Editor’s Note: On Dec. 18, US Club Soccer announced the first-ever class of Players First-licensed clubs, which featured 46 clubs from 19 states. In the weeks to follow, those clubs will be highlighted with Q&As from their directors.
Question: Why did Liverpool FC International Academy America Texas apply for Players First licensing?
Tom Blencoe, Boys Director of Coaching for Liverpool FC International Academy America Texas: The Players First pillars matched up with our club’s philosophy, so it was a complete natural move to apply. We have always had a great relationship with US Club and look forward to continuing this now and in the future. We have always been a player centered club and believe that we are leading the way in coaching development with our programs and pathway for our staff. Being a Players First club, as well as our parent engagement within the organization, will help us push on with this. The relationship between the coach, player and parent is key to our overall success and is something we know having a Players First license will highlight.
Question: What does it mean for Liverpool FC International Academy America Texas to now be an official Players First-licensed club?
Blencoe: We are honored to be one of the 46 clubs to be recognized as a Players First-licensed club across the nation. We are in great company and would like to congratulate all organizations on this accomplishment. The resources provided will only help in our education of everyone associated with the club.
Question: What makes Players First licensing different from other initiatives or programs your club has participated in?
Blencoe: The application process was incredibly detailed and the follow-up communication just highlighted the professionalism of the initiative and the people behind it. The application didn’t just focus on the end result but the process behind it. Success is defined by each player reaching their true potential as a player and person. We also look forward to growing our network with other top clubs that share in the Players First model.
Question: What would you like the parents of Liverpool FC International Academy America Texas to know about what this means to them?
Blencoe: We would like them to feel proud. We are a family club and it belongs to everyone involved, and we can’t be successful and continue to develop players through our programs and pathway without their support. Feel proud that you have your child in a place that was selected as one of the top clubs in the country, and be excited about this next piece of our long-term developing pathway. We are a full-service club and provide the best and right environment for all players and every level.
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible environment for players of all ages.
Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.
US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership.