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
coach/player Omar Ullah directs the youngsters on how to play European
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,”
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
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.”