Unity Cup: Pickup Soccer With Jamaican Community
On Thursday, June 28, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer hosted pickup soccer at Finley Playground in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia. The park is home to the Jamaican team of the Philadelphia International Unity Cup.
Alvin Melhado, the team contact for Jamaica, wants to use his experience playing in the Unity Cup to launch a program for the community's youth. The pickup soccer was a springboard for that effort.
"The second year at the Unity Cup, we decided to get goals, because we wanted to train," said Melhado. "Once we got the big goals, I figured, okay, we can start having friendly games here. Every Sunday, last year and this year, we had like two games every Sunday. We had music and jerk chicken; it was fun. So like on a Sunday evening, we brought the world out here. Teams from different countries (were) playing out here.
"The word is out. They know that soccer is here. It’s just a matter of getting the kids involved. And you know what the funny thing is? There’s a lot of people from the Caribbean. It’s just a matter of getting the word out. Once we get the (park) director supporting us, that’s it. We just have to do the work."
Click the image below to see a photo gallery of the event.