It started with an idea: offer kids the chance to play soccer in an environment where both the players and their families would be respected, where the coaches would be role models, and where experienced coaches would offer professional-caliber training.
When KC Hopps owner Ed Nelson and his brother Keith Nelson founded the Blue Moose Soccer Club in Prairie Village in 2004, they just wanted to create an environment where youth soccer would be “done the right way,” says Keith, who serves as the club’s director of coaching.
Eight years later, more than 150 kids, most of them from the Prairie Village area, now make up approximately 15 club teams — and organizers anticipate they’ll be up to 20 soon. What’s more, the club just added 11-year Major League Soccer veteran and former U.S. National Team member Nick Garcia — a Prairie Village resident — to its coaching roster. Garcia will be focused on running the club’s soccer academies, skills practice sessions geared towards some of the older players.
Blue Moose operates a league game and practice schedule 10 months a year, and is holding try outs June 11-14. The club has teams for kids 6 to 14, with soccer training camps for kids as young as 3. (For more information on the club’s try outs, visit their website).