North Central News

Soccer club builds skills, community

Since the 1960s, children from Central Phoenix and beyond strap on shin guards each fall to learn the basics of soccer through the nonprofit, all-volunteer Madison Futbol Club (MFC).

More than 600 youth participated in Madison Futbol’s 2012 Fall League. MFC board members expect that number to grow this year as registration kicks off on July 15.

MFC players range in age from 4 to 12, with some families choosing the less competitive recreational division. All teams in the recreation league play other teams within the league. Other children play “club” football, competing statewide with other soccer clubs through the Arizona Youth Soccer Association.

Parents of children in the league are a large part of the club’s ongoing success. North Central resident Mitra Khazi has three boys who have been part of MFC for six years. The oldest, now 12, began playing when he was in first grade.

“Through MFC, my kids have learned teamwork, discipline, hard work, sacrifice, how to deal with success and failure (when their team is having a rough season),” Khazi said. “And, as a result of a rough season, fortitude, and the value of practice and preparation. It’s a great mix of lifelong skill sets that they will continue to use throughout their lives.”

Wade Eagar, another parent with multiple children who have played in the league, says his four boys have learned more than just soccer.

“Sports leagues, when well run, create opportunities for good recreation, fun, physical fitness, getting to know our neighbors, and making friends. MFC is a well-run league and provides great experiences for us and our kids,” he said.

MFC has other strong ties in the community. For example, the club has contributed to Madison School District fundraising events, and has provided gift certificates for MFC fall recreation leagues and the club’s British Soccer Camp for various silent auction fundraisers. The club also provides scholarships for children that otherwise might not be able to play soccer due to cost, and regularly collects past-season MFC jerseys to give to new players—for free—who demonstrate financial need.

MFC also offers a winter recreational league and a summer camp. The league is open to children from throughout Phoenix. Despite its name is not affiliated with the Madison School District. The league does work with the school district as games and practices take place at various school fields. To register for 2013 Fall League, visit www.mfcphx.org.

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