Ironbound Soul (American Soccer League) midfielder Jonathan Bilbao signs autographs with fans (Photo by Joe Linhart).
Clinics to be Hosted at JC Handly Sports Complex in Tampa as Part of Find A Dream All-Star Weekend
Non-profit organization Find A Dream will be partnering with the professional American Soccer League (ASL) for its upcoming All-Star Weekend in Tampa, providing free soccer clinics to youth in the area on Thursday, March 12th. Scheduled for 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at JC Handly Sports Complex, the clinics will be spearheaded by ASL Commissioner and former Major League Soccer coach Matt Driver, along with Brandon Area Youth Soccer Director Rocco Pecora.
“The philosophy of the American Soccer League is to give American players the opportunity to get to the next rung on the ladder of professional soccer in this country,” stated Matt Driver, ASL Commissioner. “We are dedicated to creating those opportunities, first and foremost to American players who may not otherwise have the chance to continue pursuing their professional dreams. Find A Dream is similar in its own philosophy in that it provides kids with alternative opportunities, and we see that as a perfect platform for our two groups to work together. Their mission statement and our mission statement are one in the same, and this synergistic relationship is going to be very beneficial for both of our organizations.”
Also the head coach of the West Florida Flames Competitive Program (U8 to U19), Brandon Area Youth Soccer Director Rocco Pecora will serve as a lead instructor for the two-hour clinic, and the hospitality of his club led to this event becoming a reality.
“We have a 40-year heritage of providing soccer for our community at every level,” Pecora remarked. “The big opportunity for us is to help these kids with the drive to find their own level. We were fortunate to be recognized as the Florida Youth Soccer Recreational Program of the Year, so our foundation of playing soccer for fun is there. Along with Matt Driver, the American Soccer League and Find A Dream, we look forward to being part of this event and helping out the kids.
“As coaches, the odds of us producing a national team player are 0.001%, but the odds of us producing good citizens are 100%.”
Anyone who would like to participate in this free soccer clinic is invited on March 12th to the JC Handly Sports Complex, which is located at 3104 South Kings Avenue in Tampa. No registration is needed beforehand, and all are welcome. Along with Driver and Pecora, additional ASL coaches and players will run the two-hour session.
For more information regarding Find A Dream, visit www.FindADream.org. Also, make sure to keep up with the latest news and happenings of Find A Dream by following the foundation on social media: @FindADream1
FIND A DREAM ALL-STAR GOLF EVENT
Also part of the weekend, some very notable athletes will take part in the 2015 Find A Dream All-Star Golf Event on Saturday, March 14th, which is being hosted by the Tampa Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at the TPC Tampa Bay Golf Resort. All proceeds raised through the 2015 Find A Dream All-Star Golf Event will benefit various programs that are operated by the non-profit foundation. Among the scheduled guests for the Find A Dream All-Star Golf Event include Basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving, along with current and former National Football League stars Lawrence Taylor, Brian Kelly, Clinton Portis, Duce Staley, LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles, Antonio Pierce, Plaxico Burress, Tim Tebow, Laveranues Coles, Fred Taylor, Jevon Kearse, Rudi Johnson, Vernon Carey, Channing Crowder, Samari Rolle and Lito Sheppard. UFC light heavyweight Rashad Evans is also slated to appear, along with a healthy list of former world champion boxers and contenders in Ray Mercer, Michael Moorer, Bobby Czyz, Gerry Cooney, James Smith, Don Steele and Sal Cenicola.
Sponsorship opportunities are still available for this exclusive event, with your involvement lending a hand to inner-city youths nationwide. If interested, please contact Matt Howard of Find A Dream at firstname.lastname@example.org.