Back to News SOCCER ACROSS AMERICA AND OLYMPIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM JOIN FORCES December 15, 2010 04:33 PM INDIANA SOCCER AND THE OLYMPIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM ANNOUCNES PARTNERSHIP WITH SOCCER ACROSS AMERICA Indiana Soccer and the Indiana Olympic Development Program are excited to announce a newly formed partnership with Soccer Across America to provide additional developmental and identification opportunities for players in the State of Indiana. Indiana Soccer is also pleased to announce the appointment of Rick Fiege as the Soccer Across America-Olympic Development Program Staff Liaison. Soccer Across America (formerly known as Soccer Start) is designed to introduce the sport of soccer to youngsters living in communities not yet served by existing clubs and leagues. Focused on making soccer available to lower-income children in underserved communities, Soccer Across America provides soccer training and administrative guidance to players and organizations that might otherwise not be exposed to the sport. Soccer Across America also helps new programs find the funding and equipment to begin and then to expand their activities. US Youth Soccer, over the past several years, has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial and material support to Soccer Across America programming across the United States. The US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program was formed in 1977 to identify a pool of players in each age group from which a National Team will be selected for international competition; provide high-level training to benefit and enhance the development of players at all levels: and foster the exchange of ideas and curriculum by carefully selected and licensed coaches, in an effort to improve all levels of coaching. The Indiana Olympic Development Program supports and works in tandem with the United States Soccer Federation National Teams and the Region II Olympic Development Program. The Indiana Olympic Development Program goals are to provide for the unfolding of ideas about the game of soccer; provide an environment that fosters player confidence and problem solving; and provide opportunities for the gradual growth and advancement through challenging, creative, and positive training and playing environments. Indiana’s Olympic Development state pool training focuses on the continuation of technical development as it applies to the tactical application of the game, problem solving, and speed of play in a higher and more challenging environment. “By partnering with Soccer Across America, the Indiana Olympic Development Program will expand its capacity to identify Olympic Development level players from all areas of our state and to provide these newly identified players with tremendous developmental opportunities that might not otherwise be available to them” comments John Carter, Director of the Indiana Olympic Development Program. “While soccer is the largest growing youth sport in our country, players from the inner city, from the rural communities, and from ethnic groups have not always had the same opportunities as other players in advancing themselves within the game of soccer. By joining our forces with Soccer Across America, the Olympic Development Program is excited about providing enhanced developmental opportunities for deserving players in underserved communities and to possibly find players for our National Team Programs.” Rick Fiege, Indiana Soccer Across America-Olympic Development Program Staff Liaison, will run programming in conjunction with current Soccer Across American programs including the Urban Soccer League (Indy Parks), Inner City Soccer (Ft. Wayne), Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), and the Indianapolis PAL Club. At this time the plan is to launch programming in the spring of 2011. More information about the SAA program can be found on the Indiana Soccer Across America website (http://www.soccerindiana.org/programs/soccer_across_america.aspx). “We are tremendously fortunate and blessed to have the leadership of Rick Fiege to initiate this partnership between the Indiana Olympic Development Program and Soccer Across America” states John Carter. “Indiana Soccer is extremely excited about the possibilities this partnership will create and I believe Rick Fiege is the perfect individual to take the lead on such a special project.” Rick Fiege, Indiana Soccer Across America Committee Chairman and the Staff Liaison between Indiana Soccer Across America and the Indiana Olympic Development Program states “this will be a tremendous opportunity for the Soccer Across America program and our players! It’s always been difficult for these kids to be involved in the Olympic Development Program identification and selection process due to the financial and geographic barriers they endure on a daily basis. Just making it to an in-house training session can prove to be a challenge for some of them. Our program directors and coaches are excited to be included in the Olympic Development Program and are grateful for the opportunity John Carter and Indiana Soccer have created for us. They can’t wait to get started!” “Indiana Soccer is proud to introduce this partnership to US Youth Soccer” stated Dave Guthrie, Executive Director of Indiana Soccer. Guthrie further commented that “this partnership is consistent with other inclusionary soccer models that Indiana is developing and implementing.” Please direct all questions about this program to Rick Fiege, Indiana Soccer Across America Committee Chairman at Rwfiege1@aol.com or 317.694.1472. About Indiana Soccer: Indiana Soccer is a member of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA). It is a not-for-profit Indiana corporation, allowing tax deductible donations and contributions to the fullest extent of the law. Indiana Soccer has a current membership base of over 56,000 youth players, 3000 adult players, 8,000 active coaches, 3,800 referees and thousands of volunteers through its network of over 140 local member clubs across the state. Indiana Soccer is organized to provide nonprofit, public, educational soccer development, and competition. Its leadership is comprised of an Executive Committee and a volunteer Board of Directors who represent all parts of the state. The organization currently has a professional staff of 6 full-time employees working out of the State Office, just east of Indianapolis.