It was a typical Tuesday training session for head coach Jose Serate and members of the Kansas City Kansas Soccer Association (KCKSA).
Then, Allstate and former Kansas City and USMNT goalkeeper Tony Meola gave the kids a training session they will not soon forget. With Allstate, Meola talked about how to have success on the field, but also told the team how to deal with everyday problems they may encounter.
“This is a small part of their life today,” Meola said. “One day they will see what it meant and they will pass it on.”
Not only did Meola come with good advice, but teamed with Allstate, KCKSA now has new jerseys, training suits, practice balls, bags, and training equipment. The team had a penalty kick contest for MLS All-Star jerseys and were able to get soccer balls and jerseys signed by the former pro.
“I took so much from the game for 20 years,” Meola mentioned. “Us athletes who take and take every day, but this is a chance to go around the country and give back. These kids are lucky now, they have equipment for the rest of the year. Coaches don’t have to worry about logistical things like who has training equipment.”
The best surprise for the kids and coaches were free tickets for the MLS All-Star game against Italian side AS Roma at Sporting Park.
Allstate not only gave the kids equipment to use, but gave them advice for the future.
“We as coaches preach what it is to be a leader and how to give back to the community. When they hear it from somebody who has achieved it at a high level, like Tony, it speaks volumes,” Serate noted.
Baker Holstrom, an Allstate agency owner in both Kansas and Missouri, also noted that the company is there to show that they care for the community.
“We are trying to get kids involved in the sport who may have a single parent or whose families are on the lower end of the spectrum. We want to get our faces out there and let people know that we are out there.”