1/19/2011 8:58:53 AM
Pro Soccer Players Help Everyone PlayÂ®
Hawthorne, Calif. (Jan. 18) - American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) alumni grow up to become teachers, doctors, truck drivers, lawyers, artists, plumbers andâ€¦professional soccer players. So the organization is kicking off 2011 with some of its most famous soccer playing alumni joining with AYSO kids to deliver the message "Great Soccer Starts Here!"
Current and former U.S. National Team stars are featured in a new national campaign to tell parents and kids that AYSO is the right place for every child to learn soccer, experience important life lessons, fight obesity and have fun!
The campaign focuses on AYSO kids emulating the soccer moves of their pro heroes. The star AYSO alumni include:
- Carlos Bocanegra, captain of the U.S. Men's National Team
- Shannon Boxx, expected to play for the U.S. in this summer's FIFA Women's World Cup
- Landon Donovan, U.S. Men's National Team leading scorer and star of the LA Galaxy
- Julie Foudy, former U.S. star that led her team to both a World Cup championship and Olympic Gold
- Eric Wynalda, former U.S. and MLS star; now an on-air personality with Fox Soccer Channel (and whose own children now play in AYSO!
Since it was founded in 1964, millions of children and parents have experienced the unique Everyone PlaysÂ® philosophy of AYSO. It is the largest single-entity soccer organization in the U.S. with nearly 600,000 players. It has over 900 volunteer-based community leagues, called Regions, that guarantee that every child will play at least 50 percent of every game.
"The beauty of AYSO was that you had kids from all walks of life who just wanted to be active and run around and play soccer," said Landon Donovan, who played in AYSO until shortly before launching his pro career at 16. "I wanted to continue playing AYSO because I enjoyed the camaraderie and the ability to just play for the love of the game."
AYSO develops and delivers quality youth soccer development programs in a fun, safe, family environment based on the Six Philosophies of Everyone Plays®
, Balanced Teams, Open Registration, Positive Coaching, Good Sportsmanship and Player Development.
"AYSO combines a unique blend of soccer and child development," said Lynn Berling-Manuel, AYSO Chief Marketing Officer. "The message we want to deliver both locally and nationally is AYSO is an opportunity for every child. It's just as valuable and fun for a kid who imagines being a soccer star as it is for the kid who may be a pro one day."