While fielding a full academy set-up for both boys and girls, one of the most exciting PDL teams league-wide and a WPSL club on the women's side, Peachtree City MOBA are all in on their community and soccer on the south side of Atlanta.
Playing out of the brand new 1,000-seat MOBA Soccer Academy complex in Peachtree City, Georgia, MOBA have high ambitions as a club and organization. With players from the team's ages 10-19 academy, PDL and WPSL teams all supporting one another, there's a sense around the club that it exists for something more than just soccer. MOBA actively partners with multiple community-based organizations, hosts major events in Peachtree City and makes sure players and their families are always taken care of first and foremost.
MOBA owner Volker Harms spoke with USLPDL.com about his ambitions for the club, how a fan-focus drives amazing support and his pride in Peachtree City's community.
Owner - Peachtree City MOBA
PDL: You began play this PDL season at the all-new 1,000-seat MOBA Soccer Academy complex in Peachtree City. How did the opening of your new, state-of-the-art facility impact the club and community?
Volker Harms: Our vision has always been to make Peachtree City, and the Southside of Atlanta, a memorable place that will be well known for the game of soccer. Our goal was to build a world-class facility that people would talk about not only in the South, but all through the Atlanta area and be a place the Peachtree City community could be proud of. The location and professional presence gave us instant credibility and support in the community.
PDL: In addition to the PDL club, MOBA Soccer also fields a women’s team in the WPSL and a full academy for boys and girls from ages 10-19. How does engaging the community at all levels help build support for the club?
VH: We wanted to offer a true sense of belonging at the club and a path to a pro career and life-long passion for soccer. Our goal is to create players that succeed as athletes, students, leaders and who become role models on the field and in our community. Offering a path from age 10 up to the PDL and WPSL, our players can interact with each other and learn from each other. Older players mentor our younger athletes and our club culture is committed to helping each player when it comes to a college decision and life choices. Our youth players strongly support our PDL and WPSL players by attending the games, helping with meals for our PDL and WPSL players and proudly carry their MOBA badge and flag.
PDL: What are some ways that you connect with the Peachtree City community and broader Atlanta metro area community?
VH: All of our PDL games and WPSL games are focused on community and families. We partnered with several charities like Bloom - a Georgia Foster Care Organization - the local police, the Girl Scout Organization, local churches and actively support our local schools. We opened our doors to the Farmer’s Market and host together with the Visitors and Convention Bureau two major events - Oktoberfest and St. Patrick’s Day - here on our premises. We also partnered with several recreational soccer clubs in the area that needed help with coaching and player development.
PDL: What are some of the long-term goals you have for the academy program, PDL program and club as a whole?
VH: Our long-term goal is developing some of the best players in the U.S. and providing a true path to professional soccer. Having former MOBA players compete in some of the highest leagues in the world is the goal. We will invest whatever is necessary to achieve this. We are considering a residency program and other investments to provide the best possible environment for the soccer players and their families. That includes the possibility of fielding a pro team in the future.
PDL: You put on an engaging, entertaining product in the PDL, streaming all of your home matches and playing a fun attacking style. What feedback did you get from fans about your 2018 season?
VH: Our fans like the streaming because they can watch their favorite team even if they travel or are not able to make it to the game. It also allows us to expand our reach far beyond the south side of Atlanta and gives families of players that are not local the opportunity to cheer for their player.
PDL: What is the best memory you have with the club or community to date?
VH: The best memory is when players and families tell us that we have made a positive impact in their lives and when they start to play an active part with the MOBA Soccer Academy. They not only wear their shirts and gear proudly to school or around town, they actively support the club by helping out with events, inviting PDL and WPSL players for meals, supporting others within the club and outside their own teams and represent the values of integrity and sportsmanship inside our community.