CHICAGO – The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced today the Army National Guard (ARNG) as the Official Armed Forces Partner of the NWSL. As part of the partnership, the NWSL will work with the Army National Guard’s Grassroots Soccer (GRS) program, which was created to inform and educate high school-aged soccer players, their parents, club coaches, and high school and college coaches on the benefits of how joining the Guard can assist them with reaching their goals.
“We are very excited to announce our new partnership with the Army National Guard,” Executive Director of the NWSL, Cheryl Bailey said. “It is a unique opportunity to join forces with an organization that has a proven track record of working with young soccer players and their families, and compliments our own goal of growing the sport and providing a professional environment in which young women can achieve their dreams.”
The Army National Guard will have the opportunity to host a “Military Night” with each club during the season, including receiving tickets for ARNG members, participating in the first kick and coin toss, and partaking in a halftime presentation. The ARNG will also have an on-site presence at NWSL games throughout the season, and will receive in-stadium signage at nationally televised games as well as video and public address announcements to build awareness of the Army National Guard’s Grassroots Soccer (GRS) program.
In addition, the NWSL Player of the Month award, which recognizes the top overall player, will now be known as the Army National Guard Player of the Month.
During ARNG’s Grassroots Soccer events, players and parents can learn of the many benefits offered by the National Guard to include tuition assistance, health benefits, and exciting career skills for more than 150 jobs.
By collaborating with ARNG, soccer athletes receive training tips from the experts, enhance their soccer skills and have an opportunity to demonstrate those skills in front of college coaches, top-ranked national players and Olympic team soccer players.
“The Army National Guard is excited to partner with the NWSL in 2014”, said Sgt. 1st Class David Therrell, program manager for the National Guard’s soccer program. “Together, the National Guard Grassroots Soccer program and NWSL are teaming up to help high school soccer players reach their goals and explore opportunities for their college education.”
The National Guard serves both state and federal governments. The Guard’s primary mission is to serve local communities in support of disaster relief efforts such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, however, most Guard units are combat-trained and can be deployed overseas in support of our national priorities. Whether the call is coming from the Governor or directly from the President of the United States, Guard Soldiers are always ready and always there.
In more than 3,200 locations, there is a National Guardsmen in nearly every community. The incredible versatility of National Guard members enables its troops to respond to domestic emergencies, support our national defense strategy, provide counterdrug support, assist in overseas reconstruction efforts and more – all with equal speed, strength and efficiency.