South Carolina United FC players recently traveled to Germany as part of SCUFC’s 20th annual German Exchange program. Each year, up to 16 male and 16 female South Carolina United FC players are chosen to participate in a cultural soccer exchange program with German student-athletes. In October 2022, female German players from 1.FFC Montabaur traveled to the U.S. and stayed with their SCUFC hosts for 10 days. Most recently in July 2023, 12 female and 14 male SCUFC student-athletes traveled to Germany to stay with their German host families for 10 days. During their stay in Germany, SCUFC student-athletes attended German schools, met the mayor at town hall, toured several castles, visited a Climbing Forest, and played soccer, but most importantly made life-long memories with their German host families.
Steve Birnie, SCUFC Board President, commented, “The South Carolina United FC (SCUFC) German Exchange continues our commitment to provide opportunity to our member players and families. This is the 20th year in which we have exchanged players with our partner soccer clubs in the Montabaur, Germany area.
While COVID required a brief suspension in the exchange, we are committed to the ongoing success of the program where we create a culture of understanding and friendship through the game of soccer. Close to 1,000 players have participated in the exchange, with many of the participants developing long-lasting relationships. It is not only for the love of the game, but also the mutual genuine interest in people which forms the basis for the program.”
In 2024, male German student-athletes from Horressen will travel to the U.S. to stay with SCUFC host families for 10 days. The German student-athletes will not only play soccer but will learn much about American culture and cuisine during their stay in Columbia, SC.
To date, SCUFC has exchanged nearly 1,000 South Carolina and German players, coaches, and parents. These exchanges involve both soccer experiences and cultural/tourism experiences. The purpose is to create cultural understanding and friendships through the common bond of youth soccer. Many participants develop relationships that last a lifetime and arrange future visits between players and families.
South Carolina United FC is proud to recognize the following 2023 German Exchange Program participants representing 8 local high schools: Addison Bagnal, Adriana Dunat, Annie Andrews, Elise Graybill, Elle Brewer, Emma Gesser, Emma Price, Grace Benson, Katherine Haigler, Kylie Powell, Kylie Taylor, Lila Bowers, Aksel Sogaard, Ben Pickren, Grayson White, Grayson Zammiello, Luke Hilton, Matthew Clyburn, Matthew Pinasco, Mikey Curcio, Nathaniel Uhrig, Quade Wilson, Rex Slater, Wade Douroux, Walker Miller, and Wyatt Jordan.