Rise News



RISE is honored to be awarded the Players First license from US Club Soccer after completing the rigorous application process. RISE joins more than 100 clubs in a movement that has elevated youth soccer standards by bringing the Players First philosophy to 29 states across the country. RISE is one of only two clubs in Houston to have this licensing.

“This is truly a major win for everyone at RISE. The Player First license, not only validates our approach, but it also exemplifies our commitment to excellence. As Player Development Staff, we work very hard to ensure that every player at RISE, regardless of their level of play, is prepared to advance to the next level they desire,” said Technical Director, Vedad Hadzajlic.

“We believe this to be the most rigorous and comprehensive attempt in U.S. Soccer history to identify those clubs that have demonstrated a commitment to creating the kind of infrastructure and culture necessary to provide the best overall environment for players,” said US Club Soccer CEO Kevin Payne.

Players First is a branded, holistic club soccer experience for parents and players, which emphasizes the development of each individual to his or her full potential, and helps parents make better choices about where their children should play. This is youth soccer’s “Good Housekeeping Seal” and all Players First-licensed clubs stand out locally and nationally as improving the club soccer experience.

The application includes seven sections, in which clubs must demonstrate their commitment to the Players First pillars:

  • Club and Applicant Information
  • Club Leadership Expertise and Development
  • Staff Education and Development
  • Player Health and Safety
  • Training and Competition Structure
  • Staffing Structure
  • Parent Education and Engagement

Philosophical Commitments of a Players First Club

  • Players First represents our club’s commitment to placing the long-term interests of each individual player at the heart of every decision in structuring, operating, and managing our club.
  • Players First represents our club’s commitment to providing a holistic approach in player development for all of our players, recognizing that the soccer experience must include lessons and opportunity both on the field and off.
  • Players First represents our club’s commitment as professionals in youth development to expect ongoing learning, education and development from all of our staff members in order to ensure that our players have the benefit of best-in-class information and resources in teaching and training young athletes.
  • Players First represents our club’s commitment to engage with and educate parents to help them understand and embrace the appropriate expectations and roles for them in their child’s overall soccer and athletic development experience.

US Club Soccer Announcement:

Players First-Licensed Clubs:

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