LOS ANGELES, June 15, 2010 – Emmerson Boyce from Wigan Athletic, has signed on to support the social change efforts of Street Soccer USA (SSUSA) as the first International Ambassador for SSUSA. Boyce will help homeless adults and young adults, male and female, in 18 cities across the US through the transformative power of team sports. Boyce, along with Ibrahima Sonko (Stoke City), David Ngog (FC Liverpool), and Aaron Brown (Reading FC) will be actively involved in SSUSA hosting clinics and making personal appearances with SSUSA teams across the country. Their first visit will be to the LA program on Wednesday, June 16th.

Mr. Boyce and his Premier League colleagues will meet SSUSA Los Angeles at partner program Jovenes, Inc at 3:00PM on June 16th. Jovenes is located at 1208 Pleasant Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90033.

The session will feature great Street Soccer Action in East LA as some of the world’s greats trade skills with the most unlikely of pupils.

“I am thrilled to join Street Soccer USA as an International Ambassador. As someone who believes in team sports and the positive community that surrounds them, I believe in my heart the mission of SSUSA. Regardless of economic status, soccer brings us all together; you can even see that now with the World Cup taking place, it’s a common language. I am excited to share my love of the game with the SSUSA athletes,” said Boyce.

“Emmerson brings tremendous experience and a standard of excellence to the SSUSA program,” said Lawrence Cann, Founder of SSUSA. “His passion for people and belief in the ability of team sports to change lives make him a great addition to the SSUSA family. We’re excited to work with him, Ibrahima, David and Alex.”

“These Premier League stars don’t have to do this, but realizing the value of giving back. During the spectacle of the World Cup, people should take notice of what they are doing for the homeless and impoverished,” said National Program Coordinator and West Coast SSUSA Director, Rob Cann.

By undergoing the SSUSA process, players improve social skills; self esteem, physical and mental health, and eliminate barriers to employment, making them more likely to achieve housing and job placement than their peers. Jobs Academies deliver resume writing, financial literacy, and workplace readiness in addition to a pool of resources (mentorship, employment partners, pro bono legal services, as well as counseling or services for trauma, drug abuse, and other barriers). Team leaders in 18 cities exchange best practices and co-develop new solutions for programming and sustainability on a conference call every six weeks. Select program ambassadors, male and female, represent SSUSA in various amateur tournaments, including the Homeless World Cup, each year. SSUSA Teams are organized at homeless shelters, employment programs, and recovery houses to help teens and adults achieve positive outcomes in education, jobs, and housing placement. Programs train thrice weekly, compete in local leagues with volunteers, and unite annually at the 18-city SSUSA Cup, held in Washington, D.C. this year from July 30 – August 1. Eighteen teams from across the country will compete for the Cup championship and a spot on the Street Soccer U.S. National Team, which will travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in September to compete in the Homeless World Cup. SSUSA USA enjoys the support of the Ted Leonsis Foundation, Deloitte, HELP USA, and the Great Washington Sports Alliance.


About Emmerson Boyce

Emmerson Orlando Boyce was born in Aylesbury, England on September 24th, 1979. The English-born Barbadian footballer plays for Wigan Athletic in the Premier League and is one of the most feared defenders in the English Premier League with a good scoring record this season

Emmerson Boyce started his career at Luton Town and made over 180 league appearances for the club. Whilst at Luton Town he picked up numerous awards including: Supporters Player of the Year, Internet Player of the Year, Players Player of the Year and Club Player of Year, before signing with Crystal Palace in 2004. His strong performances for Crystal Palace in their 2004/05 Premiership campaign led to him being nominated for and picking up the Crystal Palace Player of the Year Award and eventually led to Wigan Athletic F.C. securing his services for the following season.

Described as a quick, strong and totally committed, Boyce was a huge star of the 06/07 season narrowly missing out on Wigan Latics Player of the Year. In 2008/09 his solid performances at both central defense and right-back made him a firm favorite of the Latics fans. His strong performances and dedication to the club has helped keep Wigan Athletic in the Premier League and established the team in what has been described as the toughest league in Europe. Although various teams chased him for the 2010/11 Premiership campaign Boyce signed a 3 year deal to remain at Wigan Athletic F.C. Though born in England, Boyce’s Barbados-born parents made him eligible to play for the Barbados National Team where he earned his first Cap on March 20th 2008 playing in the World Cup qualifier against Dominican.

About Street Soccer USA

Street Soccer USA (SSUSA) is a nonprofit organization under HELP USA designed to use soccer to achieve social change. With 18 teams across the country, SSUSA aims to get homeless men, women and youth off the streets, and has achieved a 75 percent success rate among participants: 485 homeless youth and adults in jobs and housing out of 617 team members.

Through a systematic approach, SSUSA uses sports to build community and trust among participants and volunteers, transforming the context within which homeless individuals live from one of isolation, abuse, and marginalization, to one of community, purpose, and achievement. With the help of SSUSA, players improve social skills, self esteem, physical and mental health, and eliminate barriers to employment, making them more likely to achieve housing/job placement than their peers. SSUSA participants are required to set 3-, 6-, and 12-month life goals which they are empowered to achieve through services and educational and employment opportunities provided by SSUSA’s Jobs Academy. The Jobs Academy supports resume writing, financial literacy, and workplace readiness in addition to a pool of resources (mentorship, employment partners, pro bono legal services, as well as counseling or services for trauma, drug abuse, and other barriers). For more information, please visit www.streetsoccerusa.org.

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The Coach is a long-time soccer player, coach and fan. He started playing in the dark ages (1970's) and will continue as long as his body will let him. He has coached players from u-7 to adult and players learning the game to players trying to make their national team. He is a dedicated fan of the Oranje.

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