Major League Soccer has launched a summer youth program, "Verano MLS," that will provide 8- to 12-year-olds venues for twice-a-week pick-up-style soccer and "an opportunity to meet MLS players and coaches."
The six-week program, overseen by Colombian World Cup veteran Wilmer Cabrera, who is MLS's Manager of Fan Development, debuts in Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. The program, part of the league's outreach to the USA's Hispanic community, offers children a Verano MLS adidas soccer ball, a Verano MLS adidas T-shirt and a complimentary MLS game ticket for themselves and members of their family. "Verano MLS supports MLS' overarching goal of providing soccer playing opportunities for the masses," said David Wright, MLS's Senior Director of Partnership Marketing. "We are excited to roll out this new grassroots initiative which, when combined with MLS Futbolito and Sueño MLS, provides yet another opportunity for the millions of youth playing the game in the U.S. to connect with Major League Soccer on a personal level."
Each market will have two full-time MLS affiliated coaches who will be present for the entire six-week program. A minimum of five support coaches will be used to provide additional instruction and guidance. Support coaches will consist of players from MLS Developmental rosters, as well as MLS under-23 and MLS under-19 rosters.