World Class Premier

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So what's the story of WCP? When were you founded?

World Class Premier as a club started in 2016. The club was started when some of the current coaches came together to change the way youth soccer is run in our country. We wanted to focus on true player development by teaching the kids how to play the right way and not focus so much on just winning. We felt that the coaching we received growing up and playing in college didn't really help us, so we created our youth club to truly focus on what we believed players need in a developmental environment. Not too long after that, we decided to put our men's team together to create another tier to our club like they have in Europe. But the main idea that sparked the Men's team was to unite all of our friends that came back from college or finished playing professionally or still aspiring to play pro to come together to become the best team in this region. A lot of us are Africans and coming together to create a team that represents us was very meaningful.

Why the name World Class Premier?

We chose the name World Class when the club was founded to represent our global background. The globe in our logo stands for this. Class represented the way we want to play, carry ourselves, and run as an organization. We wanted to shake the stigma that we as black or Africans can't be organized or disciplined. Finally, the phrase 'World Class' itself stands for the top level coaches in our club and the environment we create.

You play in Maryland Majors, what are the benefits of playing in MMSL?

The MMSL is great historical league. The competition is high and we knew what we were going to get every weekend.

You're currently playing in the first division of MMSL, what's the level of play in your league and how does the first division compare to the second divisions?

The first division is much more competitive and there's a lot more on the line. You have the prize money and also potentially getting relegated. Like everywhere else in the world, relegation is not fun. Pride takes a hit if you're sent down for not being good enough.

Any thoughts about moving to a national league (UPSL)?

Moving to the UPSL was a huge step for us to show our ambition towards the future. We have a lot of talented players and we continue attracting more talented players, so we would like to create a professional environment for these guys to play competitively and a platform to launch off of. UPSL is currently giving us that opportunity to start laying a strong foundation as semi-pros.

What players from your team should we know about?

Elton Joe, played for Christos against D.C. United in the Open Cup. Oumar Ballo was drafted by Houston Dynamo and played for Sporting KC USL team. Kay Banjo who was drafted into the MLS and played in the USL. Levi Houapeu was drafted into the MLS by Philadelphia Union and played in the USL as well. Daniel Ankrah is our captain and former standout player at Loyola. Bryce Orsini was a former youth national team player and is a talented 18 year old on our squad, to name a few.

You had a recent run in the USOC qualifiers that ended in the final qualifying round, what was that experience like?

Our run in the USOC was a great experience. It was a huge blow for us to lose knowing that we didn't deserve the loss, but overall it was a great experience. We were unknown up until then and surprised a lot of people. We're grateful for the opportunity but feel like we have an unfinished business with the competition.

Will you be returning next year?

Most definitely. We fell short of our goal, so we will give it another try next year.

How does World Class Premier measure success?

We measure our success by the impact we're making in the community and the feedback we're getting from our community. So far, people are really happy with us and the impact we're having on the youth in our community.

Anything else we should know?

We are an organization that wants to build something strong that will last for many years to come. We want to serve our community and continue making a great difference in the lives of the youth. We came together to make a difference, inspire others and break down bearers. We are more than just a soccer organization, we are building a platform and a place of hope.

Dan Vaughn