccer. Through the #GrowTheGame movement, Soccer Support provides fun and simple ways to empower soccer fans to celebrate the game they love. A coordinated approach can help raise the awareness of soccer to the popular levels of other sports in the U.S.

Four major events were hosted by Soccer Support across two days including the Soccer Star – San Diego try outs, the NPSL cross-city clash between the San Diego Flash and San Diego Boca, the Future Of San Diego Soccer Forum and the establishment of the events legacy project – a new Street Soccer USA program based here in San Diego (The beach pick-up soccer game had to be postponed due to high winds).

Soccer Star – San Diego

San Diego’s most promising youngsters between 18 & 23 came to the SSSD try-outs at Del Norte High School for this new online reality TV show in the hope they might be the next player to pull on the black and yellow of the San Diego Flash Soccer Club.

Under the watchful eye of Flash Head Coach and Fox Soccer Analyst, Warren Barton, the players took part in a 2 hour long session to determine who would make the final 14 players.

With these finalists now selected the competition moves towards a series of matches, challenges and education sessions to determine who Coach Barton will pick to be San Diego’s next Soccer Star. The winner will be announced during the Flash vs Phoenix Monsoon home game on June 23.

Watch this space for our new promo video which will be released shortly.

San Diego NPSL Showcase

One thing is certain when the San Diego Flash and San Diego Boca FC meet, the game will be intense and exciting. The latest meeting between the two teams lived up to its billing, as the San Diego Derby ended in a 2-2 draw at Del Norte High School.

As fans shivered in the stands while cold winds carried the last of a storm east away from San Diego, the play on the pitch heated up as it tends to do when San Diego’s National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) teams go head-to-head.

Read the full review courtesy of SoccerNation here

Future of San Diego Soccer Forum

A passionate group of San Diego soccer lovers gathered at the San Diego Hall of Champions on Sunday, April 15, for the first #GrowTheGame San Diego Soccer Forum.

The gathering was a cross-section of local soccer, including panelists Joe Tutino of the San Diego Sockers and the radio voice of LA Galaxy and Diane Scavuzzo, Editor in Chief of SoccerNation.

Read the full review courtesy of SoccerNation here

#GrowTheGame Legacy Project – Street Soccer USA

The historic first meeting of prospective advisory panel members took place in the San Diego Sports Commission Boardroom and saw a cross-section of both the soccer and homeless outreach sectors come together to map out a timeframe of establishing the national program here in San Diego.

A number of significant targets in the development of the program were set with the aim of identifying potential players, supporters and funding streams to get the ball rolling.

With the goal of having a presence in NYC for the US Cup in July, finding a venue for training and funding the equipment to enable participation there is a busy couple of months ahead.

We look forward to keeping you notified of major announcements.

In summarizing the #GrowTheGame weekend it was acknowledged by participants that this was a small step forward in placing the future of the sport squarely in the hands of fans rather than administrators. Given soccer’s number one consumer is that of its fans and players. If we want the sport to grow to the levels of the other ‘big four’ sports in this country, then it’s time to take a coordinated approach to growth from the bottom up. The most pleasing aspect of the weekend was that every #GrowTheGame event was organized with no financial outlay and a small team of passionate soccer fans. It goes to show that passion and drive are the most precious commodities grassroots movements have.

The next step for #GrowTheGame is to now make sure those that were involved in the weekend’s events keep connected to each other. It is important that an ongoing conversation occur between the local soccer community so that it can drive tangible outcomes for the sport across the city.

Other cities have already shown interest in hosting their own #GrowTheGame activities and together with our ongoing projects with Soccer Support, the future looks bright for what is intended to be a new phase of grassroots driven growth for soccer in the U.S.

For more information on #GrowTheGame or to nominate a city for the next event please contact info@growthegame.us

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