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Open Field launches competitive men’s club in partnership with CCAC

Photo courtesy Open Field International

This fall, a new Pittsburgh soccer team is taking the pitch.

Open Field, a local nonprofit organization that specializes in supporting life skills-learning through soccer with youth in immigrant and refugee communities in the Pittsburgh area, is partnering with the Community College of Allegheny County to launch a competitive men’s club soccer team. The team is open to any  student athletes who are interested in continuing their soccer career while studying at CCAC.

The team is the brainchild of Justin Forzano, Founder and CEO of Open Field, and has been designed to offer a similar experience to a varsity team
experience while keeping the club accessible to students of all backgrounds.

Additionally, Open Field has committed to providing resources to student athletes on and off the field, including mentoring, team study halls for academic assistance, and workforce development.

Several young men have already signed up to participate on the team for the inaugural season and there are still spots available. The only requirement is that students are registered in a minimum of two classes, or 6 credit hours at CCAC.

Pre-season training will kick off in August.

The team will be competing this fall against other college teams in Western Pennsylvania, and will be participating in the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association. Look for their full schedule to be posted on the Open Field website and social media pages later this summer.

UPMC Sports Medicine and UPMC Health Plan are the first two sponsors to sign on to support the team. Open Field is still seeking a main sponsor to include on the front of the jersey.  After nearly a decade of operating in West/Central Africa, Open Field launched its Pittsburgh programming in 2019.

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Since their pilot project that summer, they’ve grown to engage more than 500 youth in 7 sites across Allegheny County in 2021. The club team at CCAC is the next big step in the expansion of Open Field’s Pittsburgh mission.

“Five years from now, we envision 80-100 student athletes that will have participated in the club leaving with associate degrees (or higher), employed and contributing to the local economy, and earning annual salaries that are $7k-$10k higher than students with only a high school degree.” says Open Field.

“We believe this will have a transformative impact on the individual and their family for generations to come and that it has potential to be replicated in other cities as well. Of course, it starts here in Pittsburgh.”

Prospective student athletes who are currently enrolled at CCAC or interested to attend should contact Branden Faulkner at branden@openfieldintl.org. All other sponsor and media inquiries should be directed to Justin Forzano at justin@openfieldintl.org.

 

 

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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