The World's Game In The Heart of the Sun Belt

Champions League final events in Atlanta

Saturday’s European Champions League final is always a terrific appetizer in a World Cup year, and a couple of viewing parties in Atlanta are going beyond the usual.

Soccer in the Streets is sending four metro Atlanta youngsters to South Africa, host nation for the World Cup, and also where the FIFA Football for Hope Festival is taking place.

SITS is holding a fundraiser/ECL viewing party at Diesel Atlanta, 870 N. Highland Ave., from 1-6 p.m. Proceeds from drink specials will go toward travel expenses.

The Bayern Munich-Inter Milan game is also the centerpiece for the first Atlanta Soccer Artfest to be held at the Blue Tower Gallery, 675 Metropolitan Ave. That event runs from 2-11 p.m.

Kickoff from the Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid is 2:30 p.m. and is on the Fox broadcast network, the first time it has shown soccer. Martin Tyler, legendary British announcer who will calling the World Cup for ESPN, will have the play-by-play via the Sky Sports simulcast.

Gabrielle Marcotti has the definitive game preview.

May 21, 2010   No Comments

It’s Atlanta Derby Day!

You don’t have to get all gussied up, or wear a fancy hat, or gulp down mint juleps — unless you want to — but there’s a little game down at Badgett Park in College Park Saturday featuring two Atlanta sides that might get your Derby juices flowing.

Okay, it’s only a exhibition, but Atlanta FC vs. the Atlanta Blackhawks is part of a full day of action on Soccer in the Streets Day. It’s the closest thing to a soccer Derby that we’ve got around here.

The SITS Under-12 team plays at 1 p.m., followed by its Under-14 team at 3 p.m. with the Derby-of-sorts (Battle of Atlanta?) kicking off at 5 p.m. The Under-19 squad plays at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free for the whole enchilada. Badgett Park is located at 3636 College Street in the heart of College Park.

Our good friend Jason Longshore of SITS talks to the NPSL Insider about his involvement with the FC.

The Blackhawks are back for their second season in the Professional Development League, which is under the auspices of the United Soccer Leagues.

Update: Final score is Atlanta FC 2, Atlanta Blackhawks 0.

Things appear to have settled down in lower-division North American soccer since last summer’s fiasco between the USL and some breakaway owners, including the Atlanta Silverbacks, who may or not be playing in the newly-formed NASL next season.

The AJC talks to the Atlanta-based Nu Rock Soccer Holdings duo who bought the USL stable, a transaction that set off the firestorm, but it doesn’t really express how hostile matters got.

The Atlanta Beat remains on the road tonight, playing Philadelphia in a battle of expansion teams. But the Beat’s new home is just about done, and they’re inviting everyone up to Kennesaw Sunday afternoon to have a look around.

Update: The Beat remains winless after falling 1-0 to the Independence.

May 1, 2010   1 Comment

A passion for soccer that helps others

Live the Pitch profiles Jason Longshore of Atlanta-based Soccer in the Streets, who truly embodies that organization’s objectives to help young people live better lives. His unselfish passion for the game, and those youngsters who benefit from his time and effects, also have a reciprocal effect:

“I can see the benefit it has for the kids that I work with but I don’t think they necessarily see how much it benefits me. I love it. My job motivates me to get up every day. I have worked jobs that I did not enjoy, dread going in, dread getting up, you just don’t enjoy your life. Doing something like this, no matter how much work it is or how hard it is, I am motivated by the fact that I am making a difference. A lot of these kids just need somebody to talk to that cares, that’s the most important thing, I mean I think of them like they are my little brothers.”

It’s such a rare and precious thing to know this in your heart and soul, and to be able to live it.

October 9, 2009   No Comments

Soccer in the Streets bash just around the corner

On Sunday Soccer in the Streets will hold its 20th anniversary celebration at the Park Tavern at Monroe and 10th in Midtown Atlanta.

You can purchase tickets online here for $50 per adult, and $15 per child age 12 and under. It features a black-tie celebrity game at nearby Piedmont Park, followed by a barbecue dinner, auctions, raffles and a concert.

Like most everything else SITS does, the proceeds will go toward its programs to help underprivileged children.

On Friday, Comcast Sports Southeast (Channel 45 on Comcast) will interview SITS executive director Jill Robbins about the event during its “SportsNite” program. That show airs at 6 p.m.

October 1, 2009   No Comments

Pledge a player at Soccer in the Streets

I don’t have to explain to many of you in Atlanta about the impact Soccer in the Streets has had on the lives of kids who’ve needed the special attention that organization has provided.

As the Atlanta-based group gets ready to celebrate its 20th anniversary, it’s asking its supporters and others to make a pledge to help disadvantaged youths in a novel way. And after so many years of finding creative approaches to address a persisting, pressing need, that’s saying something.

Here’s a link to a video and the outline of the sponsorship program designed to help kids attend the life skills program at SITS, purchase equipment and gear for them to play soccer and to help fund community outreach programs.

Here’s more on the upcoming anniversary fundraising gala on Oct. 4 at the Park Tavern.

September 25, 2009   1 Comment