On September 8th 2012, David Richardson, President and Technical Director of Sockers FC sat down and discussed several areas of the Sockers program from its very first inception in 1986.
(Picture, David Richardson. President and Technical Director)
"The club was formed in 1986 under Soccer Enterprises by Peter Richardson with two teams, one U19 and U17 boys’ team to bring a new approach to organized soccer. These teams started out in the indoor facility and were actually called the Soccer City Sockers at the time. It was part of a group of better players that just wanted to play together and have something more. These players wanted opportunities not just locally but nationally and internationally. Within two years we had 1975, 1974, 1973, 1972 and 1971 boys teams (birth years), plus the two original teams that were a collection of 1967, 1968 and 1969 boys. The 1975 (U12 boys) actually won the Illinois State Cup Championship. Things kind of spiraled from there when Batata (Nilton "Batata" Da Silva) and I started doing this full time while playing indoor soccer together at the Chicago Power as professional players. After five years we had two or three coaches and five teams. Then, we all started getting serious about training, not just when we were not playing ourselves.”
“For the early years it was all boys’ teams. Things started to get more serious around the country. We were one of the only programs training indoor throughout the winter and taking our teams nationally to compete. The first girl’s team came in 1997; it was a U13 girl’s team. This was a good thing for us and as soccer changed nationally with the MLS (Major League Soccer) forming, we started attracting other people that wanted to follow our aspirations. We traveled with our teams to Europe. All these things were exciting because the club was really starting to take shape.”
“In the 2000's, we were winning Illinois State Cup Championships yearly at this point. The U18 girls won their first State title in 2001 which added something special. I took the responsibility as President from a director position to carry on the solid foundation that had already been built.”
“Recently, the game has changed and so did the club; we stopped competing in Illinois State Cup Championships because we took our US Soccer Development Academy opportunity; more recently we gained entry into the Elite Club National League (ECNL) with the girls and the club competes in the National Premier League (NPL). These things give great opportunities for our players.”
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