Evolve and elevate the game by creating true diversity on the field!
By bringing fields to underserved areas, the PDA Urban Initiative will bring the game of soccer to players in communities that lack the financial resources / opportunities to play.
Soccer in the US has been inaccessible to many children living in urban areas; as such, it is predominantly enjoyed by those who have the resources to participate. More fields will lead to more players and more possibilities. The sport is sure to evolve and elevate.
Gerry McKeown is the Founder and Director of the PDA Urban Initiative. He currently serves as the Executive Director for the PDA Boys Program and the Director of the US Club Soccer Boys Id2 program. He was a staff member for the US Youth National teams from 2005-2011 where he coached at the U15 and U18 level. He has nearly 4 decades of coaching experience at the high school, collegiate, and national level.
Urban Initiative emanated from McKeown’s childhood experience of playing soccer in the streets of Glasgow and continued when he immigrated to Kearny, NJ. As a former professional player and having coached our country’s best players against the world’s biggest clubs, he felt the need for socioeconomic diversity and improved access for the underserved to elevate our game. McKeown’s desire for the Urban Initiative is to produce players that are creative, autonomous thinkers that have a winning mentality.
THE PDA MISSION
Education is the Goal.
Soccer is the Game.
To provide elite youth soccer players with a challenging program that will develop and expose players to the highest level of competition; nationally, internationally, at the collegiate and/or professional level.
To provide student athletes a premier training environment through which players in the academy can reach their full potential.
To provide athletes greater academic opportunities through collegiate level athletic scholarships.
The goal of the PDA is to break the poverty cycle through athletics and academics. Through athletic development the majority of PDA athletes are able to secure meaningful scholarships to the top colleges and universities in the country. For many student athletes this will make the difference in their ability to attend college.