PLAYERS 40,485                                                                                     TEAMS 2,699





AYSO is not only a success story at the youth level but the player graduates of AYSO truly reflect the desired goals of the earliest of AYSO founders and every parent thereafter. It was quite common to find many parents, the true leaders within AYSO, working long hours not only as volunteers but also financiers without financial gain, initially dreaming of their offspring’s gains but also concerned as every parent expends countless hours and treasure. Sometimes an active AYSO parent may feel alone or overloaded with trials, but in every single case, AYSO recognized that every parent, every child, and every community will come first in the management of AYSO at all levels.   AYSO National would become the binding glue that was missing for many years in promoting youth soccer with its influence on the American Way via high schools, colleges, and the professional level. Full success wiill be attained for everyone as long as the regions within AYSO adhere to the AYSO Philosophies that emanated within AYSO and catapulted soccer in America and its forward looking unlimited growth. Working together within AYSO will eventually reach everyone's goals.  
In the years before the founding, especially by Bill Hughes, Hans Stierle, and Steve Erdos, and a multitude to follow, their lonely days of exasperation in the trials to conduct an American  “start-up” organization for youth soccer, while confronted with many obstacles, never wavered on the belief that youth soccer where EVERYONE PLAYS would succeed despite not only “old country” opposition but also the highly desired “tradition” that is still endeared by many.   In the early 1970s, AYSO player graduates captured the attention of high school administrators who recognized that high school soccer would fill a major void in the physical conditioning of many students not only as a competitive high school sport but also an intramural sport. Once the parents of AYSO player graduates joined their offspring in the implementation of high school soccer in the CIFSS regular program, the high school teams of West Torrance high school and South Torrance high school commenced a high school rivalry comparable to the best throughout the country, if not the best.

The first year graduates of AYSO, many starting at age 9 with near- professional coaching accompanied by parents experienced in a multitude of American sports, entered not only the California high schools as players but would soon be coaching in the high schools in very large numbers.  But first, a large quantity of AYSO player graduates would overload the local California colleges. El Camino College in Torrance and UCLA  became the first of many to inherit the best of AYSO and then from San Diego to San Luis Obispo to everywhere, nationwide. UCLA would become the hallmark of college success and with AYSO graduates heighten the quality of play.

There is no school like UCLA that would indicate the eventual benefit derived from AYSO at the college level. UCLA, with a player from the first year of AYSO as the UCLA head coach, Sigi Schmid, with a large contingent of early AYSO player graduates, would win three NCAA soccer championships. UCLA, direct inherent of the early AYSO player graduates, would not only establish the West Coast colleges as a national powerhouse but also provide many Olympic and Worlds Cup players.

The PIONEER OF AYSO PLAYER PROFILES, contained in the APAYSO AYSO GRADUATES "page" will present the names and playing history of many who received their initial start in AYSO. Most importantly, the parents who started their AYSO regional program throughout the Americas provides the best procedure for locating that gifted child who would not otherwise be found, trained, and experienced in the AYSO, high school and college training grounds and thereby skilled to represent the United States in international competition such as the Olympics and World Cup. AYSO in fostering the American tradition of gathering youth throughout the land will eventually be recognized as the optimum procedure for excellence by locating the gifted player on the world stage. There are young boys and girls who possess the innate skills and AYSO while inviting everyone will provide the foundation for future accomplishments. Needless to state, this is but a side-benefit to the AYSO program because AYSO PHILOSOPHIES have a greater objective, that is, to allow every single youth to find their optimum niche in life.      

The ones who benefited tremendously are those parents who observed, participated, and thereby sacrificed their time and treasure, to grow their child to enjoy the soccer competition with its built-in leadership training program. The side benefits of encouragement to play high school and college soccer measure heavily in the AYSO objectives but the prime benefit is the health and spirit foundation of our American youth strongly developed in AYSO. The American born parent supported by the more soccer experienced “old country” parent is now the dominant in numbers when compared to the earliest years of AYSO and “traditions new” are being exercised through the high school and college systems. The results are very evident but just beginning. Healthy-bodied good citizens are on the increase and with the AYSO philosophy of EVERYONE INVITED and EVERYONE PLAYS, the volunteer time of every parent comes into fruition not only for the player but also the parents.

The PIONEER STORY of AYSO  will always be in its infancy and as every region eventually tells their individual story, the  PROFILES within each region will truly reflect the overcoming of the personal challenges to each INDIVIDUAL family, each AYSO FAMILY. Unfortunately, some stories will never be told except in the hearts of the beneficiaries, fortunately, EVERYONE in AYSO has a story.