The Spokane Sounders are extremely honored to be named a Players First club, a program created by US Club Soccer to recognize clubs around the nation that are committed to providing an exceptional player development experience through the proper facilitation of relationships with their coaches, parents and players.

The Spokane Sounders are the only and first club in the region east of the Cascades to receive Players First recognition from US Club Soccer and one of eight in the entire northwest. Five other teams from western Washington represent the state and the other are based in the greater-Portland area. There were no representatives for Idaho or Montana.

Pillars of the program revolve around Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety.

“As a club that strives to create the best opportunities for and development of our players on and off the pitch, we are honored to be among the members of US Club Soccer’s Players First program,” said Technical Director Abbas Faridnia.

The Players First community is diverse, featuring variations of club infrastructure, levels of national prominence and extending to suburbs, cities and rural areas alike. All these clubs share at least one commonality: the Players First philosophy.

“We believe this to be the most rigorous and comprehensive attempt in U.S. Soccer history to identify those clubs that have demonstrated a commitment to creating the kind of infrastructure and culture necessary to provide the best overall environment for players,” US Club Soccer CEO Kevin Payne said.

The Players First program features a robust selection process that analyzes items such as:
– Club Leadership Expertise and Development
– Staff Education and Development
– Player Health and Safety
– Training and Competition Structure
– Staffing Structure
– Parent Education and Engagement

The following are the Philosophical Commitments of a Players First Club:

– Players First represents a club’s commitment to placing the long-term interests of each individual player at the heart of every decision in structuring, operating, and managing a club.
– Players First represents a club’s commitment to providing a holistic approach in player development for all of your players, recognizing that the soccer experience must include lessons and opportunity both on the field and off.
– Players First represents a club’s commitment as professionals in youth development to expect ongoing learning, education and development from all staff members in order to ensure that players have the benefit of best-in-class information and resources in teaching and training young athletes.
– Players First represents a club’s commitment to engage with and educate parents to help them understand and embrace the appropriate expectations and roles for them in their child’s overall soccer and athletic development experience.

Other Northwest Members
Crossfire Premier (Redmond)
Eagleclaw FC (Seattle)
ISC Gunners FC (Issaquah)
Mt Rainier FC (Bonney Lake)
Washington Premier FC (Puyallup)
Soccer Chance Academy (Portland)
Tualatin Hills United SC (Portland)


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