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European Style Soccer Comes to Dundalk
-Article & photo by Ben Boehl
When it comes to soccer in America, how do we get better as a nation? Maybe the best answer is to bring in teachers from outside the country. That is what Back River and now Eastfield rec. councils have done by bringing European soccer players to the United States.
“We brought them over here to teach our kids on how they play in Europe. how to play the game properly,” said Mike Baxter, who has run the program the past six years. Baxter ran the program at the Back River Rec. Council for the first five years, but decided

European coach/player Omar Ullah directs the youngsters on how to play European soccer.
to move the program down to Dundalk/Eastfield this year.
“I decided to bring this (program) down to Dundalk because Eastfield is a bigger rec. council and I knew we would get more kids to come out,” Baxter added.
He was right, as over 60 kids came out for the week long camp from July 6 - 10 on the field behind the North Point Government Center in Dundalk.
Challenger British Soccer is a program that has around 90 players/coaches serving the Maryland, Delaware and southern Pennsylvania areas. These players spend the week at a host family and move on to the next town from May to September.
For some of the players, this is their first trip to the United States.
 Aaron Allanson, 21, is making his first trip across the pond from England and is enjoying his time in the United States.
“It is everything that I had expected,” Allanson said. “The people here in America are really friendly and outgoing all the time.”
One thing Allanson has noticed is America is a country that loves its sports, but one of those sports is not soccer.
“We are trying to promote soccer. It's one of our main sports in England, but it has a long way to go in the United States,” Allanson said.
Omar Ullah is a 29-year-old player/coach that says he sees the kids learn a lot even though it's only in the course of a week.
“We want them to have fun all week,” Ullah said. “We don't want them to think of our teaching as drills and skills because they think they are playing a game.”