Collaborating with NJ Youth Soccer this spring, the New York Red Bulls organization joined with the Montclair United Soccer Club to support a special TOPSoccer clinic. The Red Bulls offered the instruction and guidance of their professional trainers to players from Montclair and the surrounding areas (Verona and Cedar Grove).
TOPSoccer is a community based training and team placement program for young athletes with disabilities. The program is designed to bring the opportunity of learning and playing soccer to any boy or girl who has a mental or physical disability. The New Jersey Youth Soccer / US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program provides assistance to affiliated organizations with ways to enable players with mental or physical disabilities to play soccer. The emphasis of this program is on development, training, and meaningful participation rather than on competition.
During these sessions, each participant is paired with a soccer buddy to learn about the game of soccer and to become a more active participant in the team sport. The TOPSoccer program has been positively influential in broadening the scope of the soccer instruction, which has greatly benefited the participants and soccer buddies.
"TOPSoccer is a wonderful experience for players, parents, volunteers and club officials," said Mitchell Heisler of Montclair United Soccer Club . "Personally, I look forward to our Saturday session all week because it's such a joy filled hour. It's also exciting to have Red Bull as a partner this spring. Their coaches are excellent, and the energy and skill they provide is really helping us improve our program. The support we receive from both NJ Youth Soccer and Red Bull is an important part of our continuing growth. With so many fewer sporting options for players with special needs, we feel we offer a model for other organizations in our community."