TULSA – As FC Tulsa looks to grow the game of soccer in all corners of the Tulsa community, the club has worked at the Tulsa Dream Center, which serves underprivileged youth in North Tulsa, over the last two weeks to build a soccer pitch, train volunteer coaches and provide goals and soccer equipment.
On October 10, the project began as FC Tulsa staff got to work striping the field, setting up goals, and delivering donated equipment to the Dream Center to use for soccer. FC Tulsa community partner Mac's Soccer Shack helped by donating numerous pieces of gear and equipment to assist in the project while another community partner, Open Goaaal, donated soccer balls to ensure that every Dream Center child would take home their very own ball.
Later that week, FC Tulsa head coach Michael Nsien, fresh off a 2020 season where he led the club to a playoff berth, alongside members of the Tulsa soccer community helped put on a coach's clinic to help volunteer coaches grow their knowledge of the game of soccer. Those volunteer coaches would be tasked with taking that knowledge and passing it on to the children at the Dream Center.
On Saturday morning, FC Tulsa players and staff as well as members of the youth soccer community took the morning to enjoy the fruits of their labor as they played with the Dream Center children on the newly renovated fields. Together, local soccer coaches, FC Tulsa players and staff, as well as other soccer community members put on a training clinic. Players like Bradley Bourgeois and Rodrigo da Costa as well as FC Tulsa TV commentator Anna Beffer were on hand to provide some teaching and help introduce the sport to the children, many of whom had never played soccer.
There was one final surprise from FC Tulsa to the Dream Center, however. FC Tulsa and its owners, the Craft brothers, made a $15,000 donation to the Tulsa Dream Center to start the Tulsa Dream League, a youth soccer league that will be created for the children at the Dream Center. The money donated will provide food and drinks for players, help pay some Dream Center staff that will run the league and fill in any gaps on equipment costs and maintenance.
“This is outstanding,” said Larry Harris, the recreation director at the Tulsa Dream Center. “This gives us the financial and physical means to start this soccer league. It lets us know that we can sustain it, and that it’s not just a one-year thing. Having FC Tulsa backing us, with the startup money, it means a lot. I appreciate FC Tulsa. I appreciate everything that’s going on.”
Fans can chip in and help by donating gently used soccer cleats and equipment. Donations can be dropped off at the FC Tulsa offices at 1155 S. Elgin Ave. in Tulsa.
FC Tulsa remains strongly committed to serving the underserved of Tulsa and spreading the love of soccer. The club will continue its work at the Tulsa Dream Center to ensure the Tulsa Dream League is a success.