Tuesday, June 30, 2009

WHO WE ARE: Contender #1- The Richmond Rebels

Rob Ukrop, the coach of the Richmond Rebels, has been involved in soccer his entire life. During his soccer career Ukrop has won numerous awards and titles at both amateur and professional levels. He is arguably most famous for winning NSCAA player of the year while taking Davidson College to the final four in 1992, and for scoring the first two goals in MLS history as a member of the New England Revolution.

Rob, a Richmond native, began his soccer career as a breakout star for Collegiate School, a local Richmond prep school . He continued his soccer career at Davidson . In Ukrop's four years of eligibility he was able to bring the school soccer notoriety with his astounding play. During his senior year, Ukrop led the nation with 31 goals, and guided Davidson to
the NCAA Final Four. While still in college Ukrop went to the World University Games with the United States U-23 Team. During the games, Ukrop scored twice and had an assist in a win over Italy. In 2004, Davidson retired number 6 in honor of Ukrop and inducted him into the Davidson Hall of Fame.

After graduation, Ukrop began to play professionally. He started for the Richmond Kickers of the United States Interregional Soccer League (USISL), and helped the team make the playoffs in only their first season in 1993. Ukrop also played on the Baltimore Spirit of the National Professional Soccer League, and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the American Professional Soccer League. In 1995, Ukrop rejoined the Kickers and helped the team win a USISL title. In that season he was name an Atlantic Division All Star, and MVP of the U.S. Open Cup.

In 1996, The New England Revol
ution of the MLS drafted Ukrop 65th overall. Ukrop scored twice in his New England debut. By that summer Rob had returned to his original professional team; the Kickers. When Rob Ukrop retired from playing professionally in 2004, he held the record in Kickers all-time goals, assists, points, and matches. In 2007 Ukrop was inducted into the Richmond Kickers Hall of Fame.

To this day, Rob is actively involved in the Kickers youth program. In addition, Rob is the head coach was the Richmond Rebels Street Soccer team. The Rebels are Richmond's local Street Soccer USA affiliate and are organized through the Daily Planet. Rob was introduced to the program by Lawrence Cann, the founder of Street Soccer USA and fellow Davidson Soccer Alumni. Rob and the Rebels are part of a long list of advocates of the sport for social change intiative. They use the power of sport and teamwork to help the homeless of Richmond off the streets.

The team kicked off their second season last month and looks to take home the Street Soccer USA Cup this summer. Recently they scrimmaged against Richmond City of Central Virginia Soccer Association. For more information on the progress of the Rebels see their blog at http://richmondstreetsoccer.wordpress.com

The Street Soccer
USA Cup will be held July 31-August 2 at the Washington Kastles Stadium on H Street between 9th and 11th streets NW in Washington DC. Admission is free, so come out and see if the Rebels can take home the Leonsis Trophy and this years bragging rights.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Montogmery County Street Soccer

Organized by the Human Restoration Foundation in Rockville, Maryland, Montgomery Country Street Soccer has been working hard on their soccer skills and rehabilitation and recovery programs. The program and model they are developing is one that they hope to replicate across the state of Maryland. Graduate of their programs remain a involved in giving back to new players and to the larger community.

The team is coached by Carlos Fernandez and Luis Felipe Romero

You can read more about the team in this recent news story

Monday, June 22, 2009

New York Athletic Club

Friday, by invitation of Peter Mullany, a Pelham resident and soccer aficionado, Street Soccer NYC traveled to the New York Athletic Club for their first ever 11 a side match. After coming up with the idea of the match and reaching out to SSNYC, Peter reached out to his group of pick-up soccer buddies, many of whom are members of the NYAC. Nearly 22 of them showed up to face off against the HELP USA squad of 14. SSNYC, without Dexter and Chris, both out because of work, relied upon our more recent members and the help of intern Kyle Curasi. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. Zack, Angel, and Osman stood out for their efforts and special mention should go to Mark Fritz who played his position very well.

The best part of the evening was the bonding and deeper understanding we built amongst ourselves, struggling to stay organized on such a big field. That was only matched by the warm welcome and feeling of acceptance that the men and their families from Pelham gave us after the match, hosting a barbecue there at the Club. As we mentioned at the meal, we would like to invite our new friends to learn more about our program and efforts off the field as well as for them to come back to Ward's Island for a "Home and Away."--We are feeling good with two away goals to our credit : )

In addition to our grateful thanks to Peter and his crew for the game, the equipment and the balls, our thoughts and prayers go out to Melissa, who fell and broke her wrist at the end of our match. We understand Melissa is a much loved and respected trainer to the youth in the Pelham community and we wish her a speedy recovery.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Power of Sport Summit

Lawrence Cann, founder of Street Soccer USA, presented at the at the Power of Sport Summit this past Thursday June 18th.

The Power of Sport Summit was hosted at Northeastern University in Boston. The two day event focused on the relationship of sport and social responsibility.

Lawrence's presentation described how and why Street Soccer USA was founded, the success and accomplishments of the program, and the future for SSUSA. In addition, Lawrence described the role the organization has played in integrating sport with social responsibility.

The Summit was an interactive meeting of those in field of social justice and sport. Experts in the fields of research, education, and advocacy were on hand to celebrate, reinvigorate, and advance this very important work. Some of the key issues that were discussed included the role that sports play in influencing and enhancing overall society and what further actions are needed to merge the sport and social responsibility.

The objective of the Summit was to generate discussion around current trends, including what's working, what's possible, and what important actions are needed to help advance this initiative.

Street Soccer USA is proud to to have been part of this event, and wants to thank everyone in attendance for making this conference possible.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

D.C. Knights Road to the SSUSA Cup Continues...

The Washington D.C. Street Soccer Club, known as the D.C. Knights have continued their practices in D.C. Recently, the DC Parks and Recreation Department Facilitated the approval of a space for the D.C. Knights to practice just near the offices of Neighbors Consejo. Many thanks to Tunis Abdullah, of DC Parks and Recreation for his support of D.C. Street Soccer and SSUSA.

In addition, the D.C. Knights have been invited to participate in the MLS Futbolito 4v4 Tournament at the Maryland Soccerplex on Saturday, July 11, 2009. More details about this tournament and other tournaments coming soon.

Street Soccer USA Cup and Road to 2009 Homeless World Cup

Check out the latest post in the New York Times Soccer Blog about the Street Soccer USA Cup and Homeless World Cup!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gerardo Gomez nominated as an All Star Hero

Gerardo Gomez (last on the left) has worked with Andrea Marchetti of Jovenes Inc in LA to develop their street soccer program. The talented LA team finished second at the SSUSA Cup last year and sent two people abroad on our national team. One, Johnny Figueroa is now coaching the team while he studies at the community college.

Gerardo has been working as an advocate and activist for many years and is a former board member of the National Coalition for the Homeless. He’s now nominated as an All Star Hero from Los Angeles. L.A. Dodgers will honor the 3 People Magazine All Star finalists and some community members in the pre-game ceremonies before they play the Oakland A's this coming Thursday, June 18th at 7:10pm.

In addition, People Magazine is selecting one person from each community to represent their cause nationally. To vote go to www.peopleallstars.com . Once here, you can click on the DODGERS LOGO and submit your vote under Gerardo Gomez. The top vote getter from each team will honored at the 2009 MLB All Star Game in St. Louis!

Having the opportunity to go to the All Star Game will not only give Gerardo the opportunity to represent the L.A. Dodgers but more importantly it will provide the opportunity to bring awareness to the issue of Homelessness.

Vote for Gerardo to raise awareness and recognize his great work. Way to go Gerardo!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


SSUSA wants to recognize one of our partners, the Passback Program, in their efforts to help in the sport for social change initiative. Recently, Passback donated an assortment of gear to our Atlanta and Richmond Street Soccer teams. This contribution included equipment such as shorts, socks, cleats, scrimmage jerseys, and more. We are thankful for their generosity, and our proud to be have a relationship with such an outstanding program.

The Passback Program, which began in 1989, provides soccer players of all backgrounds which the equipment needed to play the beautiful game. They are powered by EuroSport and the US Soccer Foundation, and work closely with the MLS and WPS to help distribute soccer equipment across the globe.

Visit their website to find out more about the 3rd Annual Passback Tour, and to help them reach their goal of collecting one million items!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Street Soccer San Francisco in the news

Recently, local San Francisco television news network KTVU, attended one of the Street Soccer San Francisco's practices on Treasure Island. They did a great piece, and helped inform the San Fran community about SSUSA's sport for social change programs.


The Street Soccer USA Cup will be held at the Washington Kastles Tennis Stadium in Washington D.C. from July 31 to August 2.
(We'll forgive KTVU for forgetting to mention this)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Goals 7,8,9

Street Soccer New York City ended its losing streak last night with a 9-9 draw. It was a back and forth game the entire night, and SSNYC scored with 30 seconds left to preserve the tie. There's two games left in the season and SSNYC looks to finish strong. Next game is 11 PM Tuesday night at Chelsea Piers. Check out some of the highlights from last night.