Rafa Marquez and NY Red Bulls Host Clinic with FC Harlem

Rafa Marquez and the New York Red Bulls, in conjunction with The Rafa Marquez Foundation, hosted a clinic with FC Harlem Tuesday afternoon at Manhattan’s Riverside Park.

I’m happy to be here and be able to spend some great time with the kids of FC Harlem who have lent us their facilities to be able to hold the clinic,”
Rafael Marquez

Roughly 25 young athletes, ranging in age from eight to 10 years old, participated in the one-of-a-kind clinic as participants ran through a series of drills ranging from dribbling, defending, ball control and one-on-one tactical work.

Marquez, currently rehabbing a calf injury, has always been a strong believer in lending a hand in the community whenever he can.

“I’m happy to be here and be able to spend some great time with the kids of FC Harlem who have lent us their facilities to be able to hold the clinic,” Marquez said.

Irv Smalls, executive director of FC Harlem, was excited for the community and the young athletes who had the opportunity to once again team up with the Red Bulls, just as they did last season.

“We definitely know the younger kids and the parents appreciate it,” Smalls said, “but I think even for our older kids it’s really important because we’re showing the players that they’re not just players on the field, but they spend time giving back.”

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The New York Red Bulls will support the Rafa Marquez Foundation with a special promotion for the August 19th match against Portland. For every ticket purchased through this special promo code, four dollars will be donated to The Rafa Marquez Foundation. In addition, there will be a silent auction as each of the Red Bulls’ players will donate the shirts off their back on the day of the event.

Marquez will be donating items from his career with FC Barcelona, Atlas and the Mexican National team. These items will be auctioned on the day of the event as well.

Additional information will be available at a later date. Details of the actual merchandise up for auction will be shared on the official Twitter account of Rafa Marquez: @RafaMarquezMX.

Chelsea FC and Right to Play run clinic with FC HARLEM

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HARLEM BLUES

The size of crowds Chelsea draw to our games in the United States is one indicator of the increasing popularity of football in the country, but just as significant is the emergence of specialist community pitches exclusively for the sport in neighbourhoods like New York’s Harlem district.

It was at just such a location that Chelsea Foundation coaches, in conjunction with our global charity partner Right To Play, held sessions for 15 to 17-year-olds from FC Harlem, a youth development programme that uses the power of football to have a positive impact on kids and communities.

‘It has been a fantastic experience to come down and work with these guys and it is great that people had the foresight to look beyond what is already there in the community and squeeze a pitch in.
Ian Woodroffe, Chelsea Foundation international development manager

The facility, an artificial surface suitable for small-sided games which is located near the Hudson River and below one of this part of Manhattan’s iconic, raised railway lines, is one of two FC Harlem use. The other is in central Harlem but it was on the west Harlem site that Chelsea ambassador Graeme Le Saux joined the Foundation coaches for the training and a question and answer session at the end.

‘It is a wonderful community pitch here in the heart of the city and it brings the spirit of football into the communities, and the coaching they are receiving they are really excited about,’ said Le Saux.

‘They asked some really good questions as well. They look at someone who has been in the game and wonder what they can do to have a chance. They obviously play a lot and even if they don’t carry on playing the game in later life they are learning some good life principles.’

Right To Play have a long-standing involvement with FC Harlem which was started by Irv Smalls back in 2006.

‘We had 136 kids in total then and now with different partnerships we have over 1000,’ he told the official Chelsea website.

‘It is all about getting the message out and letting people know we are here. Lot of parents and children are trying different things and there is a community with a large, diverse immigrant background here that already has knowledge of the sport.

‘There are plenty of teams in the New York area to compete against and we also have enrichment activities that focus on healthy lifestyles, developing leaders and homework help.

‘We have talented coaches but when Chelsea come in they teach our kids and our coaches and that is the great thing. We are not saying there is the next Pele here but it is a great way to get the kids introduced to the global game.’

Ian Woodroffe, the Foundation’s international development manager, said: ‘It has been a fantastic experience to come down and work with these guys and it is great that people had the foresight to look beyond what is already there in the community and squeeze a pitch in.

‘The boys have been responding to the opportunity to experience our coaching. We’ve been busy but busy is good. We love to interact and we are here to work with as many people as we can.’

In addition to the work in Harlem, while in New York Chelsea’s Foundation coaches also ran session at Long Island University in conjunction with Samsung. All year round Chelsea are active in the States via our Super Clubs programme.

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Rome2Harlem: Roman High School Students volunteer with FC HARLEM

Students from Rome and FC Harlem players pose for picture at MLS Media Event at FC Harlem Field. (L to R): Kabir Sandrolini, Corey Pierce, Francisco Larios, Aduma, Joseph Koroma, David Hoffman and Leo Estrada.
Students from Rome and FC Harlem players pose for picture at MLS Media Event at FC Harlem Field. (L to R): Kabir Sandrolini, Corey Pierce, Francisco Larios, Aduma, Joseph Koroma, David Hoffman and Leo Estrada.

Soccer was the cataylst for bringing two Roman high school students to Harlem, USA. In March students Kabir Sandrolini and David Hoffman of the St. Stephen’s in Rome, Italy reached out to FC Harlem expressing interest in volunteering with the club while in NYC.

David and Kabir arrived in Harlem during the swealting July heat and got busy being part of the club. They helped sort out soccer inventory at the office and train the U12 team. Kabir and David got to meet some of the FC Harlem u16 and u19 travel team players through pickup matches in addition to attending a Major League Soccer Media event at the FC Harlem Field.

FC Harlem players really enjoyed hanging out with David and Kabir and learning about their experience of attending school in Rome. Soccer can truly bring people around the world together!

Best of luck to Kabir and David!

Tim Howard, FC Harlem Coaches and Grandstand Sports & Memorabilia Host Soccer Clinic

FC Harlem coaches and players pose with Tim Howard. L-R (back) Weusi Baraka, Francisco Larios, Corey Pierce,Irv Smalls, Tim Howard,Magnus Thompson,Kwaisi Ayisi,Lindsay Cunningham, Marquita Richards (front) Edmond Addison,Leo Estrada, Mark Anthony William and Anders Khan
FC Harlem coaches and players pose with Tim Howard. L-R (back) Weusi Baraka, Francisco Larios, Corey Pierce,Irv Smalls, Tim Howard,Magnus Thompson,Kwaisi Ayisi,Lindsay Cunningham, Marquita Richards (front) Edmond Addison,Leo Estrada, Mark Anthony William and Anders Khan

Grandstand Sports & Memorabilia along with US National Team and Everton Goalie Tim Howard and coaches and players of FC Harlem came together to organize a clinic for youth who paid for the opportunity to spend some time with one of the best goalies in the business.

Over 75 partcipants  ages 8 to 17 came as afar away as Texas, Illinois and Virgina for 2 two hour clinics.  Tim and the FC Harlem coaches took the kids through some drills and small sided games indoor at Riverbank State Park.  The clinic then moved to FC Harlem’s new private FieldTurf Field where each player took a shot on goal on the world class.

A few lucky kids sqweaked one by him! It was a great experience for the kids, FC Harlem coaches and Tim Howard.

Barclays Community Service Day with FC Harlem

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Barclays staff joined members of the FC Harlem U16 and U18 Travel Teams for a fun day of community service at the FC Harlem Field on 144th and Riverside Drive.

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Thomas Stafford, Barclay’s employee, long time volunteer of FC Harlem and member of the young professional board organized the day.  The travel team players got the opportunity to engage in a Q&A session with Barclay’s staff learning about the company they recognize as a sponsor of the English Premiere League.

The players and staff then worked side by side cleaning the fields, pulling weeds, vines and picking up trash.  Once the work was done it was game time! The combined teams proved a great workout for everyone.

FC Harlem and Barclay’s plan on future events together.

FC Harlem and Umbro Gear Launch Party @ Atmos 125th St.

FC Harlem alumni and coaches modeling new range at UMBRO Showroom NYC.
FC Harlem alumni and coaches modeling new range at UMBRO Showroom NYC.

Umbro and F.C. Harlem have partnered to launch the club’s new kits, as well as an off-field lifestyle range. Umbro’s celebrated tailoring principles have produced a range that will look great on the new generation of players and supporters coming into the club. A percentage of all sales generated will directly benefit F.C. Harlem in support of its various soccer programs.

The launch party was held at ATMOS sneaker boutique. One of the top 50 sneaker stores in the world.  Members of the fashion, sports and Harlem community checked out the new gear to the tunes of DJ Quiz and the Heavy Hitter Crew.  Refreshments provided by  Heineken.  Check out photos from the event.

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FC Harlem hosts Soccer for Success Winter Tournament for partner Citizen Schools

FC Harlem hosts the winter Soccer for Success Tournament for after school partner Citizen Schools. On a chilly morning in December Citizens Schools brought three of it school sites from Harlem, Bronx and Brooklyn to FC Harlem’s private field. The 30 plus middle school participants braved the chilly morning air to get some fun exercise in before the day started.

FC Harlem Soccer Program Director, Kevin Stein got the day started. FC Harlem U13, U17 and U19 players assisted as refs and provided the participants some pointers about the game. The Urban Assembly of Arts and Letters from Brooklyn took home the trophy.

FC Harlem celebrates a successful Fall soccer season with over 500 parents, kids and volunteers

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FC Harlem ended the 2011 season with a celebration for over 500 parents, kids and volunteers. The celebration was held at the Police Athletic League in Harlem. Everyone enjoyed good music and food. Program Director Kevin Stein and Recreational League Commissioner and parent George Thornton handed out trophies to the kids and acknowledged all the volunteers who helped out during the season. Executive Director Irv Smalls announced the first ever Spring season and a documentary film on the program next season. FC Harlem Travel team players continue to be true testaments of Leaders In Our Neighbors (L.I.O.N.) as they showed up early to set up for the event and stayed late to clean up.

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FC Harlem participates in Partnership for a Healthier America Inaugural Conference Building a Healthier Future

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The Partnership for Healthier America’s Inaugural Conference; Building a Healthier Future, was held in Washington, DC in Novemeber 2011.  The First Lady Michelle Obama and other leaders in the private sector came together to discuss strategies for solving childhood obesity in the United States. Executive Director of FC Harlem, Irv Smalls presented as part of a panel that focused on the importance of physical activity. Shellie Pfohl Moderator and Executive Director for the President’s Council on Fitness, Sport and Nutrition highlighted the success of FC HARLEM’s ability to leverage the public and private sector to develop fields in NYC where land is hard to come by or very expensive. Shellie hopes to visit the FC Harlem in 2012.

visit: www.ahealthieramerica.org

FC Harlem opens youth training field with Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez

Below is an edited version of an original article published on Marcus Samuelsson
Click here to read the original post.

FC Harlem opens youth training field with Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez

It was an exciting day and a huge honor to take part in the unveiling of FC Harlem’s new soccer field yesterday in Riverside Park. The event was filled with a fervent group of kids that got the opportunity to participate in a coaching session directed by the New York Red Bulls. The professional players, Thierry Henry and Rafael Márquez, demonstrated how school subjects such as math also come in handy while playing soccer.  Angles and strategies are important aspects of the game.  It’s amazing what children can learn from soccer. Lessons that I learned from soccer are ones that I have used throughout my life.

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Irv Smalls, Executive Director of FC Harlem said it perfectly when he stated, “This field will allow sports to have a positive influence on the upcoming generation.” It’s inspiring to see that an empty parking lot has been turned into a place for the kids and the community of Harlem to use as a powerful vehicle for social change. This field provides children with a chance to play and creates chances and opportunities to learn and grow from the game of soccer.

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This event truly gave back to the community and it was rewarding to see how revitalizing this soccer field has a positive effect. When it comes down to putting something like this together one must have passion and vision, which Irv Smalls certainly possesses. Now parents have a safe place and an incredible organization to help inspire and empower their children. At the end of the ceremony, a male and a female participant were chosen to kick off the start of this new field. One of the kickers, Sydney Ashton said, “It felt really great kicking the soccer ball. It was nice. It was an exciting day.”

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I have my restaurant Red Rooster here in Harlem and everything that it took to build that establishment correlates with things that I learned on the soccer field: You have to be a teammate, you have to work very hard, you have to listen to your coach, and it’s with the same drive that I obtained from soccer that I have put towards my cooking career. The advice that my coach gave me all those years ago while playing the sport has made me a better chef today. The parents and kids are in great hands with an organization like FC Harlem.

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I expressed to the children who participated in yesterday’s event that eating healthy and making good food choices, such as munching on enough vegetables and eating only a small amount of fried food are key for good eating and athleticism. I encouraged parents to use fresh ingredients and to think about healthy snack options before sending their kids to play soccer. At Red Rooster, we will soon offer kids in the community free cooking classes to teach them about the importance of using fresh and healthy ingredients. I was thankful to be invited to this event because it was a great day for everyone here in Harlem and I thoroughly enjoy supporting anything that is related to benefiting the youth.  When we come together as a community, we can create something really beautiful.

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