Cornelius Bracy, a formerly homeless soccer player from Sonoma County, will be part of the American team at the Homeless World Cup that takes place in Australia next month. The Homeless World Cup began in 2003 as a "catalyst for lasting change through the development of street soccer worldwide in a way that creates maximum social impact for the players involved--the socially excluded, homeless people and people living in poverty."
Julius Ujeh, a soccer coach from Nigeria, began a Street Soccer league for homeless young adults in Sonoma County. The program, originally started in Australia, has given young adults a purpose that teaches discipline and self-motivation.
Street soccer is a mini-version of the traditional game of soccer, which can be played on any hard, flat rectangular surface, roughly the size of a tennis court. The new "traveling field" (shown below) gives the U.S. team an attractive, safe surface on which to play, and a sense of identity for the players.
Four players compete on each side (one of them is a goalie) and games last for 14 minutes each. While games are short, they are very fast-paced. The name of the event was coined in 2003 during the first Homeless World Cup.