Capital City United is certainly growing. For the first time in it’s short 3 year life, the club has over 250 kids wearing the red, white, and blue. 270 to be exact. On the competitive side, there has been an increase in teams from 7 to 11 (with possibly a twelfth team) this fall and an increase in players from around 100 to 160. Adding in the Academy and Metro teams, CCU is looking at around 270 players in it’s club, compared to just 200 last season.
When asked where the growth is coming from, Executive Director Chris Mitchell expressed a bit of surprise. “The growth has actually come through our older age groups, high school aged kids, which is odd. Typically in these age groups you see a decline.”
Chris Mitchell believes that he and his sister (CCU President) Melissa Ramsey‘s success and connections at U-High has also played a factor in the club’s growth. “Several of these older age group kids know Melissa and me from coaching high school soccer. We have one of the top high school programs in the state and they might not know us from youth club coaching, but they know us from our high school team’s success.”
In addition, a number of the new United players have come from local clubs that have had to close their doors. “Several of the new additions are coming due to other local teams folding and us being able to maintain our core kids, while adding new players is pivotal to the growth of the club.”
When asked what the goals for club are, two words were consistent: Development and competition. “For our new younger teams and our younger returning teams, they will focus on development. Several of these players will have professional coaching for the first time.”
“The older returning teams will still focus on player development, but will seek out more advanced competition via friendly games and tournament selections. This year we are sending four teams to the Houston Labor Day Cup, last year we only felt comfortable sending two.”
In it’s inaugural year, Capital City United took one team outside of the state of Louisiana. In the second year there were two. This year, five. “As the teams develop, we will take strides to increase their competition level but we still want to try and strike a balance and not jump the gun too soon,” states Mitchell, “So far this strategy has paid off and we have seen steady growth.”
Continue to check back to www.capitalcityunited.org for more updates this fall as the United teams look to continue to seek success and growth on the pitch.