Euclid Soccer teams up parents and kids

Gabi Cicerini, left, power kicks at an EYSO soccer match. Photo courtesy of EYSO.

About 350 Euclid kids will soon be packing away swimsuits and pulling out cleats and shin guards. Parents are prepping for soccer season, too—and they’re doing more than just stocking up on bottled water and cheering from the sidelines. With Euclid Youth Soccer Organization (EYSO), soccer is a team effort even within a family.

“Our family has participated in EYSO more than six years,” says Raquel Cicerini, a 12-year Euclid resident. “We began participating because all three of our daughters—Gabi, Carmen and Sophia—expressed an interest in playing soccer. Gabi and Carmen took dance lessons for a few years, but as they grew it became clear that they weren't dancing from the heart. We encouraged them to try different things so that they could find something they really enjoyed doing.”

Her girls found that in soccer. “They love playing soccer and enjoy being part of their respective teams,” she says. “They enjoy seeing and making friends. They think soccer is fun and a great way to stay active.”

She and her husband Gary have thoroughly enjoyed watching our girls grow in their game. We think soccer is such a positive and healthy sport. It ensures that kids stay active and develops their physical coordination.”

To her, the benefits of kids’ soccer go beyond athletics. “It helps them grow in self-confidence, has given them a great sense of accomplishment and…a good taste of what it means to be part of a team that is working toward a common goal,” she explains. “That is such a valuable life lesson in the context of family, friends, school and beyond.”

EYSO takes teamwork beyond the field—and beyond the players themselves. As a nonprofit organization, it is run entirely by parent volunteers, including the executive board. Depending on their skills, availability and interests, parents may coach, run drills, sort uniforms, help with fund-raising concessions, set up and clear the field, and run the traditional end-of-season picnic. This season, parents commit to volunteer in a specific capacity when they register their child, or they pay an opt-out fee of $25.It’s a model that keeps costs lower, increases a family’s involvement in their child’s life and strengthens Euclid as a community.

As a parent, Cicerini appreciates these benefits. “For parents and players alike, being part of EYSO is a great way to make friends and connect with others in the Euclid community, in a positive, fun-filled and healthy way. We look forward to Saturday mornings when we can pack a cup of coffee and a lawn chair and head for the soccer fields on Babbitt road, to cheer on the many kids who play for the love of soccer. Through EYSO, you see our community at its best and you feel like you are part of something really special and good.”

Now in its 37th season, EYSO serves players ages 4-15. There are house (local) and travel team options for older age divisions. Registration for fall soccer will be open through August and the season starts the week of August 19. Details are at or

Sunny Morton is an EYSO parent volunteer, a freelance writer/editor and a 14-year resident of Euclid.

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Volume 4, Issue 7, Posted 2:39 PM, 08.09.2013