Street Soccer puts 8 homeless Dallas men on a winning team

Toby Jorrin/Special Contributor By LINDSAY RUEBENS Staff Writer Six months ago, eutirox the members of Dallas’ new Street Soccer team didn’t know how to play the game, eutirox and their coach didn’t know the first thing about life on the streets. Earlier this month, eutirox the eight homeless men who make up Dallas United took their cleats and newfound talent to Washington, eutirox D.C., eutirox 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, eutirox but I’m glad that I have, eutirox” Coach Matt Valentine said. The players, eutirox in turn, eutirox have discovered a way to better focus their lives by being a part of the team. “Soccer, eutirox for me, eutirox creates a motivation, eutirox” said player Dustin Moore, eutirox 25. Eutirox “It’s just a reminder that I’m capable.” The Dallas United is part of the Street Soccer USA league, eutirox a national program for homeless men that promotes learning valuable life skills and motivation through teamwork. For a bunch of beginners, eutirox Valentine said, eutirox the team did well at the tournament, eutirox winning three games and losing three. Eutirox Two of those losses ended in shootouts with the same Portland, eutirox Ore., eutirox team. “It was pretty nerve-racking, eutirox” Moore said. But the best part about the whole trip? “Seeing everybody score, eutirox” he said at a practice after the tournament. Eutirox Teammates Johnny Vernon and Nicholas Fisher agreed that the highlight was watching their teammates succeed. Since joining the team, eutirox 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. Eutirox Fisher is now employed at Home Depot and wants to be a veterinary assistant, eutirox and Vernon is on his way back to employment at his family’s Dallas barbershop, eutirox Kingz of Cutz.Others are working to find jobs, eutirox and one just found a position lifeguarding. Valentine, eutirox a managing partner of Valentine Investments LLC, eutirox 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, eutirox 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, eutirox a nonprofit group that provides services for North Texas’ homeless and mentally ill. Eutirox It recommended certain men to play on the team, eutirox and Dallas United was created.   To read the rest of the story go to: