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Couva, Trinidad & Tobago. October 10th, 2017. The United States Men’s National Team was shockingly eliminated from World Cup qualification by Trinidad & Tobago in arguably the darkest day of US Soccer history. After this lackluster 2-1 loss, ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman went on his famous rant practically screaming “What are we doing???” How are we not developing good enough talent to qualify for a Men’s World Cup, while the US Women’s Team continues to excel year after year?

To me, the more pointed question is “What are we doing wrong?” when it comes to developing the sport in this country. To put it simply, soccer has become an elitist sport with high financial barriers to entry. Player development standards continue to drop as fees continue to rise for uniforms, travel requirements and administration costs. How are we, as one of the most diverse and sports-minded countries on earth not good enough to qualify for the men’s World Cup? Not good enough. So...

What are we doing? In other words, what are we doing as a brand to support growth of the sport here in the United States? First, we must lower the financial cost of entry to encourage players of all financial and demographic backgrounds to participate in the sport. No player should be turned away from the sport because their parents cannot afford it. As the shock and disappointment of not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup ceased to be as painful, I shifted gears and started asking questions about what I can do to help. A few of the painful questions kept reoccurring:

Why are parents paying so much money for the same cookie-cutter uniforms seen on dozens of fields at every summer soccer tournament across the country?
Are the big brands truly invested in developing the sport at the grassroots level?
Are the big brands truly committed to partnering with clubs on a development level in terms of coaching education and playing opportunities?
Are the big brands more committed to pleasing shareholders or investing in local and global outreach to make the world a better place?
For me, the answer to these questions was clear. Something needed to be done. Is there room in the market for high quality, custom bespoke uniforms, apparel and equipment? The resounding answer was yes, and Levo was born. Credit to my lovely wife, the name Levo epitomizes what this game should be about.

levo: To raise, elevate, lift up.

We hope you join us on our journey to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for all. Let’s elevate the game together!

Brian Iblings

Founder, Levo Sport LLC