Homeless Soccer Champs in D.C.

Tourney to help decide USA team for World Cup

DC United and the Washington Freedom aren't the only local stars of the pitch.  Don't forget about the DC Knights, the city's entrant in Street Soccer USA.

SSUSA is a program for homeless soccer players.  They self-describe as "the official U.S partner of the Homeless World Cup and organizes the U.S national team.  SSUSA comprises a network of programs in 18 cities from Los Angeles to New York using sports as a development tool to connect homeless teens and adults to jobs, education, and a better life."

Through regular games, practices and outreach efforts, SSUSA helps homeless people land on their feet.  SSUSA says that they succeed in improving the quality of life -- whether a job, education, or treatment -- in over 75 percent of the people in the program.

D.C.'s team, which practices Wednesday nights, is going to play in this year's Street Soccer USA Cup.  The Cup, which will match teams from around the country, will be played in D.C. from July 31 through August 2.  Matches will be held at the Washington Kastles Stadium at 10th and H Street.  The winning team will receive the Leonsis Trophy.  (Hey, that name sounds familiar!)

The USA Cup will also serve as the tryouts for the USA team, which was recently written up in the NY Times. The national team will travel to Milan, Italy, to be part of the 2009 Homeless World Cup.  And perhaps most important, 28 of the 32 previous national participants no longer live on the streets.  That's bad for team chemistry, but great news for those who take part.

They're looking for volunteers who are willing to help out during the Cup.  If you're interested, be sure to check out SSUSA's Web site.

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