Men's Soccer Teams With LAFC
The LAFC hosts soccer-themed events and community programs to keep kids off the streets.
LOS ANGELES - On Friday, March 13, the LMU men's soccer program teamed with the Los Angeles Futbol Club Youth Leadership Academy (LAFC) to run a "Friday Night Skills & Drills" event at the Augustus Hawkins High School Soccer Field.
This marked the second time the Lion squad has joined with the LAFC, a groundbreaking youth mentoring community partnership established with the Los Angeles Police Department to serve South Los Angeles. The program, in just its second year of existence, hosts soccer-themed events and community programs to keep kids off the streets in an area surrounded by five major gang neighborhoods and a crime rate 60% higher than the city average.
In addition, the LAFC internship program trains and mentors at-risk high school students to organize and coach year-round soccer leagues and programs for youth in the neighborhood - providing job skills and creating an ecosystem of leadership and responsibility in the community.
On March 13, LMU men's soccer players teamed with the LAFC mentors to coordinate that evening's clinic for the local youth.
"For our mentors and local youth to kick the ball around with someone who plays collegiate soccer, who may play in the MLS someday, is huge," said LAFC Director Anthony Cummings. "The opportunity get these kids off the streets, to expose them to possible mentors, to have a safe space to play soccer, to develop them into leaders, to teach them the value of commitment. The impact of this we probably can't even begin to measure right now."
LMU players helped run skill drills and small games, and later spoke to the group of approximately 150 kids about the commitment it takes to be a Division I college athlete.
Associate Head Coach Michael Erush hopes to continue to build the relationship with LAFC, making future appearances at their events, while also bringing the LAFC members to LMU's campus.
"It's been a fantastic opportunity for our players to reach out to the local community as well as expose the kids in the LAFC program to the opportunities that exist out there for them," said Erush.
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