Author: becky

BUSA helps soccer’s presence grow at Restoration Academy

Look at the smiles on those faces.

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, that snapshot tells the story. Opening doors works. Taking soccer to places it might not otherwise go works. Introducing the beautiful game to students eager for the experience works – for everyone involved.

BUSA‘s Oct. 24th training session for elementary students at Restoration Academy in Fairfield, this time with the generous assistance of the UAB women’s soccer team, was just the latest example of a successful partnership.

“BUSA has loved the relationship with Restoration Academy,” said Andrew Brower, executive director of the Birmingham United Soccer Association. “They, as a school, are a beacon of light for their students and parents, and we are grateful to partner with the school as we share so many similar values.”

BUSA’s twin passions for growing the game of soccer and giving back to the community have found a perfect home in its Restoration Academy program. Now in its sixth year, the program includes 4-5 training sessions in the fall, followed by team and league play in the spring. About 60 elementary students from Restoration Academy participate each season.

Local college teams such as UAB and Birmingham-Southern often step up to assist the BUSA staff in running the training sessions, planting the seed that excellence in school and in soccer can lead to a college scholarship. BUSA also has helped launch a high school soccer program at Restoration Academy, Brower said, “and this was a great blessing for the older kids who have aged out of our younger-age programs.”

Brower said he’s thankful for sponsors such as Medical Properties Trust “who help us run and support these wonderful outreach programs and allow us to grow soccer in areas where the game does not have as much of a presence as it should.”

Soccer’s presence at Restoration Academy continues to grow – one smile at a time.

Birmingham Bash Champions

champs

Congratulations to our 2018 Medical Properties Trust Birmingham Bash Champions!

This year’s Bash included close to 4,000 players on 265 teams from eight states: Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. The estimated economic impact on the local economy was $6.2 million, highlighting the Bash’s status as a marquee soccer event in the state of Alabama.

Thank you to all the teams that participated in this great weekend and to our generous sponsor, Medical Properties Trust.

BOYS’ CHAMPIONS

2010 Boys Gold
BUSA Academy 2010 Blue

2010 Boys Silver
VHSC PA Cen Steamers 10 LAFC

2009 Boys Gold
FC Montgomery U-10 Red (U-9)

2009 Boys Silver
Concorde Central U10 Red Boys

2009 Boys Bronze
USC 09 Boys Select

2008 Boys Gold
Germantown Legends 08 Black

2008 Boys Silver
Alabaster 08B Eliud

2008 Boys Bronze
Huntsville FC YA Boys 08 Arsenal

2007 Boys Gold
BUSA 07 Boys

2007 Boys Silver
BUSA 07 Premier

2007 Boys Silver II
Alabaster Warriors

2007 Boys Bronze
AFC Black 07

2006 Boys Gold
Sky Pre Academy 06

2006 Boys Silver
Bayside Dynamo 06B

2006 Boys Silver II
Concorde Central U13B Black

2006 Boys Bronze
Briarwood SC Ambassadors Gold 06

2005 Boys Gold
BSC Ambassadors 05B Gold

2005 Boys Silver
CCS05 BLUE

2005 Boys Bronze
Alabama Rush 05 Boys

2004 Boys Gold
BUSA 04 Boys

2004 Boys Silver
Hoover Phantoms 2004 Blue

2003 Boys Gold
RAD 03 Boys Gold

2003 Boys Silver
TUSC FIRE 03

2002 Boys Gold
FCD-EC 02B Select I

2002 Boys Silver
SSC02

2000 Boys Gold
00 Hernando Express-Select

2000 Boys Silver
TUSC 01B

GIRLS’ CHAMPIONS

2010 Girls Gold
BUSA 10 Academy White

2010 Girls Silver
VHSC PA Attack 10 Spirit

2009 Girls Gold
Bayside Dynamo 09G

2009 Girls Silver
Huntsville FC 09 girls

2008 Girls Gold
BUSA 08 Academy White

2008 Girls Silver
Huntsville FC Courage

2008 Girls Bronze
08 Lady Lobos Rush White

2007 Girls Gold
BUSA Girls 07

2007 Girls Silver
Attack 07 Black II

2007 Girls Bronze
Chattanooga FC 07 Elite White Girls

2006 Girls Gold
Emerald Force 06G Sevilla

2006 Girls Silver
Huntsville FC Girls 06 Blue II

2005 Girls Gold
BUSA 05 Girls

2005 Girls Silver
BUSA 05 Premier Girls

2004 Girls Gold
BUSA 04 Girls

Get To Know BUSA

Name: Sam Bauder
Team: 02 Boys ECNL
Position; RW, 7
Coach: Matt Bellamy
Years playing with BUSA: 4

Q: Why do you like playing for BUSA?
A: There is so much talent at BUSA, and it forces me to compete and become the best player I can be. The coaching is also incredible, and I am always proud to wear my BUSA gear because of the reputation of our team and our club.

Q: Whats your favorite BUSA memory?
A: After qualifying for the top RPL bracket, our first game was against South Carolina, which had just finished runner-up in the National Finals. Nobody gave us a chance, including SC, but we played our hearts out and found a way to earn a 2-1 victory in the final moments. When the final whistle sounded, the 01 boys who were watching stormed the field to help us celebrate. It was an awesome experience I will never forget.

Q: Whats your ultimate soccer goal?
A: To earn a college scholarship, play in the NCAA playoffs and hopefully get noticed by our national scouts — and have an opportunity to wear the red, white and blue and earn a cap on behalf of our country. 

Name: Bailee Washington
Team: 03 Girls SCCL
Position: Striker
Coach: Jeremy Hampton
Years playing with BUSA: 4

Q: Why do you like playing for BUSA?
A: What I like about BUSA is the competitiveness and the environment.

Q: Whats your favorite BUSA memory?
A: My favorite BUSA memory is a Memphis tournament where my team got to hang out at Beale Street for the day.

Q: Whats your ultimate soccer goal?
A: My ultimate goal in soccer is to continue developing my skills so I can play professional soccer one day.

Annual General Meeting

Annual General Meeting, which will be held on September 9th at 4:00 PM CST in the Rathmell Soccer Office

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.