Author: becky

BUSA Serves Day

Birmingham United Soccer Association is one of the largest soccer clubs in the Southeast, but BUSA cares about more than soccer. That’s evident when the players and coaches team up to make a positive impact in the community off the field.

The latest example: BUSA Serves Day, an annual project that touches the lives of the patients at Children’s of Alabama and their families.

Taking a timeout from practicing, playing and enjoying the summer, BUSA’s Academy, Competitive and ECNL teams went to work at the end of July for a great cause. They collected games, sketch pads, books, colored pencils, toys and gift cards. They created 272 special goodwill packages, one for each of the 239 patients at Children’s of Alabama at the time and then some.

The games, sketch pads, books, colored pencils and toys were designed to bring some joy to the children. The handful of gift cards in each package were meant to assist their families during a challenging time.

The BUSA Serves Day project was organized by members of the club’s Senior 00/01 age-group teams. They gathered on Sunday July 29th at Hyatt Place and spent hours organizing the bags. The next day, they delivered the care packages to the Children’s of Alabama patients and their families.

Andrew Brower, BUSA’s executive director, thanked his club’s members and sponsor Set Logistics for their support and generosity.

“We wanted to provide a ray of sunshine and hope for those children and also provide a service to their families,” Brower said. “The goal for BUSA is to give our players a sense of service and a sense of gratitude. It’s important that we teach our kids the right perspective in terms of giving and being stewards to people who are a little less fortunate than we are.

“It fills our hearts to bring a smile to the faces of these children and their families.”

Salia Carr joins Atlanta United Academy Program

The next step in Salia Carr’s journey as a soccer player is a big one. The 16-year-old from Mobile is joining the Atlanta United Academy program, where he’ll play with the U-17 team.

For the next two years, Carr will train and compete out of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground, which the academy program shares with Atlanta United’s MLS first team.

“Salia is a good, honest, hard-working defender who has some great traits that will take him far in the game,” said Tony Annan, Atlanta United Academy director. “We are very pleased to have him join Atlanta United Academy and excited to see how he progresses over the next 2 years.”

Carr, who lives in Mobile and attends McGill-Toolen High School, moved to the United States from Sierra Leone when he was 2 years old “as a refugee,” he said, “because of the war in my country.” He started playing soccer at age 8. For the last two years, he’s played with Birmingham United Soccer Association’s Alabama FC.

“Alabama FC has provided better competition than I’ve had before,” Carr said, “and it’s helped me get exposure to top coaches.”

Ben Parks, BUSA’s director of coaching, is excited about Carr’s opportunity with the Atlanta United Academy.

“Alabama FC and Birmingham United are so proud of Salia Carr,” Parks said. “Not only is Atlanta United getting a gem of a player, but they are getting a fine young man as well. Salia is the rare combination of athleticism and soccer acumen. These gifts will serve him well as he continues to develop with Atlanta United. We wish him well as he embodies what Birmingham United and Alabama FC are all about.”

Officially launched in 2016 prior to its first season in MLS, the Atlanta United Academy system provides a clear pathway for homegrown players who show the required potential, ability and desire to reach the first team. The program also assists athletes in pursuing opportunities to play soccer at top U.S. colleges. Home to comprehensive and modern coaching, sports science, athletic and medical departments, the Atlanta United Academy strives to be the premier soccer club locally, regionally and nationally.

“BUSA and Alabama FC are again proud to promote another player to the MLS Academy Programs,” said BUSA Executive Director Andrew Brower. “We believe Salia will serve Atlanta United with excellence.”

BUSA athletes sweep Gatorade Alabama Soccer Player of the Year honors

18BUSA_GATORADE POY

What do Jasmine Greene and Brooks Rice have in common?

The Spain Park High School athletes swept the 2017-18 Gatorade Soccer Player of the Year honors for the state of Alabama, Greene winning the girls’ award and Rice capturing the boys’ recognition.

Both decorated student-athletes also have roots in the Birmingham United Soccer Association. BUSA is the largest soccer organization in Alabama and one of the largest in the Southeast.

“BUSA is thrilled for Jasmine and Brooks to be recognized as male and female Gatorade Player of the Year Award winners,” said BUSA Executive Director Andrew Brower. “Both of these young people have been the quintessence of excellence throughout their BUSA playing careers.”

Greene, a rising senior at Spain Park, has played with BUSA for the last 3 ½ years. She’s a member of the 01 ECNL Girls team. For Spain Park this season, she scored 29 goals and added 15 assists. She has verbally committed to play college soccer at Furman University starting in the fall of 2019.

“She is a tremendous athlete and an even better person off the field,” Brower said. “While she is quiet off the field, her ability to score tons and tons of goals speaks volumes.”

Rice, a recent Spain Park graduate, has been a lifelong BUSA athlete who’s played with the 00 ECNL Boys team. He scored 37 goals and added 11 assists this season for Spain Park, finishing his high school career with 84 goals. He’s signed a National Letter of Intent to play at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro starting this fall.

“Brooks started out playing with BUSA at 6, 7 years old and has progressed all the way through the organization,” Brower said. “He is very technical and polished on the ball and possesses an uncanny knack for creativity in the attack. Brooks also helps as a volunteer coach within our organization and was a great resource for our younger players.”

The Gatorade Player of the Year awards recognize not only athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the field.

Greene, who has a weighted 4.11 GPA, has volunteered locally helping to organize and distribute gift bags to Children’s of Alabama patients and has donated her time as part of multiple community-service initiatives through her church.

Rice, who earned a 3.29 GPA, has given back to BUSA and the soccer community by volunteering as a youth coach and referee and has donated his time to multiple community-service initiatives through his church.

As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Greene and Rice will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support.

01 & 02 ECNL Girls Head to Seattle

Good luck to our 01 and 02 ECNL Girls who are competing for a National Championship at the ECNL Playoffs in Seattle!

BUSA Can’t Wait for 2026 World Cup in America

BUSA Executive Director, Andrew Brower, shared his excitement after FIFA announced the U.S., Canada and Mexico will host the World Cup in 2026. Brower says having the World Cup in the U.S. is going to be awesome.

“I think it will really help be a catalyst for more growth in the sport and 2026.”

Click here to see more of the interview, which also featured Alabama FC player, Tara Katz.

Tanner Heads to Camp

TANNER TESSMAN HEADS TO MNT CAMP

It has been a great week for former BUSA players. We are super proud to announce that Tanner Tessman, a former BUSA player, has just been called up to the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team. The U.S. U18 MNT will gather for its fourth training camp of the 2018-19 cycle from June 4-11 at the U.S. Soccer National Development Center in Kansas City, KS.

Tanner played for BUSA growing up and is now part of the FC Dallas Development Academy, registering 20 starts this season with 11 goals.

The camp marks the first time that any Men’s or Women’s Youth or Senior National Team will train at the National Development Center. Surrounded by three full-size natural grass fields and two synthetic turf fields, the $75 million education and medical center was built in collaboration with MLS club Sporting Kansas City and Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Congratulations, Tanner. We are super proud of you! Keep up the great work.

Congratulations to our Alumni

Merritt Mathias

Merritt Mathias will join the U.S. Women’s National Team!

The USWNT will host China in two matches on June 7 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, and on June 12 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio.

Mathias played for the BUSA 90 girls team, and she was one of the top-ranked recruits in the nation according to Soccer Buzz Magazine. She was a Parade Magazine high school All-American selection in 2007 and a 2006 and 2007 National High School Coaches Association All-America.

Mathias plays for the North Carolina Courage of the National Women’s Soccer League. She was traded to the Courage in January 2018.

Chandler Hoffman

Chandler Hoffman became the fastest to 50 regular-season goals in the USL’S modern era with the winner for Real Monarchs SLC vs. Sacramento on May 29.

Chandler played with the BUSA 92 boys team. After his junior season at UCLA, Hoffman was offered a Generation Adidas contract by Major League Soccer, which he accepted. He attended the MLS Player Combine January 6–10, 2012 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He then headed to Kansas City, Missouri, for the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, where he was selected in the 1st round (as the 13th overall pick) by the Philadelphia Union. Hoffman became the first player from Alabama ever selected in the 1st round of the MLS SuperDraft.

Congratulations to these BUSA Legends!