Cleveland Kickers Lakewood Academy Is Back And Taking Spring Over!

This year is shaping to be the year of the Kickers. CKLA (Cleveland Kickers Lakewood Academy), a Lakewood based youth soccer developmental program is aiming big and delivering even bigger this Spring. The girl’s side of the program has added three additional teams and is here to make a statement. CKLA Sporting Director and Lakewood High School – Girls Varsity Coach, Vladimir Godosev says, “I couldn’t be more proud of the dedication and progress this organization has made in our first two years. We started with just 5 teams, and now expanded to 12 for Spring.” He adds, “It’s been my dream to get a true developmental youth program going for kids, to not just give them a place to play, but an environment to learn, grow and experience the beautiful game at high competition.”

CKLA is also helping with the refugees in our area. Together with Asia Inc, the School Board, and Cleveland Catholic Charities – CKLA’s own Bill Gregg has lead the way in starting a CKLA based program: Lakewood Soccer United. LSU is a program geared towards helping immigrants and refugees assimilate in Lakewood and Cleveland. Coach Vlad says, “Bill has been a driving force and leader in getting this program going, his passion drives us all. It’s something that we can really take to heart, knowing we can give back to those who have witnessed and been a part of such devastation or hardships. We asked ourselves, what better way to teach, then by playing the worlds game?”

CKLA recent venture is to reach out to the 5-8 year old range in youth soccer. They have started a Premier Developmental Program, which takes kids in at young ages to learn the basics of soccer and put the “fun” back into FUNdamentals. Mr. Godosev says, “We want to take our youth and teach them early on the good habits and let them take the game to new heights. This isn’t about winning or losing at youth ages, it’s about giving kids the proper tools and training for future success. We are starting up our program to feed the future of CKLA and Lakewood Athletes.” PDP starts up this Spring with two training sessions a week, and competitive games once every two weeks. One can see why the approach of more training, less competing will help encourage growth and learning. “Winning is fun, playing games is fun, but at which point to you say – winning at 9 years old or 5 years old is okay, but it’s because little Jane can run past everyone; however, for some reason when Jane is 13 or 14, everyone is running past her and now Jane is having trouble understanding the game and her skills never really improved, and doesn’t enjoy it as much when she dominated at 9. That’s because her whole youth career all Jane heard was “run Jane, kick it as hard as you can!!” says, Coach Vlad. “What I want to hear is, “Coach, thanks so much, Jane learned how to make an accurate pass 20 yards, the next year she was able to go 40 yards, now she’s chipping it 30 yards, yesterday she curled the ball far post past a diving keeper and she’s only 12.” CKLA’s philosophy encourages development and growth, understanding that the most important winning is academically and at the high school/ college levels.

CKLA is covering all aspects of youth soccer to help all ages experience the beautiful game. To help catch up to the rest of the country as well as the world, one player at a time. This isn’t just about soccer, it’s about changing a culture and giving back to a city who’s long been in the shadow of neighboring cities soccer youth development. Stay tuned for more great CKLA news to come…we’re sure of it! For more information go to the CKLA website at,

Read More on Schools
Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 8:09 PM, 01.24.2012