Kell New Appointment to Soccer Chaplains United

Sep 12, 2022

From east coast to west coast, Michael Kell has seen and been in all parts of the US, but he now calls Southern California home. The father of two has recently seen his oldest off to college at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA — his old alma mater. And his son, (Ethan) currently plays with Los Angeles Football Club’s Academy program, as a goalkeeper. From the countless hours spent on the sidelines, Michael was curiously stirred by the tremendous amount of need that he would come across as he would patiently sit and watch games with other parents. The felt needs prompted him to start exploring what chaplaincy at the academy level might look like. Enter in Soccer Chaplains United.

I was surprised to find Soccer Chaplains United a few years ago and to discover that there was work being done at the academy level. I thought this was a good thing — and as time has gone by, I started to think to myself, ‘Maybe I should go through this process…be ready…just in case the club has a need.’

Michael Kell, on his first impressions of Soccer Chaplains United and thought process on joining

A couple of years ago, Michael and I met at a Rapids First Team match while LAFC Academy was in to play a local tournament. We had spent a few hours on the phone already. I had been sharing the vision and work of Soccer Chaplains United — not to just be about the elite athletes in the First Team dressing room, but to have capacity to serve the whole club — from the front office, to the academy, to the pros. It’s been really exciting to consider someone like Michael joining the team to serve as chaplain because there are many opportunities to develop out in this space.

Michael’s son, Ethan, makes a save playing for LAFC against California Rush in a scrimmage late last month.

Michael brings his unique experience of being an academy parent for one of the elite teams in MLS. The challenges faced by the athletes, parents, and families with the potentiality of playing professional soccer are tremendous and Michael is poised to understand and serve those from his own experience.

At this time, Michael will serve as a regional chaplain for Soccer Chaplains United for the Southern California area. His relationships in and amongst the academy community and with local area teams will be a broader area of focus until Soccer Chaplains United can better understand the needs for a specific club or academy program and how best to situation Michael for service. Regardless, though, Michael has a heart to serve and compassionately come alongside of parents and athletes who are facing the possibilities of their child being a pro at an early age.

As clubs, and our nation, produce the next generation of superstars, there are families, players, academy coaches and staff along the way who have very real needs.  My prayer is that Soccer Chaplains United can be a venue through which to serve and meet the spiritual needs of this unique community.

Michael Kell, on his hopes for his work with Soccer Chaplains United

Soccer Chaplains United is non-profit, 501(c)3 and depends upon the financial support of our partners to carry out our work of developing chaplaincy across all levels of soccer. Please consider making a contribution today to help us continue growing our chaplains and our work. Check out our Donate page for different giving options.

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