“As a charitable youth organization, we want to teach our players about giving back to our community and thanking them for their support,” said Peckett, who serves as president and director of coaching.
QUSC has partnered in fundraisers with Forestdale, assisting with their “Back to School” drive, and also ran a toy drive after the holidays.
“We are hoping to build more relationships with similar organizations and help children and families who are in difficult circumstances,” Peckett said.
QUSC offers five teams in different age group teams, beginning with the Under 8’s up to Under 12’s. Currently, over 65 players participate in travel-based teams, playing in the prestigious Long Island Junior Soccer League, which serves over 60,000 youth soccer players in 97 clubs and over 3,500 teams.
As a team sport, soccer teaches hard work, discipline, group cooperation, and verbal communication.
“There are no timeouts,” Peckett said. “Once the game starts, players try to solve any problems that present themselves.
Off the field, they can use their leadership qualities,” he added. “No matter how hard their effort, they learn that they don’t always win and they also learn to make a mistake, but can rebound as other opportunities will present themselves.”
QUSC works to reduce the financial burden for families seeking a superior youth competitive sports program.
“No matter the economic background of the child, they will not be turned away by the cost,” said Peckett, noting the diversity of Queens. “Many families are from countries where youth soccer is not a business, and they simply don’t want to pay large registration fees. We are always searching for ways to reduce costs for our families by seeking sponsorships.”
Main sponsor Adidas has offered uniforms at discounted prices and a 10 percent discount on any Adidas items. The club is also supported by Title Boxing Club, Little Pulp, Cipollina Gourmet, Vitelio’s Marketplace, and Dr. Charlene Berkman Dentistry.
“We would like to find an independent home field and practice facility and community club house to help cement our club in the community,” said Peckett of the group's longterm goals, “while making it open to all of Queens.”
“The most important lesson is having an entire team play as if they were one player,” said Mike Magill, whose nine-year-old son Aidan plays soccer with QUSC. “I also think that Aidan has learned how to both win and lose with class, which comes direct from the coaches and a group of supportive parents that place a high value on progression over winning.”
Jonathan Rockoff’s nine-year-old son plays for a QUSC team, while his daughter plays for the sister program, Soccer Friends USA, which led to QUSC’s founding.
“Learning and playing a sport is more than an opportunity for kids to run around, but great for their physical development,” he said. “My son has made great friends with the players, and I bet he will be longtime friends with some.
“I'm amazed at how advanced their skills are at such a young age,” he added. “I played soccer in the fourth grade, and we didn't really know how to dribble or pass, let alone play a team concept. I credit the coaches for their kind, patient tutelage.”
Ken Keltai and his wife Marcy have a four-year-old daughter Jenna in Soccer Friends USA, while nine-year-old Layla plays on the QUSC Under 10 team.
“Despite being the only girl on the boys team, Layla's play stood out one game, where the opposing team's parents told us afterwards that she could play on their team anytime if we lived in their town,” Ken said. “Soccer is great since it does not matter how tall or strong you are. The best players worldwide have been typically short, but you need to be creative, skillful, and physically fit.”