Friday, June 25, 2010

Victory in Season Opener

StreetSoccer945 Charlotte had a great game on Tuesday night against the Housers, with 16 players joining in the game, and although the Housers put up a good fight, they were no match for our team. Bertin scored with about 7 minutes in, putting us ahead early, but they quickly responded with a beautiful goal, tying the score at 1-1. Jose, a brick wall in goal, stopped several game-changing shots that lead us to a 1 all halftime. Ebony and Craig had a great defensive line, and barely let anyone get past them, and also fed the ball to forwards. John had a close shot on net and Mister fed the ball to Osman, who finished for a 2-1 lead. The intensity then began to pick up, with a close call with Luis’s corner kick and Bern’s free kick, but also in the defensive side with Jose’s two amazing saves. They then had a goal, after pressuring the goal with several of their players. The score was tied at 2-2, and with about 3 minutes left Dennis assisted a goal from Bern that went straight to the upper 90. This finished the game off, leaving Street Soccer 945 with a 3-2 victory!

Thanks to all who came to support or to play, and please come out and support at our next game next Tuesday night at Revolution Park, Charlotte, NC at 8:45pm.

by Allie Banwell

Thursday, June 24, 2010

SSNYC First Women's Team

Last night SSNYC had their first women's team practice. 10 players came out to play. The team worked on basic skills and finished with a 5v5 scrimmage. The team is looking forward to next weeks practice at the HELPUSA Brownsville Women's Center.


By RON GUILD, Sports Editor
Story Published: Jun 22, 2010 at 6:01 PM PDT

While most soccer fans have been riveted on the World Cup in South Africa this month, some English Premier League stars are focusing their attention on the homeless in this country.

First International Ambassador of Street Soccer USA Emmerson Boyce of Wigan Athletic, Liverpool’s David N’gog, Ibrahima Sonko of Stocke City FC and Aaron Brown of Leyton Orient FC were in Los Angeles recently to play a friendly match with members of the Jovenes, Inc. Street Soccer team.
The stop at Boyle Heights-based Jovenes, Inc., a nonprofit organization designed to help homeless youth in the downtown, East L.A. and Northeast areas of the city integrate back into society, was the beginning of an 18-city U.S. tour to combat the issue of homelessness.
“I am thrilled to join Street Soccer USA as an International Ambassador,” Boyce, who helped bring the other players here, said. “As someone who believes in team sports and the positive community that surrounds them, I believe in my heart the mission of SSUSA.
“Regardless of economic status, soccer brings us all together. You can even see that now with the World Cup taking place. It’s a common language.”
One of the tools for combating homelessness is Street Soccer USA, a more compact version of the traditional game that is played four to a side on a basketball-size court. The Jovenes (Spanish for “youth”) team and English pros played their match on the basketball court at Pecan Playground in Boyle Heights.
Street Soccer USA teams are organized at homeless shelters, employment programs and recovery houses to help teens and adults with education, housing and jobs.
The teams train twice a week, compete in local leagues and tournaments, then meet annually at the 18-city SSUSA Cup in Washington, D.C. from July 30-Aug. 1.
Players are also competing for a spot on the Street Soccer USA national team that will travel to the Homeless World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in September.
Johnny Figueroa, coach of the Jovenes team, was appreciative of Boyce and the others traveling this far to lend their support to the local organization and others like it.
“For players from the Premier League to do this is huge,” he said. “It’s a role model type of thing. Soccer is a tool to help these kids get their life back together.”
“These Premier League stars don’t have to do this, but people should take notice of what they are doing for the homeless and impoverished,” National Program Coordinator and West Coast SSUSA Director Rob Cann said in a statement.
Paulo Vazquez, 22, one of the Jovenes players, has been in the local shelter for five months and is appreciative of the help it has provided him.
“This means everything to me,” he said. “It got me off the streets, it provides me with a place to live and food to eat. It’s a blessing.”

For more information on the organization, visit

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Charlotte's Peter Fink in South Africa

Our very own Peter Fink, the director and coach of Street Soccer 945, left Thursday for a mission that carries Street Soccer 945 around the world.

Fink is headed to the World Cup in Africa (which we have been following closely, screening games at the Urban Ministry Center), but also will be bringing soccer uniforms and equipment to several local South African townships and their teams, all courtesy of the players at Street Soccer 945. As Peter said, “It was the team’s decision to donate the items, not mine.” Since we received so much with the foundation of our fan club, The Royal Court (click here to join), “the players wanted to give back what was so freely given to them.”

Peter is bringing the soccer supplies with a group called Ambassadors in Sport, who will, in addition to bringing supplies and watching World Cup games, be traveling to various townships and teaching soccer clinics.

Fink commented on his excitement about both his trip and Street Soccer 945: “My job affords me the opportunity to witness the beauty of the human spirit daily, but to extend this compassion across the globe? That’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” We wish Peter the best in his travels and mission, and thank him for embodying the Street Soccer goal to “end homelessness through sport.”

First Ever All-Women Street Soccer Program

Although homeless statistics reflect that women make up less of a percentage than men, thousands of women across the country live in degraded conditions on streets and in parks. Street Soccer USA fosters its efforts to turn the lives of homeless women for the better:

Sheila Johnson, entrepreneur and Washington Mystics WNBA owner, and Street Soccer USA announced the first ever all women’s street soccer program for women ages 15+. Women from homeless service sites across the USA will come to Washington, DC to try out for a national all-women team July 30th - August 1st at the SSUSA Cup. Upon the culmination of the SSUSA Cup, an all-women team will be chosen to go on to represent the United States at the Homeless World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in September.

In 2009, Street Soccer USA took just one woman to the Homeless World Cup. That participant, Ebony Wright of Charlotte, encourages the women’s initiative, “Being the only girl was tough, real tough. I think more of us would get involved, bond together, and try to improve ourselves if we had our own team. The first all-women team is an awesome idea. It’s going to mean a lot.” After three years of homelessness, Ebony joined the SSUSA program and committed to her goals, which have included finding work and moving into an apartment.

This year the 64-nation tournament features 16 women’s teams! Among the female players this year is an 18 year-old named Jasmine from Minneapolis who has been living couch-to-couch and in shelters since she was 16 years old. Since joining the team 10 months ago, Jasmine has enrolled in college for the fall, found employment, and is looking forward to moving out of the shelter soon. “I’m going to continue playing soccer because I love the game and during my hard times, soccer was there for me. In soccer, like in life, I never give up until I reach my goals,” Jasmine says.

The women team competing in Brazil will be called the “Lady Salamanders”. In world mythology the salamander represents strength, courage, and fortitude, all necessary components to overcome great obstacles and create social change.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Street Soccer NYC visited by Olympic Gold Medalist

On Monday, June 14, Street Soccer New York City was visited by Gold medal Olympian Michael Johnson. Johnson, who won four gold medals in three different Olympic Games, is an ambassador for Beyond Sport, the host of the Beyond Sport Awards. This global organization recognizes non-profit and for-profit organizations for their creative and constructive uses of sport for addressing issues facing the communities they serve.

Earlier this month, Beyond Sport revealed their short listed candidates for the Beyond Sport Awards, taking place this September in Chicago. Street Soccer USA was short listed out of 350 candidates in 115 countries in the category of Sport for Social Inclusion.

Johnson, along with Beyond Sport founder Nick Keller and New York City Homeless Service Commissioner Seth Diamond, met with several players and discussed the impact that the Street Soccer USA program has had on their lives. Afterward the former-Olympian played in a scrimmage with SSNYC participants and volunteers.

Keller and the rest of the Beyond Sport team had a unique chance to see several players who are likely headed to Washington DC for the 2010 Street Soccer USA Cup in action. “We were delighted to take up the opportunity to see Street Soccer in action and engage first-hand with the project’s participants,” said Keller, “During our visit we were immediately impressed with the tangible impact the program is making on its surrounding community. It is fully deserving of its place on the Awards shortlist.”

Michael Johnson is one of many professional athletes who serve as ambassador for Beyond Sport. Chaired by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, ambassadors include Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of London 2012; former NBA Champion and US Senator Bill Bradley; and IOC Executive Board Member Nawal El Moutawakel, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Morocco.

Street Soccer USA will find out the winners during the Beyond Sport Awards and Summit, September 27-30. Until then, teams in New York and elsewhere have a plethora of events and activities arranged in preparation for the 2010 SSUSA Cup, July 30 to August 1. Check the events page on our website as new fundraisers and scrimmages are scheduled throughout the summer.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Charlotte teams up with Pelada

Away from the bright lights and manicured fields, there is another side of soccer…

Street Soccer teamed up with the American Outlaws to host the Charlotte screening of Pelada at the Neighborhood Theater Tuesday, June 8th. Pelada is a documentary featuring two former US college soccer players on a journey around the world to play pick up soccer and discover the heart of the game. Rebekah Fergusson, the filmmaker and former Duke player, attended the screening and answered questions afterward. Local soccer players, coaches, and supporters came together to celebrate the power of the game here in Charlotte and around the world. Over 480 tickets were sold to support the Pelada project and StreetSoccer945. Thank you to everyone who attended! To find our more about Pelada, watch the trailer, find a screening in your city, or purchase a DVD, click here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Count Down Begins- Only 7 Weeks to go!

Get Ready!

With less than two months until the 2010 Street Soccer USA Cup, 200 players from all over the country are preparing for their journey to Washington DC. Each team is filled with interesting people who have overcome great challenges to get to the Cup. While we don’t have the ability to highlight them all prior to the tournament, in the next few weeks you will read about some of the amazing individuals who will be competing for more than a trophy this summer.

Meet Antoine. This will be his second SSUSA Cup as he returns to help San Francisco defend its Street Soccer USA Cup crown. In 2009, Antoine captained the team, organized by the San Francisco based Glide Youthbuild Program, to an undefeated record during the tournament. He was then selected to the U.S. National team to compete at the Homeless World Cup in Milan, Italy last September. Antoine helped guide the team to a top 20 finish, the best showing ever by the United States at the Homeless World Cup.

Antoine will return to Washington DC this year in a much different role, as coach of the 2010 team. In addition to coaching, Antoine teaches at the Glide Youthbuild Program. He works to provide high school diplomas, life skills, and job training to young adults from marginalized neighborhoods in San Francisco who are often homeless. It wasn’t so long ago that Antoine was in dire need of the support he provides now.

As a young adult, Antoine resorted to alcohol to help cope with his bipolar disorder. He regularly slept in parks and on the street, convinced he would wind up homeless his entire life. After being hospitalized as a danger to himself, Antoine found refuge in the soccer program at Glide. “Soccer was a crucial element in my recovery because I continued to play in my darkest moments as it always gave me joy and allowed me to be free for a few moments”.

Antoine joins a growing collection of players turned coaches which include Los Angeles coach, Johnny Figeroa, who was selected Nike Fair Play Trophy Winner at the Homeless World Cup in 2008. Together this group of coaches will train their teams to score goals to earn the SSUSA Cup title, but more importantly to stay focused on their life goals with the support of their team.

The count down has begun. Only 51 days until the 2010 Street Soccer USA Cup!

For the third consecutive year, the Street Soccer USA Cup will be held at the fabulous Washington Kastles World Tennis Team Stadium, located between 9th and 11th and "H" Street, N.W. in Washington, D.C. The event will take place from July 30 - August 1. Admission is free. In 2010, teams from 18 cities across the nation will arrive in DC to vie for the SSUSA title. The event culminates with the selection of a national team which with compete at the Homeless World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Check out for more information.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ramapo Wins First SSNYC Classic

This past Saturday, 12 teams came to Street Soccer NYC’s home field inside the HelpUSA Supportive Employment Center in hopes to be crowned the first ever Street Soccer NYC Classic Champions. All of the teams came out to help support the SSNYC team with their travel expenses to get down to Washington DC at the end of July for the SSUSA Cup. Of those 12 teams that participated, 3 were made up of SSNYC players and volunteers with the World Soccer Project also submitted 3 teams. The tournament was played on the official SSUSA pitch inside of the gymnasium that SSNYC practices on 2 nights a week. The day was filled with music, great soccer and a lot of support for the SSNYC program.

Team Ramapo ruled the day as they went through their bracket, semi finals and finals without losing a game. Even though their record may show they had an easy day, the games surely did not. Falling behind 4-1 at halftime in the finals, they scrapped their way back into the game before taking a 1 goal lead with less then 2 minutes and holding onto it as team Dan Morganroth attacked them with everything that they had.

The day turned out to be a great success thanks to all of the volunteers that came out to support the tournament. Thank you to everyone who came to play, cheer, volunteer, coach and view the first ever SSNYC Classic. We look forward to more Street Soccer tournaments in the future as we continue to develop the SSNYC program!

SSNYC Volunteer team and World Soccer Project 3 team wishing each other luck before their kick off

Saturday, June 5, 2010

SSUSA Classic Champs

Will presents Champions Rampapo with the first NYC Street Soccer Classic Trophy. Rampapo beat Turkeset in the Semis on PKs and beat Team Dan Morganworth 7-6 to claim the trophy. Thanks to all who made the day and outstanding success.

Street Soccer Sacramento Receives Award!

Street Soccer Sacramento is pictured here with Supervisor Don Nottoli. The team was given a Certificate of Appreciation at the Board of Supervisor's monthly meeting for the work they have done and for earning the Fair Play Award last year's Street Soccer USA National tournament.

Program Director Chris Mann and team presented their district representative with a Sacramento street soccer jersey. Pictured you can see the 2009 team in the blue uniforms with the new team for 2010 in the white uniforms.

Chris and team Sacramento will host a 4v4 tournament in Sacramento at Metro City Soccer on June 26 to raise funds for the team's travel to Washington, DC for Street Soccer USA Cup 2010. To get involved with team Sacramento or register for the tournament contact and we will get you connected.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Zach Leonsis--Youth Service Awardee on TV

Zach Leonsis--Youth Service Awardee on TV

Street Soccer Chicago heats up with the FIRE

Selected players from Street Soccer Chicago who have shown great attendance, dedication and exemplary performance on & off the field will join volunteers on Wednesday, June 9th at the Chicago Fire Game!

* Volunteers are needed to help sell 50/50 Raffle Tickets to the crowd during the 1st half of the game to help raise funds for travel expenses to Washington DC and the Street Soccer USA Cup 2010
* Tickets for volunteers will be provided at NO COST, though you may domate $10.00 if you wish, to cover the price of your seat
* Game starts at 8:00pm at Toyota Park in Bridgeview; Carpooling meeting location and time TBD
* To RSVP and volunteer for this event, or to get more details, please contact with FIRE FUNDRAISER in the subject

For other ways to help support the team's travel to Washington D.C., please visit