A second competitive soccer club is coming to El Dorado Hills and, instead of a singular focus on soccer, those behind Ethos plan to provide additional opportunities for players to experience an education that can’t be gained on a playing field or even in a classroom.
Through travel, charity work and hosting exchanges between international soccer players, soccer will be the concrete tool used to develop global awareness in young people playing for Ethos, which aptly means “Character.”
El Dorado Hills resident and father of three, Fritz Libby, serves as Ethos Soccer’s president. Libby said he believes the formula of blending soccer and education, which he has made his life’s work overseas, will work here too. He has spent the past 18 years establishing international schools for expatriate children mainly in Asia and has witnessed firsthand how soccer bridges cultures time and again.
“They may not speak the same language, but when we invite the local children to come play soccer with the English speaking students at our schools the result has been amazing,” he said.
“We want Ethos to be a select and competitive soccer club that develops excellent soccer skills, but we also want to have a club that doesn’t stop at soccer,”Libby said of the El Dorado Hills club.
Libby has already fostered relationships all over the globe for youth exchanges. One Chinese government-sponsored school has already committed to sending 12-year-olds from remote parts of China to come here next summer to play soccer. Through fundraising and corporate sponsorships, Libby would like to see Ethos players also travel overseas in the near future.
El Dorado Hills resident Diana Fedrow is eager to sign her fifth-grade son up for Ethos when tryouts are held this January. “Since most kids won’t go on to play soccer as a career, I think of Ethos as a great opportunity for kids to play soccer while also learning about the world around them,” Fedrow said.
Libby is wary of encroaching on EDUSA territory, currently the only competitive soccer club in El Dorado Hills. He wants Ethos to be seen as an interesting, additional choice and would like nothing more than to partner with EDUSA and other already established clubs in the region.
Ethos is also navigating other issues like field openings to hold practices. Still, these are small bumps in an otherwise very clear plan. Libby summed it up best when he said, “I just want to see kids moving around the world. I want to open as many doors for kids as possible.”
Ethos Soccer is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. For more information visit ethossoccer.org. Tryouts will be held in January for both the Ethos select and competitive teams.