Saturday's Viaduct Fields Fall Youth Soccer Festival is free and open fun
In the wake of the U.S. men's national team failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, one of the many criticisms entangled in the discussion about American soccer has revolved around the sport's suburban-centric, pay-to-play reality and the lack of no-cost programs and playing opportunities in cities and underserved communities.
There's a lot to unpack and examine on that topic, and plenty of great people and groups are working to address it in Milwaukee – for purposes of both American soccer improvement and positive youth development. But in the meantime, what better way to celebrate the global game and bring the local community together than with a day of fun, free and family-friendly open soccer?
The 2017 Fall Youth Soccer Festival, presented by the Milwaukee Torrent Community Foundation, is on Saturday, Nov. 4 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Viaduct Fields, 212 S. 35th St. under the 35th Street viaduct along Canal Street in the Menomonee Valley. The Festival is for all kids ages 7-13 – with a mini-camp for kids ages 2-6 from 4 to 6 p.m. – and is completely free. Parents, of course, are welcome too.
The event is not a tournament, and children don't need to be part of a team or a club to participate; they can simply show up and play in small-sided games in an organized-but-informal environment that introduces the sport, encourages youth and hopefully helps unite different parts of Milwaukee's local soccer and city development communities. Besides games and clinics, the Fall Soccer Festival will also feature food trucks, T-shirts and refreshments.
The Milwaukee Torrent Community Foundation's vision is to use the Viaduct Fields "to provide an integrative youth soccer community, drawing children from neighborhoods, schools, and other organizations city-wide … for soccer programming provided to (1) children who cannot afford the cost of joining a soccer organization and (2) organizations who share the mission of providing low- or no-cost soccer programs to City of Milwaukee children." According to the Foundation, the Viaduct Fields Mission is a key part of its 2018 community outreach plans, which also include afterschool programming in partnership with Milwaukee schools and a Spring City Cup.
Whether your kid wants to be the next American soccer star or just have a good time kicking the ball around on one of the last fall weekends before it really starts to feel like winter, the Viaduct Fields will be the place to be on Saturday afternoon.
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