Has a New York City charter school network discovered a new template for soccer development in America? Arch Rivals FC looks at an innovative, school-based soccer program at Success Academy in New York. For decades, soccer in America has been rooted in the suburbs. High costs for travel and club teams mean players from low-income backgrounds are often shut out. Success Academy’s program is bringing the game to neighborhoods where soccer has been missing.
Stories like these are why I have become so disgruntled when looking back at my younger playing days. I can’t even fathom how much money my parents spent on soccer clubs and the various fees accompanying those club experiences. I was one of four kids and even at a young age, I could tell what a strain it put on my parents. Fortunately, my parents had great jobs and they made it work so I could pursue my dream of playing soccer but if they hadn’t my soccer career would have probably stopped dead in its tracks. It’s confounding how a sport that can be played anywhere and has such a low barrier to entry equipment wise, can be such a hard sport to afford if you want to develop. There are many problems with soccer in America but I firmly believe that this is the first thing we need to solve before we can reach the next level on the international scene.