Indianapolis, Ind. - The Holy Cross men's soccer team received the prestigious TOPSoccer Program of the Year. TOPSoccer is a community-based training and team placement program for athletes with disabilities, organized by youth soccer association volunteers. The program is designed to bring the opportunity of learning and playing soccer to any players, age 8 and older, who have a mental or physical disability.
TOPSoccer was formed to perpetuate the Indiana Soccer & US Youth Soccer mission statement which is, in part, "to foster the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of America's youth through the sport of soccer at all levels of age and competition." There are thousands of children with disabilities who need, and can be provided with, the opportunity to play soccer through the TOPSoccer program.
The Saints men's soccer team was awarded the Program of the Year award after another successful year of helping out the training program. This program has allowed our Saints to help participants achieve confidence both on and off the field. Senior captain Brian Aldrich has been involved in the program throughout his years in a Saints uniform and was also nominated as Buddy of the Year. Not only have the lives of the participants of the TOPSoccer program been changed, but so have those of the Holy Cross soccer team. "This has been one of the best experience of my life, and something I will cherish forever," Aldrich said. "I looked forward to seeing the kids every week and teaching them new skills and watching them grow more confident in their abilities on the soccer field. I'd like to thank the soccer program for allowing us the opportunity to work with TOPSoccer and hope they continue this partnership for years to come."
Not only were the Saints honored for their service, but head coach Omar Gallo was named Indiana Soccer Director of the Year for his work with Michiana Echo Soccer Club. In Gallo's 4+ years with Echo, the club has nearly doubled its size. Gallo has implemented mental training, nutritional training, and consistent goalkeeping training to help the program reach new heights. Michiana Echo and Indiana Soccer have praised Gallo for his ability to connect with each and every member as well as their family to make the club one of the best in the state. Along with his work with TOPSoccer, coach Gallo has developed a program called, "First Skills" which helps young players build a commitment to their individual development, make soccer fun to practice and play, but most importantly to teach good sportsmanship and respect for all.
Congrats to the men's soccer team and Coach Omar Gallo for all of their achievements this year!
Below are some pictures from the event!