Today I would love to talk about the first annual Kansas City Shock Summer Kick-Off that was held last Sunday at the Overland Park Soccer Complex in Overland Park, Kansas. I would love to talk to you about the 40+ women that came out and shocked our world with their amazing skills. However, I don't believe it is ethical, nor of good taste to talk about our growth, and our development when a much larger issue looms over America's growing game.
It was brought to my attention last night, through Twitter, that the USA Women's Deaf Soccer team had a shortfall. They are to compete in the World Championship in Turkey starting July 16th and hopefully competing all the way through July 28th. However like any other program, snags have come about; some of which, not necessarily were planned or foreseen.
As stated, last night I was informed that the women's program had no jersey's for the tournament. Upon further investigation it was discovered that these ladies for years past, had been wearing 'hand me downs' from the USA National Team. Truthfully, I find this equally irritating and upsetting. The significant catch with USA Deaf Soccer is that they are not supported by US Soccer, unlike the national teams, futsal national team, paraolympic national team, and the likewise. USADS is on their own; their players have already paid out of pocket for airfare and for hotel arrangements in Turkey [is this when I'm supposed to make a comment about what one player with a Nike endorsement can pay for?]. My heart was stricken and truthfully, I felt humbled to be so concerned with our own finances. I already love our future players, our program, and the city that we're blessed to be in, but how can I sleep knowing that a professional, national program is looking to see their dreams disappear because the money isn't there?
This is the same reason for the idea that no player of the Shock will ever be 'forced' to pay to play. If you are that good, and that passionate, money should be the last thing you are to focus on. Let the business people take care of that.
Eventually, we'll follow up with our excitement of this summer and beyond, but or now; I ask that every fan of the Shock, and future fan of our movement quickly align their focus to USADS. Within two days they were able to able to receive the $2,000 required for jersey's. However, the fees still stand high for entry into this tournament. This program, both men's and women's, needs to find roughly $200,000 within the next week.
Do not tell me what is impossible in this country, and do not tell me we're not equiped to assist.
I challenge you, fans and followers, to dare to be different, and let your passion shock the world. Please go to usdeafsoccer.com and donate, literally anything to this program. Let their victories speak for themselves, and let it be our passion that pushes them forward to the next level. Let our love for them be their legacy.