Faces of First Kick: Santino Quaranta
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DC's Quaranta giving back with new youth club

WASHINGTON – The urge to give back to the game that has given so much to D.C. United midfielder Santino Quaranta recently began to creep into his life, and he knew he had to do something about it.

The MLS veteran did just that, working with old friend, Baltimore native and former pro Sean Rush, who with Quaranta founded the Pipeline Soccer Club to help Baltimore-area kids make a connection to the sport that helped shape Quaranta’a life.

“I’ve been given a lot from this game,” Quaranta told MLSsoccer.com. “I’ve been able to represent my country, win MLS Cups. I feel like I can bring back some of these qualities that I’ve learned from some of the great people that have taught me and help these kids.”

Pipeline started small this spring with a total of 80 players, but things are taking off rapidly. They expect to have as many as 20 teams in the fall, and Quaranta said they intend on eventually fielding three teams at each level, with players ranging from ages 7-19 throughout the entire region.

But before they could put the kids on the field, they needed to establish the infrastructure of the club and the personnel that could make Pipleline a special group to join. They’ve signed an agreement with apparel giant Under Armour, and have built a board with some of Baltimore’s biggest names in business and soccer, including former US international Sonny Askew.

A variety of other factors have also helped Pipeline launch successfully. According to Quaranta, both the nonprofit nature of the club and its desire to give back to the Baltimore-area community have attracted interest.

The journey continues into the summer as the team building process takes it up a notch. Tryouts will be held in May and June at Garrison Forest School in the Baltimore suburb of Owings Springs, Md.

Along with being the co-founder, Quaranta carries the title of director of professional development and will work with Rush and a team of coaches to pick players and keep things moving forward.

“Five, 10 years from now, we want to be an elite club in this country,” Quaranta said, “and be linked up with someone, have our own facilities and run clinics for kids, inner city kids, have tournaments – you name it.”

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