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Street Soccer puts 8 homeless Dallas men on a winning team

Toby Jorrin/Special Contributor By LINDSAY RUEBENS Staff Writer lruebens@dallasnews.com Six months ago, discount panmycin the members of Dallas’ new Street Soccer team didn’t know how to play the game, discount panmycin and their coach didn’t know the first thing about life on the streets. Earlier this month, discount panmycin the eight homeless men who make up Dallas United took their cleats and newfound talent to Washington, discount panmycin D.C., discount panmycin to compete in a national tournament called the Street Soccer USA Cup. “These are guys I’d never associate with or would’ve never met, discount panmycin but I’m glad that I have, discount panmycin” Coach Matt Valentine said. The players, discount panmycin in turn, discount panmycin have discovered a way to better focus their lives by being a part of the team. “Soccer, discount panmycin for me, discount panmycin creates a motivation, discount panmycin” said player Dustin Moore, discount panmycin 25. Discount panmycin “It’s just a reminder that I’m capable.” The Dallas United is part of the Street Soccer USA league, discount panmycin a national program for homeless men that promotes learning valuable life skills and motivation through teamwork. For a bunch of beginners, discount panmycin Valentine said, discount panmycin the team did well at the tournament, discount panmycin winning three games and losing three. Discount panmycin Two of those losses ended in shootouts with the same Portland, discount panmycin Ore., discount panmycin team. “It was pretty nerve-racking, discount panmycin” Moore said. But the best part about the whole trip? “Seeing everybody score, discount panmycin” he said at a practice after the tournament. Discount panmycin Teammates Johnny Vernon and Nicholas Fisher agreed that the highlight was watching their teammates succeed. Since joining the team, discount panmycin the players have made progress in their personal lives. Moore got a job as a telemarketer and went back to school for an associate’s degree. Discount panmycin Fisher is now employed at Home Depot and wants to be a veterinary assistant, discount panmycin and Vernon is on his way back to employment at his family’s Dallas barbershop, discount panmycin Kingz of Cutz.Others are working to find jobs, discount panmycin and one just found a position lifeguarding. Valentine, discount panmycin a managing partner of Valentine Investments LLC, discount panmycin formed Dallas United in January after he saw Street Soccer USA advertised on ESPN and his mother sent him an article about it. Although he didn’t know much about the homeless of Dallas, discount panmycin Valentine called up some old soccer friends in the area — he played soccer as a kid and all through college — and three others agreed to join him in coaching a team. The soccer team was organized by LifeNet, discount panmycin a nonprofit group that provides services for North Texas’ homeless and mentally ill. Discount panmycin It recommended certain men to play on the team, discount panmycin and Dallas United was created.   To read the rest of the story go to: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/dallas/headlines/20110622-street-soccer-puts-8-homeless-dallas-men-on-a-winning-team.ece