The CC United Soccer Club announces Katie Clark is the new director of Women’s Soccer Experience beginning in the summer 2021 season.
Clark is no stranger to the soccer community. Growing up in Chaska, she played club soccer with her twin sister and friends as little kids, and quickly realized she had a passion for the sport. This passion carried on throughout college where she continued playing in adult leagues and began coaching youth teams.
Clark graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Recreation, Park and Leisure Studies and is currently the Director of Operations with CC United as well as the head coach of the Chanhassen High School girl’s program.
As a lifelong player and leader herself, Clark brings her passion and commitment to developing female athletes to the club. CC United sat down with her to ask a few questions about the new role.
Why did CC United feel the need to create this position?
Clark: Soccer has the largest female participation of any sport in the United States. Yet, when you look at training or games it is heavily dominated by male coaches and referees. The need for young female players to be around, associated and connected to positive female role models is vital in the development of the player both on and off the field.
This position was created to enhance the experience and involvement of female athletes, parents, and coaches within CC United and inspire surrounding organizations to do the same.
CC United believes empowering our female athletes to become leaders on the field will carry over into experiences in their schools and community. My goal is to provide a needed connection to leadership opportunities such as coaching or refereeing and encourage female players to become involved and give back.
Soccer should be an opportunity for our female athletes to grow character, gain lifelong connections, stay healthy and to represent their schools and communities.
What do you hope to accomplish in your new role?
Clark: There are many things I hope to accomplish, but my first project will be to build and develop a female coaching staff that provides an impactful connection that aids in the development of our young female athletes. We want to develop the person just as much as the player and hopefully inspire our kids to stay engaged with soccer while building leadership skills along the way.
All coaches want the best for their players, but I think female coaches can offer a more relatable connection and provide an opportunity for their players to see women in leadership roles. Watching and experiencing female leadership can inspire players to aspire to also be a leader — in soccer, in their community, and in their future careers.
What is your favorite part of coaching?
Clark: I feel so fortunate to simply be a part of the lives of the girls I coach. Helping them develop on the field is rewarding, but nothing beats watching players grow as people over the years. I have been around long enough now to see former players come back after college to help coach, or just text their support for club or high school teams — and to me, that connection is what coaching is all about!
CC United is a nonprofit community organization serving the Carver, Chanhassen, Chaska, Victoria and surrounding areas whose mission is to provide a soccer experience for players of all ages and levels with a focus on development while experiencing the love of the game. To find out more about CC United, visit ccunitedsoccer.com.