City Football Club (“City FC™”), a program of DC Stoddert Soccer, was established in 2007 to provide District youth with a program combining competitive soccer and futsal with first-rate mentorship and college preparation. City FC™ is organized exclusively for charitable purposes as an educational non-profit. Its objective is to bring together the city’s youth for educational and recreational opportunities, including but not limited to soccer and futsal.
To learn more about City FC™, please visit www.CityFC.org or connect with us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/cityfc.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
City FC™ relies on the generous support of individual, corporate and Foundation donors to cover operating expenses associated with its programs throughout the school year. 100 percent of all gifts received will help underwrite scholarships to youth participants from economically-disadvantaged areas in the District of Columbia and suburban areas. If you’d like to make a donation to City FC™, click HERE.
Additionally, City FC™ hosts happy hours and other special events in an effort to generate support for ongoing programs and to encourage fellow soccer enthusiasts to socialize. Visit the City FC website for a current list of upcoming events in the metropolitan Washington, DC area.
City FC™ was created by Dan Driscoll and Roy Kelly, the boys’ varsity soccer coaches at the School Without Walls, a D.C. public high school. The pair – former youth teammates on the DC Stoddert Blackhawks – saw a need to improve the level of coaching and academic guidance provided to soccer players in DC Public Schools and concluded that access (financial, logistical and informational) was the most significant barrier keeping the District’s talented pool of student-athletes from achieving their potential in the classroom, on the field and in their lives, generally. They figured a free, volunteer-run soccer/mentorship program would help address this, and after the 2007 fall soccer season set themselves to create such a program in City FC™.
Their efforts began with an informal futsal pickup held each weekend at Turkey Thicket Recreational Center in Northeast D.C. Participation blossomed from just a few School Without Walls kids to an average of more than 35 kids each week, coming from a variety of other DCPS schools like Bell, Cardozo, Banneker, McKinley, Roosevelt and Wilson. On some weekends, as many as 80 kids turned out for these sessions, where they played with one another as well as adult friends of Driscoll and Kelly. This fun and socially stimulating series of meetups would become the building block for the rest of the program.
The kids pushed the coaches to create a formal team, and the coaches were happy to oblige. More volunteers were recruited from DC's adult soccer community, serving as academic tutors and mentors, in addition to coaching. Over countless hours spent in gyms and on fields, driving car-loads of kids to games and events all over town, this dedicated corps of early volunteers--Andrea Fishman, Aron Gyorgy, Yinka Oyeleran, Zach Straus--got to know the kids as more than just players, learning about their day-to-day lives. From the hilarious high-school hijinks to downright depressing family stories, those moments are among the most cherished and memorable for mentors and mentees.
Between 2008 and 2011, the club went on to offer non-athletic services like SAT/ACT prep, subject-specific tutoring, college application essay assistance, job interview training and countless hours of informal mentorship while just hanging out, riding to Germantown Sportsplex or watching DC United at RFK. Also in 2008, a vital personnel addition was made. City FC welcomed Cara Rooney with open arms to serve as coach, treasurer, fundraising coordinator and our representative on Stoddert's executive board. She brought with her a keen eye for planning detail and a pragmatism that has been critical to the success of our programming ever since.
During those years, City FC™ reached a high of six teams: four outdoor and two futsal teams for boys and girls, respectively, competing in MSI Classic, NCSL and DC Stoddert's High School Recreational Divisions. Also in 2011, Kelly along with crack volunteer coaches Marc Servais and Kevin Richards, took the boys U-19 futsal team all the way to the USFF National Championship Tournament in Anaheim CA, where they crushingly lost the final in penalties! What a team that was. Eight players from eight different countries, all living in the U.S.!
After sending off it's final group of seniors to college in 2011, the club underwent a restructuring and now concerns itself solely with the promotion and development of Futsal as an urban youth development tool. The primary means of achieving this has been the creation of "City Fives," the winter futsal league for DC area student-athletes of all socio-economic backgrounds and from all over the city. We are proud to offer a no-questions-asked scholarship policy for kids from low-income families without sacrificing the quality of the overall experience provided. The younger age groups receive technical and tactical instruction from highly qualified coaches as well as an introduction to the competitive game with full matches officiated using FIFA rules. The High School division is the flagship of the league, in which the older kids compete for top honors in an environment suited for maximum performance and enhanced experience. Sturdy tournament-quality goals, a three man officiating crew, and a weekly online posting of team and individual stats lets the players feel like pros once a week, bringing out the best in each one.
The goal of City Fives is to provide the highest quality competitive youth futsal experience in the DC area for student-athletes of all socio-economic backgrounds, without allowing the registration fee to be a barrier for lower income families. The future of the program will see the re-introduction of traditional City FC™ academic and mentorship programming through a network of well-regarded partners in the fields of high school academic tutoring, SAT/ACT prep and workforce development.