By Luke Rinne, UMSL Athletics
The University of Missouri-St. Louis Department of Athletics hosted the St. Louis CITY Cup on June 10 at Don Dallas Soccer Field, with 220 kids from across the region participating in the event on UMSL’s home field.
Part of CITY SC‘s mission is introducing more people in the St. Louis to the game of soccer. From this vision, CITY Futures came to fruition, offering two different opportunities for the community to get involved: Soccer 101 sessions and Way-to-Play sessions. Both offer a free way to get involved in soccer at young age, regardless of experience in the sport. Everyone who participated in one of these two programs was invited to compete in the CITY Cup.
The CITY Cup gives kids the opportunity to compete and learn with other kids from all over the city. Each team had one player from each Satellite location on it. The teams were coached by a CITY Futures coach as well as members from the UMSL men’s and women’s soccer programs. They taught technical and tactical skills and made sure they had fun.
The CITY Cup’s objectives are to increase empathy by learning about other players from different parts of our CITY, the ability to learn from diverse and unique personalities and to understand each other better and value others’ skills, abilities and competences.
More than 20 members of the UMSL soccer programs were there to coach and encourage the youngsters that showed up for the three different sessions separated by age group. UMSL head women’s soccer coach Maddi Moon and UMSL head men’s soccer coach Josh Alderson were there throughout the day offering the kids help and to support the CITY Cup.
St. Louis CITY2 player Michael Creek came to the field to interact with the kids and many of them took the opportunity to take their picture with him and get an autograph.
“Our players loved getting to work with top level coaches and the opportunity to impact the future of soccer with the youth teams,” Moon said. “It was a great experience and is exciting to see the impact City SC has brought to the St. Louis soccer community with not only the professional team, but to the youth level as well.”
“We had a wonderful day with our incredible St. Louis youth soccer community,” Alderson said. “It was great partnering with CITY SC. We enjoyed meeting and working will of the talented, hard-working, and soccer-crazy youth players. The future is bright for St. Louis soccer.”
UMSL has served as the official higher education partner of St. Louis CITY SC throughout its inaugural season, and the club and university have been working together to build the St. Louis CITY/UMSL Sport Management Program. UMSL is also serving as the presenting partner for St. Louis CITY SC’s esports program.