ASLF X VERIZON X FUTBOL DE PRIMERA FLAMINGO PARK CLINIC PROGRAM
ASLF was approached by Verizon Wireless and Futbol de Primera (FDP), the leading Spanish language sports radio company and FIFA partner last Winter. As part of their 2022 World Cup Campaign, we were chosen as the community partner tasked with establishing an impactful soccer program to benefit young kids in Miami from underserved communities.
Modeled closely after our programs at Armbrister Park, we settled on a 10-week program at Flamingo Park on Miami Beach. Through Verizon’s donation, we supplied the clinics with 60 new soccer balls, goals, cones, skill equipment, and customized pinnies and shirts. We hired head coach Daniel Villegas for this program, who has a long history with ASLF, having been our coach for our inaugural program in Spring 2019. ASLF members Daniel Mateu, Pablo Joseph, Sebastian Mateu, Constantino Guerini, Lucas Carvahlo, Gabriel Pulido, Nicolas Stone, Richard Hanft, Juan Rivera, David Pulido, and Christian Sosa joined throughout the 10 weeks to assist Daniel as our counselors.
The kids in the program come from Miami Beach after-school programming and attend South Pointe Elementary and Fienberg Fisher K-8. Participants ranged from 1st-5th grade and our first clinic took place on Tuesday, March 29th. Yesterday we celebrated the conclusion of the Flamingo Park program.
In April, we held our ceremonial clinic to launch the partnership with representatives from all organizations. Javier Oyandel, the director of marketing at Verizon, spoke about their reasons for investing in our community and youth soccer. Legendary announcer Andres Cantor, our ASLF advisory board member, and a National Soccer Hall of Fame Inductee, spoke about his love of soccer and staying active. He fired the kids up as they joined one of his passionate GOOOOOOL calls. The kids received program T-shirts, water bottles, and ASLF stickers.
The last clinic of the 10-week program occurred yesterday, Tuesday, May 31st, at Flamingo Park on Miami Beach at 4 PM. We celebrated with cupcakes, and all participants received their own soccer ball to take home.
Thank you to Andrés Cantor, Futbol De Primera, and Verizon Wireless for providing us with the resources and encouragement to expand to a new park, and support more aspiring soccer players in South Florida. After this program concludes, the ASLF team will head once again to Coconut Grove for our second consecutive free summer camp at Armbrister Park.
Fall 2021 Clinic Program
In September 2021, we returned to Armbrister Park for another semester-long program, which we hadn't been able to do for a year and a half due to COVID. With numerous members graduating and moving off to college, numerous members including David Pulido and Juan Rivera stepped up to organize and coordinate the 10 weeks. Members Jasper Broad, Karyna Steele, Lauren Howard, Alex Denaro, and Pablo Joseph were instrumental in seeing out the program and ensuring its success. It was great to be back!
2021 Armbrister Park Summer Camp
Following 16 months of being off the field, we finally returned to Armbrister Park on Monday, June 28. We hosted camp for three weeks, and played games like soccer, kickball, capture the flag, and led many technical drills. While the camp was relatively small in terms of the number of kids, they all enjoyed coming out each day, learning, and staying active. ASLF members Nick Stone, Pablo Joseph, Sebastian & Daniel Mateu, Lindsay Gould, Lauren Howard, Jasper Broad, and Juan Rivera were instrumental in the camp's execution. Our scholarship recipient, Gerald Escobar, also participated in the camp's day-to-day, never missing a day for three weeks! We celebrated the last day of camp with water balloons and donuts, and are excited to resume our regular programming at Armbrister this fall.
Special Olympics Equipment Donation
In early March, A Soccer Life Foundation members Pablo Joseph, Richard Hanft, and Gabriel Pulido stopped by the offices of the Florida Special Olympics Soccer Program of Miami-Dade County to donate various boxes filled with soccer equipment. The materials, which were generously donated by Miami FC, a local professional club that competes in the USL championship, included jerseys, socks, shorts, soccer, soccer balls, and jackets. The Special Olympics program serves over 8,000 soccer players and 400 coaches in Miami. Through his extensive research, Joseph identified the far-reaching impact of this organization and organized this donation. A Soccer Life Foundation is proud to partner with the Florida Special Olympics Soccer Program of Miami-Dade County and we are excited to partner with them more in the future.
Javier Cañedo Scholarship
Christian Lopez was selected as the first recipient of the Javier Cañedo scholarship, created in honor of Javier Cañedo, a close friend and former teammate of multiple members of ASLF, who passed away nearly two years ago.
First Scholarship of 2020-2021 Season
His House Children's Home
On Friday, May 1, founding member Pablo Joseph traveled to His House Children's Home in Homestead to deliver food and soccer balls. He coordinated with Tropical Chinese restaurant, who helped us provide food for over 100 people. His House is a nonprofit, faith-based organization that has provided stability to over 15,000 kids' lives and currently house over 100 kids. In addition to the meals, Pablo brought 50 soccer balls for the kids to play with during the quarantine. They were very grateful, and we are looking forward to working with them in the future.
Fienberg Fisher K-8 Ball Giveaway
Although our on-field events have been halted due to COVID-19, ASLF continues to help the community. On Monday, April 27, founders Daniel and Sebastian Mateu went to Fienberg Fisher, an elementary school on Miami Beach, to give out free balls to students and parents. ASLF recognizes that many kids are becoming restless in isolation. As most children have been under a lockdown for a month and a half now, we found it imperative to give the children at this elementary school an outlet. The kids were ecstatic upon receiving the soccer balls, and hopefully they can now begin to cultivate a passion for soccer.
Winter 2020 Clinic Program
In February, we began our third soccer clinic program at Armbrister Park, originally intended to run 10 weeks. We had many great clinics during this program, including one with the Ransom Everglades Girls Varsity team. For their annual REach project, the girls soccer team joined us for one of our clinics in early March. The kids loved spending time with them. Unfortunately, we were only able to run five clinics this season. As a result of the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus, the city of Miami suspended our permit to hold weekly clinics at Armbrister Park. This effectively ended our third season of clinics. We are disappointed, and would not return to Armbrister Park for the next 18 months.
Fall 2019 Clinic Program
This fall, ASLF ran clinics each Tuesday for 10 weeks at Armbrister Park. The clinics were led by ASLF members and Coach Fernando Chele. We taught and played soccer with students from GW Carver Elementary School.We started each clinic by facilitating some drills and games, and then transitioned into finishing the day with a proper scrimmage. The kids’ immense passion for the game led to some exciting scrimmages, and the participants had a lot of fun competing and learning the game.It was a pleasure to watch the children enjoy the clinics and become better players and people in the process, and we cannot wait to be back in a few months.
Winter 2019 Clinic Program
On January 14, 2019, we launched our first 10-week program at Armbrister Park, in West Coconut Grove. The program ran from the beginning of January and lasted until the beginning of April, providing the kids in the after-school program with professional instruction and a chance to learn the fundamentals of soccer and have fun! With the help of Coach Daniel Villegas, the founding members of ASLF are excited and enthusiastic about beginning their first official program.