Coach: Chris Mann
Organization: Mather Community Campus
About the Program
Formed in 2008, the Sacramento Street Soccer USA team, affiliated with the Mather Community Campus, is in its second year of participation and looking to return to the US Cup in 2010. Chris Mann, a 15 year veteran of Volunteers of America, acts as program director, coach, and case manager for the Sacramento squad, whose numbers stretch to 15-20 during training sessions. The core team of six made the trip to DC for the 2009 U.S. Cup and received the Ray Bemebei Trophy for Fair Play.
Mather Community Campus is a transitional living program at the former Mather Air Force Base. Mather is a self-sufficient community, with 193 apartment complexes housing 55 families who participate in groups, meetings, employment and training opportunities on site. Members of the SSUSA Sacramento team are selected from the Mather community, which uses a structured system for admittance that includes multiple interview rounds and requires members to be working in a recovery program, have a work history, be employable, and open to change.
Recently, the core Sacramento team competed in the Men’s Open thanks to a gift from Robert Mills, owner of the Metro City Soccer Indoor Arena in Rnacho Cordova. The team also raised more than $1,250 to fund their trip to the U.S. Cup when Chris his participation in the Napa Vintage Half Ironman Triathlon to ask for donations to SSUSA.
The tight-knit squad plans to attend the D.C. Cup in 2010, and are working on securing a facility for training. Chris also aims to bring the SSUSA platform to juvenile justice programs in the Sacramento area to bring awareness to these vulnerable populations, presenting SSUSA Sacramento as an outlet and support system for sustained rehabilitation when released.
Chris describes the impact in 2009 as “incredible.” All six players who competed in the U.S. Cup that year are in stable living and working situations and, further, are sober and have been so for more than two years. Most impressively, players are giving back to the community and helping others get off the streets through the Mather Community Campus or extended community engagement through SSUSA. Wes Colter was named to the 2009 Street Soccer USA National Team and is now a coach with Street Soccer USA Sacramento as well as a substance abuse counselor for youth who are released from the Juvenile Justice System.
In The Media
Paid for by Street Soccer USA
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