Our Support

Thunderbird F.C. is excited to announce that it is a proud supporter of Safer Soccer, an initiative of the Concussion Legacy Foundation. We support Safer Soccer’s mission of educating the community regarding the risks of heading the ball at a young age. Thunderbird F.C. also adheres to Safer Soccer’s goal of not allowing youth players under the age of 14 years old to head the ball. We are the first youth soccer organization in the first youth soccer organization in the country to adopt Safer Soccer as a formal part of our club culture and rules. Minimizing the risk of concussions will help Thunderbird F.C. act as the safest youth soccer organization in Phoenix.

Concussions in Youth Soccer

Concussions in youth soccer are an unfortunate reality of the sport. According to Safer Soccer, “Attempting to head the ball and colliding or falling is by far the #1 risk of concussions in youth soccer, causing more thanĀ 30,000 concussions each year. Heading accounts for nearly 1/3 of concussionsĀ in youth soccer.” Currently, heading is not allowed in youth soccer for players younger than 10 years old. Thunderbird F.C. is eliminating heading for youth soccer players younger than 14 years old in all of its current and future programs in Phoenix. Thunderbird F.C. is progressively attempting to make soccer safer for the youth to enjoy.

Why Safer Soccer

When asked about Thunderbird F.C. announcing its support of Safer Soccer, club President Colin Zaccagnio, reflected, “Safer Soccer is an initiative that I am personally so proud to support. Heading the ball in soccer is such a dangerous act. The repetitive blows to the head, especially at a young age, can be so harmful. I suffered from multiple concussions during my youth career which sidelined me from the sport and affected my academic studies. There’s simply no need for heading before high school. I am glad that Thunderbird F.C. will be eliminating the risk of head injuries for its players by supporting Safer Soccer’s #NoHeaderNoBrainer initiative.”

Be on the lookout for Thunderbird F.C. fundraisers to help Safer Soccer towards its mission. For more information regarding Safer Soccer and its mission, please visit their website. For a full list of Safer Soccer Supporters, click here.