International Soccer Network

"Your Source for the Beautiful Game"

Changing Youth Soccer for the Better

ONE United FC is a new face on the Northeast Ohio youth soccer scene.  It is a refreshing alternative to what is currently offered and represents a change in philosophy when it comes to the beautiful game.

The focus of the club is on development. Developing better players, a sense of sportmanship, a passion for the game. ONE United does it all.

Whats makes them different? A lot.

“Other clubs only care about championships,” Coordinator Donnie Fisher stated. “Players weren’t getting developed under that type of system. And parents got sick of the way things were.”

Coaches got sick of the status quo too as it was not moving the game forward. Fisher thinks Ohio could be a national powerhouse, but things have to change.

Cleveland soccer legend Otto Orf shared the same mindset and came on board as the club’s Director of Player Development.

“The East side is way behind the West side in soccer,” Orf remarked. And Orf hopes to change that by improving training sessions through a talented coaching staff.  Training takes place 2-3 times a week, allowing players to spend time with the ball.  A focus on training and not strictly on winning games is a big part of Claudio Reyna’s coaching curriculum recommended by the USSF.

One aspect is year-round training with futsal in the winter.  And no one knows futsal better than Orf, who is considered one of the country’s best experts in this niche style of soccer.

Orf has always been known for employing an intelligent approach to the game, whether it was manning the goal for the Cleveland Crunch and Force or developing his HandsOnSoccer brand after his playing days were over.  Soccer has been Orf’s entire life.

“Otto always wants to give back,” Fisher continued. “He will do anything for the kids.”

While other clubs still use parent coaches, ONE United leaves the training to former pros and highly qualified coaches.  That’s right all coaches at ONE United have at least a “D” license; many had stellar collegiate and professional careers in the game.  It makes sense; proper development and training has to come from the experts, which this club certainly has.

“It’s all about the kids,” Fisher added. “We want parents to be in awe of the kids, the beauty of what they do as kids.”

The club’s Jr. Academy is the result of this thinking.  Putting the best coaches with the youngest players gets results.  They have been doing this in Europe for years.

And ONE United starts young, giving players 5-8 years old age-appropriate training that again focuses on development.  They learn to control and possess the ball, building on those fundamentals and foot skills.

The Jr. Academy will create a new wave of homegrown players that will work through the club’s ranks in the coming years.

Again ONE United looks to be a new approach to youth soccer, where money and championships take the back seat to passion, development, and sportsmanship.  A beautiful approach to the beautiful game.

Category: Youth Soccer