New from ATO: Soccer in the City

New from ATO: Soccer in the City

Soccer in the City

The character and story-driven film, akin to Hoop Dream and Waiting for Superman, examines how soccer is the sport best suited to provide city kids with easy access to teams, and the unquestionable results – on the pitch, in the classroom and in the community – that follow.

In terms of sporting success, American soccer reached a nadir when the Men’s National Team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. America, which hosts the 2026 World Cup, now has a window in which it can finally become a true contender, perhaps thanks to new stars developed through programs like DC SCORES, which provides free inner-city youth leagues.

For many kids, sport is both the only distraction from the perils of inner-city life, and the best opportunity to escape poverty. Soccer should be a part of that conversation. Currently, soccer development in the U.S. comes largely from “pay to play” leagues, which severely limits access to the sport. While it’s not unusual to see city kids sporting Messi and Mbape jerseys, there’s little crossover to inner-city youth playing the game. Things are changing though, and as creative solutions to the lack of infrastructure are developed, a deeper talent pool will increase America’s chances for success on the pitch.

Soccer in the City is a ringing endorsement for the power of sport, the importance of teams, the needs to remove boundaries between children of different socio-economic backgrounds. Increasing the availability of soccer in the inner cities – making to cool, fun, and a true meritocracy – isn’t just the right thing to do for the sport, it’s the right thing to do for the country, cities and children.

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