Monday, August 2, 2010

2010 Street Soccer USA Cup

For the second year in a row, I headed over to Kastles Stadium in downtown DC to photograph the finals of the Street Soccer USA Cup. A warm-up to the Homeless World Cup -- being held in September in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -- the SSUSA Cup is both a tryout for the national team and a chance for participating players to meet and share their stories of surviving life on the streets.

Street Soccer USA is a great program, one that teaches responsibility and encourages turning one's life around through sport. I posted a brief snippet from their website last year, so I thought I'd do it again.

Across the country, SSUSA programs work with homeless youth and adults, building community, fostering a sense of belonging and accountability, and setting goals for a better future with the participants. Since 2005, 28 of our 32 National Team alumni have moved off and stayed off the street since being part of SSUSA. And to date, over seventy-five percent of the participants change their lives for the better including securing full-time jobs, long-term housing, and freedom from addiction and mental health afflictions.
Team Montgomery County (MD) prays together before taking the pitch:

A Montgomery County player settles the ball before putting it past the LA keeper:

A team Los Angeles player tries to out-hustle a Montgomery County player in the third-place game.

Team San Francisco's keeper is consoled by the team's manager after losing in the finals:

Players from around the country that were told minutes earlier that they were on the short-list for the trip to Brazil and a chance to represent the United States at the 2010 Homeless World Cup:

And finally, a sequence of pictures of the team San Francisco keeper making a great save against Russia in the finals: