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USL, Army National Guard Continue Partnership

30 Dec, 2013


National Guard to continue as Official Military Branch of USL

United Soccer Leagues and the Army National Guard (ARNG) will continue their relationship, which began in 2012, that designates the Army National Guard as the “Official Military Branch of USL” and the primary sponsor of the 2013 Super Y-League North American Finals, set for Thursday through Monday at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The Army National Guard will also serve as the primary sponsor of the 2013 Major Beach Soccer National Championship, to be held December 14-15 in Clearwater, Florida.

In the first year of the relationship, the Army National Guard and USL worked together to develop and promote grassroots soccer initiatives throughout the U.S., co-sponsoring free youth clinics presented by USL clubs in Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia. U.S. Women’s National Team stars Megan Rapinoe and Ali Krieger were among the guest instructors.

“The Army National Guard has proven to be an excellent partner for USL and we look forward to continuing our relationship into 2014 and beyond,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said. “The Army National Guard shares USL’s vision of helping to grow soccer throughout the country through grassroots programs, and we plan to help them reach even more youth in the coming years.”

The Army National Guard will once again enjoy a high-profile presence at the upcoming Super Y-League North American Finals, hosting a juggling competition on-site for the second consecutive year and handing out a variety of National Guard T-shirts to participants.

In more than 3,200 communities, there is a National Guardsmen in nearly every zip code.  The incredible versatility of National Guard members enables its troops to respond to domestic emergencies, combat missions worldwide, counterdrug efforts, reconstruction efforts and more – all with equal speed, strength and efficiency.  Serving in the National Guard is a great way to reinforce the values of teamwork, build individual resilience and life skills, and earn the satisfaction of serving your community and nation selflessly.

“The National Guard is honored to work with USL to host local high school soccer players in upcoming clinics,” SFC David Therrell said. “Our goal is to provide these young athletes with exceptional training and an opportunity to learn about the many benefits of the National Guard.”

National Guard: The National Guard serves both state and federal governments. While Guard units are combat-trained and can be deployed overseas, their primary mission is to serve in their home communities in support of disaster relief efforts such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy—training just one weekend per month, and one two-week period each year. Whether the call is coming from the State Governor or directly from the President of the United States, Guard Soldiers are always ready and always there.

United Soccer Leagues: USL has become the largest organization of elite-level soccer leagues in North America by building on the vision, commitment, and passion of players, fans and investors. Now in its third decade of operation, USL continues to be a driving force in the growth of soccer in the United States, Canada and Caribbean. USL provides a clearly defined path for the progression of male and female soccer players beginning at the youth level (Super Y-League/NextGen), continuing through the amateur level (PDL/W-League/Super-20/W-20) and up to the professional level, both outdoor and indoor (USL PRO/MISL). A platform for countless players to reach for their dreams each year, USL is devoted to developing the sport at the grassroots level in every community across the region.

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