A Personal Plea   Leave a comment

We are about four weeks into our Indiegogo fundraising campaign and the results thus far have been less-promising than I would have hoped.  We have not yet reached 5% of our fundraising goal with more than 20% of the campaign completed.  I know that a lot of people are supportive of what we want to do with women’s soccer in Milwaukee and have shared our story via social media, but I’ve been wondering if there is something more I need to say in order to encourage people to help out in a financial way.  With that, here is why this project means so much to me and why it matters.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am a born-and-raised Milwaukeean who began playing soccer the winter before I turned 7 with the city’s recreation department.  The following fall, I joined a local club organization with friends of mine.  After four years with the Milwaukee Kickers, I stopped playing competitively because I wanted to try other sports and didn’t think it would be “cool” heading into middle school with “soccer player” as part of my profile.  I returned to the game once I started high school and eventually moved into the coaching ranks once my playing time had ended at the same school I attended.  In my time coaching at Riverside, I saw many players that had college-level talent pass through our program but who didn’t have the outside coaching or financial resources to play beyond the high school season.  We did have a handful of players from our teams go on to play at the next level, but not as many as could have.  More so, the money advantage that suburban schools eventually gained on the top city schools in the early 1990s made both procuring talent and developing it for further play a difficult proposition.  When the opportunity came to consider building a women’s soccer program in my hometown (give or take four years ago), the first thing that came to mind was “We MUST flip the tables on the status quo of talent selection and playing for us MUST be affordable.”

So why does this matter so much to me, and why should it matter to you?  For me, it is an avenue to try and begin to change the life chances of our community’s young women.  Offering them a chance to stand on the same field as those who have so many more advantages than them (and BEAT THEM!) while also providing a means for them to use the game to go to college and pursue their academic and professional goals are the real reasons why I want to bring this club into reality.  The reasons I am focusing at the start on an adult summer team built from current college players are several.  First, these players already exist but have been overlooked by traditional clubs because they play for schools not in Division I of the NCAA or because they don’t have elite-level talent in the eyes of those individuals.  Secondly, structure is already in place for us to start a team of that nature from scratch in a reasonably short period of time and without cumbersome hurdles.  The two biggest reasons why we are starting at the top of the pyramid and not the bottom are 1) the amount of time necessary to get a group of players from the youngest ranks to this age level spans 10-12 years, with attrition requiring a MUCH larger starting class than what would be needed at the top; and 2) the adult level is where results on the field matter and the success/failure of the concept can be more easily determined.

Before I close, a quick update on this year’s class of Milwaukee County players we are scouting.  Through the first two full weekends of college play (NCAA Division I schools started games on August 17th and NAIA schools the following weekend, but NCAA Divisions II and III opened play on August 31st), Milwaukee’s college field players have amassed 26 goals and 11 assists for 63 points with 16 different goalscorers, while its goalkeepers have combined for a 13-1-1 record with a 1.02 goals-against average and 6.5 shutouts.

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Posted September 11, 2012 by Scott in Uncategorized

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