David Falk has followed soccer in the Puget Sound region since 1974. This blog covers Sounders FC, local college soccer, Seattle Wolves FC, Tacoma Tide FC and Kitsap Pumas. Send tips or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Seattle Soccer Examiner
Monday, December 29, 2008
YouSport: Seattle looks to impact 'the world's game' with new website
If you live in Seattle, but aren't originally from 'around here,' how could you combine Seattle technology with a worldly passion? That's the question being answered by the guys behind the new website YouSport.com, a user-based site that allows players and fans of soccer to connect via the sport.
It started this way, we are told by Peder Engelstad, YouSport's marketing director. "There are three founders: Ahmed from Egypt, Willy from France and David from the USA. It was during World Cup 2006. Ahmed broke his leg during a soccer tournament which allowed him to turn his focus entirely to the World Cup games. The more time he spent watching, the more he began to formulate the idea of a web-based soccer social-media platform for soccer."
The mission of the Seattle group is to "make YouSport a global social-media platform for soccer. Soccer fans will use it as a one stop shop for soccer information and media." Amateur soccer players will use YouSport to showcase their talent for coaches and the rest of the world," states Englestad. To further that mission the website recently launched two new features, 'Teams' and 'Players.' Hundreds of professional team and player pages have been created to enhance user experience. The pages are ready for user-generated content including blogs, news stories, photos, and videos.
The 'Teams' feature allows users to keep track of the latest developments regarding professional teams any league in any country. Users can upload videos, news, and photos or create personal blogs about clubs they support. When users select the 'Become a Fan' option, they are instantly connected to that team's supporters from around the world.
Why start a world-wide soccer web project in Seattle? "Considering the thousands of players in Seattle's amateur divisions," says Engelstad, "we think this city represents one of the soccer strongholds in this country. Seriously, Seattle is crazy for soccer! There are hundreds of fields, lots of pick-up games around town, and plenty of good competition in the amateur leagues. For the fans, there is a beautiful stadium for people to enjoy Sounders games in, plenty of pubs with 'footy' on TV, and a hardcore fan-base with groups like the Emerald City Supporters. People in Seattle, for the most part, 'get' soccer."
In addition to professional teams, YouSport offers a unique amateur team manager. The feature is designed to provide an easy and sensible way to manage one or more soccer teams. Currently available tools include photo and video uploading, schedules, rosters, and availability listings. With the team manager feature YouSport eliminates the headache of organizing a soccer team by making it simple to manage it all online.
Similar to 'Teams,' the 'Players' feature allows users to search for professional footballers on YouSport. Each player homepage contains links to the player's current club and national team in addition to all the content-generating tools associated with the teams feature.
With the website launched the developers have also been paying attention to another soccer launch happening in Seattle. "Since Washington is so gonzo for soccer, it was only a matter of time before we had an MLS team," Engelstad reports. "We think that, along with Toronto, the Sounders are going to be the best supported club in MLS in 2009. There is a higher level of excitement and dedication because the city believes not only in MLS but also, the idea of soccer (i.e. supporter's clubs, bringing in world-class signings, the season tickets selling out). That is a great jumping off point for a fledgling club."
For additional information on YouSport's features, contact Peder Engelstad or visit www.yousport.com.
YouSport, Inc. - Developed in 2007, YouSport is a global social-media community for soccer fans and players and enhanced through user-generated multimedia content.
Peder Engelstad, Marketing
Ahmed El Bortoukaly, CEO
Photo credits: Flickr.com users kurtasbestos (Green Lake soccer 'swamp') and Qwest Field by MLSSeattle