David Ricca Joins NJYS Staff to Grow the Sport at the Grassroots Level
The goal is to grow the game and keep players of all ages playing longer and fans of the sport for their entire lives.
With New Jersey Youth Soccer’s vision of providing fun and safe soccer experiences at all ages and abilities for the youth soccer community, David Ricca is a perfect addition to the NJYS team as its Innovate to Grow consultant.
Ricca has been playing soccer since he was four years old and worked on the organizing committee for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. One of his favorite accomplishments while on Cape Town? Giving out soccer balls to underprivileged children.
“Soccer is in my blood. It’s who I am.”David Ricca
“I am excited to be part of this initiative to help clubs grow and make soccer the preeminent sport in New Jersey,” said Ricca. “As a New Jersey soccer player, NJYS has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Being part of such a great organization that supports a positive and safe environment is a tremendous honor.”
The Innovate to Grow (ITG) Fund was introduced by the U.S. Soccer Federation in pursuit of its mission to make soccer the preeminent sport in the United States.
“My goal is to grow the game in NJ through the support that NJYS affords its members and utilizing my relationships with these clubs to bring innovative solutions,” said Ricca.
As the NJ Youth Soccer ITG consultant, Ricca aims to build the sport at the grassroots level which is what really drew him to the position.
“The opportunity to serve urban communities and make soccer more accessible is something that is very near and dear to my heart,” explained Ricca. “Before moving to Clifton, I was raised in Paterson, so I am all too familiar with the challenges some soccer clubs face.”
Ricca believes being able to help underserved and unaffiliated clubs is a personal full circle.
“David first approached me in Spring of 2020 to express his desire to give back and continue his volunteer support in youth soccer,” said Evan Dabby, Executive Director of NJYS.
“From there, he has helped create marketing material for our coaching education courses, assisted with our Annual General Meeting at Red Bull Arena and more,” said Dabby. “His knowledge of and passion for youth soccer makes him an ideal person for our Innovate to Grow project consultant.”
Ricca was identified as the most qualified candidate not only due to his experience as a former player and coach but also as a result of his extremely unique professional career.
Ricca reevaluated his whole life after narrowly escaping during the 9/11 attacks.
Ricca worked as an International Wealth Management associate at Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney in the World Trade Center when the towers were hit. After the career change, he worked in the Interactive Marketing Department of CBS, as a part of the Media Team for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, and as an American liaison for Major League Soccer (MLS) and Soccer United Marketing (SUM) to any Latin American international soccer team that played in the United States.
Now, Ricca is the Director of Just Live Soccer, an organization that helps underprivileged children through the beautiful game, in addition to serving as the NJYS Innovate to Grow consultant and a NJYSA District Commissioner.