Inter Atlanta FC is a growing club within the US Youth Soccer Piedmont Conference. Located near downtown Atlanta, this Georgia club boasts over 2,400 players across its recreational, academy and select programs, which is an increase of 700 players over the last three years. Inter Atlanta FC currently has 10 teams competing in the Piedmont Conference this season.
Inter Atlanta owns its fields as a club and recently upgraded its state-of-the-art Arizona Avenue Soccer Complex to three full-sized artificial turf fields with shock pads underneath. This upgrade also comes on the intention to have the fields FIFA certified in order for future World Cup teams to possibly use the facility as practice fields if Atlanta becomes a hosting city. Another location in Decatur, Ga., was purchased recently by the club in order to build more fields to accommodate the growing amount of players.
Inter Atlanta FC’s executive director, Matt Busch, attributes the growth of the club to the level of coaches, the facilities, and their vision as an organization.
“We brought on five additional directors of coaching and produced a new training curriculum that brought everything together,” Busch said. “We wanted to raise the level of the kids as players, while also developing individuals as good human beings.”
Busch has been the club’s executive director for the past three years. He discussed the goals of the club and how they utilize the Piedmont Conference to achieve those goals.
“Our goal is to have our teams earn promotion into the highest levels of US Youth Soccer, while still developing our teams at the state level. Our girls program set the tone with the 2001 and 2003 teams’ success in the 2018-19 Piedmont Conference season,” Busch said. “The boys saw that there was a next level they could take their game to and worked hard to get to that higher level. We also took the experience of our directors and coaches and saw that there was a new level we could reach. We saw the national standard of what a player or a team could do with a soccer ball and we exposed it to our teams with training and took it to the fields.”
The Inter Atlanta 2001 and 2003 Girls teams both finished within the top four of their respective divisions last season in the Piedmont Conference. As we come toward the end of the 2019-20 Piedmont Conference season, Inter Atlanta FC has five teams in the top three of their respective Premier I and Premier II Boys and Girls Divisions. Busch explained how Inter Atlanta FC plans to continue its success.
“We want to continue to fine tune our training curriculum, ensuring that we are developing the individual players themselves. Our coaches don’t look at wins and losses to define the teams. We want our players to know it is okay to make mistakes as long as we are learning from them. We want our players to ask themselves, did I play to the best of my ability?”
What does it take to play for Inter Atlanta FC?
“Passion for the game and the will to learn,” Busch said. “A passion for the game forms all around soccer players. We don’t want players that are forced to be out on the field. We want to push our players to focus on training and player development… We pride ourselves on not turning anyone away if they have the passion for the game.”
For more information on the US Youth Soccer Leagues Program and the 13 conferences, click here.