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August 18, 2014

US Merchant Marine Academy Soccer Team Leads Youth Soccer Clinic

For the third consecutive year the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy soccer team ran a youth soccer skills clinic for the Long Beach Soccer Club.  The team demonstrated skills, gave instruction, and played games with a number of young players at Veterans Memorial Field at Long Beach Middle School.  The players ranged from ages 6-12 and were taught about proper sportsmanship as well as soccer fundamentals.

"It is great to see the youngsters learn more about the game and having fun while doing it” said USMMA Head Soccer Coach Michael Smolens.  “Our guys also gain a lot from the experience.  It is terrific that our players get to share their knowledge of the game with the kids, and they truly enjoyed the interactions during the clinic."

The Long Beach Soccer Club strives to provide developmental and competitive soccer for community children ages 4-19 in a safe and nurturing environment.  Over the last three years, USMMA's relationship with the Long Beach Soccer Club has been mutually beneficial.

"When coaching youth sports, our goal is that the players apply the lessons and skills we teach beyond the playing field," said Mary Conway of the Long Beach Soccer Club.  "Having the young men from the Merchant Marine Academy come down not only gave our children some great lessons on soccer, but also some great role models to look up to."

The USMMA soccer team opens the season Labor Day weekend at the College of Staten Island Tournament.