Chicago Fire Soccer Club Launches “Soccer in the Community”

Fire introduces grassroots programs to support and grow soccer community across Chicagoland

CHICAGO (April 9, 2014) — The Chicago Fire Soccer Club unveiled Wednesday a new and formalized Soccer in the Community (SITC) program. SITC is a grassroots initiative created by the Club and inspired by European clubs that will engage more than 40,000 kids and families in the greater Chicago area by offering a wide range of community-based soccer programs. The mission is to deepen the Club’s connection to the overall Chicagoland soccer community. 

"We want as many kids as possible to learn, play and fall in love with the game of soccer," said Chicago Fire Chief Operating Officer Atul Khosla. "This initiative serves as a great opportunity to expose the next generation to soccer and allows the Fire to establish long-term fans in the process."

The Club plans to scale the SITC program by creating Chicago Fire Summer Camps; Chicago Fire Community Ambassadors, which will offer free clinics throughout Chicagoland; Imaginarium, which is an introduction to soccer for pre-school aged children; and Soccer Schools, which will work in conjunction with local clubs and park districts to offer players supplemental coaching and skill development opportunities outside existing club training sessions.

Central to the new initiative, more than 50 U.S. Youth Soccer-licensed and trained personnel will set out to inspire the next generation of soccer fans in Chicago with the objective to positively influence and improve the soccer experience for children and volunteer coaches. The Club has partnered with Youth Elite Soccer (YESsoccer) in order to implement the new SITC programs and maximize the program’s scale and reach.

"YESsoccer is proud to help create the first ‘Soccer In The Community’ office in MLS,” said YESsoccer Chief Operating Officer Matt Brown. “Our mission is to build affinity for the Fire brand at the grassroots level by coaching, educating and inspiring future generations of Fire fans. We're honored to partner with such a great organization."

SITC is now taking applications for its Summer Camp programs. To apply or obtain more information on all the available SITC programs, contact Chris Andrew at sitc@chicago-fire.com or visit http://www.chicago-fire.com/sitc.