Charlotte Soccer Club Becomes One Of US Club Soccer’s First-Ever Licensed Clubs


US Club Soccer – a prominent member of the U.S. Soccer Federation and leading organization developing soccer clubs across America – announces the first-ever group of Player First-licensed clubs, which includes the Barca Academy Charlotte.

Featuring 46 clubs from 19 states around the country, these organizations have proven their commitment to providing a holistic club soccer experience for parents and players, which emphasizes the development of each individual to his or her full potential, and helps parents make better choices about where their children should play. As youth soccer’s “Good Housekeeping Seal,” they immediately take this newfound recognition into their communities and nationally, standing out as pioneers in improving the club soccer experience.

In addition to the Barca Academy Charlotte, these exemplary clubs have met the rigorous Players First standards of offering comprehensive Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety:

“We believe this to be the most rigorous and comprehensive attempt in U.S. Soccer history to identify those clubs that have demonstrated a commitment to creating the kind of infrastructure and culture necessary to provide the best overall environment for players,” says Kevin Payne, CEO of US Club Soccer. “Congratulations to the inaugural cohort of Players First-licensed clubs.”
These 46 clubs enjoy Players First licensing status through Dec. 31, 2020, at which time there will be a renewal opportunity. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis and approved clubs will be announced quarterly. Entities not meeting the standards and requirements will receive a detailed letter explaining deficiencies with suggestions and resources to correct those.

The application includes seven sections, in which clubs must demonstrate their commitment to the Players First pillars:

  • Club and Applicant Information
  • Club Leadership Expertise and Development
  • Staff Education and Development
  • Player Health and Safety
  • Training and Competition Structure
  • Staffing Structure
  • Parent Education and Engagement
US Club Soccer prides itself on fostering the safest environment for players in youth sports. They’ve implemented best-in-class background checks for all registered staff, and require personnel to complete a Sideline Sports Doc/US Club Soccer online injury recognition course, as well as SafeSport online training.