Harrisburg Free Kick Street Soccer 2018 Recap


Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer and the JT Dorsey Foundation, with the help of volunteers from Keystone FC, hosted the annual Harrisburg Free Kick Street Soccer event at the 2018 Kipona Festival in Harrisburg on Monday, September 3. Along front street next to the Susquehanna River, more than 50 youth players, ages 9-16, representing 17 clubs played small-sided games. They switched teams every 12 minutes to ensure they were competing with players of all abilities. Players were rewarded for acts of sportsmanship in addition to the wins their teams accumulated.

The event reinforced the idea that soccer is a simple game that can be played almost anywhere. It also gave players an opportunity to build friendships on the fly in a fun, respectful setting.

"I liked that I got to make new friends," Hannah Cline, who plays club soccer for PA Classics Nova, said. "I liked that I got to show my skills. That was fun. I think when you're playing on the street, you're more open, you get your head up more. It's a faster game."

The lack of structure also appealed to the kids.

"We were just free with no coaches," Tai San said about what he liked most about the format. "We could just do what we wanted. It wasn't competitive."

Click the image below for a full gallery of pictures from the event, or check out @EPaYouthSoccer on twitter, facebook and instagram.

Kipona 2018 four photo collage