Grassroots Soccer Clinics Tuesdays, 9/15 – 10/6

We are pleased to offer a new, fun & energetic recreational program with a strong emphasis on developing ball mastery. Join us for Grassroots Soccer Clinics Tuesdays at the Waukegan Sports Park. Open to players of all skill levels. Illinois “Return to Sports” protocol strictly enforced. Register your player by 9/14!

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Now introducing: Fall Academy! Aug. 10 – Nov. 5

Sign up your child for our Fall Academy — a soccer program and Fall Learning Lab for in-person e-learning support. **Staff, coaches & tutors will be following strict Covid-19 protocol with all the on field and e-learning activities.  NOTE: If you already registered your player for the 2020-21 travel season, we will apply your registration and…

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Donate $25 to Support our Back-to-School Initiative!

Help us close the gap for youth in our programs in need of school supplies this Fall now through September 1! Your generous gift is tax deductible. Donate here. Interested in donating items in-kind? Items must be in NEW condition. Contact to coordinate an item drop-off. Thank you for your support!

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affordable, high quality programs


support for post-secondary success


volunteer stewardship opportunities

Heart of the City uses soccer as a vehicle to teach youth essential life skills, train them as leaders and mentors, and connect them with postsecondary opportunities, whether it's college, trade/technical school, military or the workforce.

Youth ages 4-19 in Lake County, IL with approximately 70% qualifying for free and reduced lunch.

Our Pathway.

Camps & Clinics
free, introductory experiences for the community

Soccer Academy
a developmental in-house program for boys & girls age 4-14

HOTC Elite 
a competitive soccer and postsecondary-readiness program for boys and girls ages 8-19

And Beyond
Our programs help prepare youth for post-secondary success!

"Heart of the City exemplifies what it means to be a strong organization. Between its community involvement, educational opportunities and putting its players in the best position to succeed in life, Heart of the City does it all. Heart of the City provides an opportunity for children of all ages to compete and learn. It is a pleasure to work with Heart of the City to provide the best opportunities for this community."


Brett Pomeroy, Recreation Specialist - Waukegan Park District

"Being a soccer enthusiast for 62 years now, I see certain clubs that are made strictly to win, strictly to dominate, strictly to be a driving force to get trophies and awards, and then I see Heart of the City -- who certainly would love to be in those categories, too -- but the most important thing for Heart of the City is the development of the children.

In Waukegan, there are children in single-parent households, there are children with absent parents, there are children basically who have no direction, no structure. Heart of the City provides them a very structured environment where they learn to be responsible, and they learn to be efficient in what they do. And that’s something that many are not getting at home. I’m very proud to be associated with Heart of the City."

Wayne Motley, Former Waukegan Mayor

“I love what y’all do here. It’s not about winning at all cost. My son was playing at a different soccer league and he would say ‘Dad this isn’t fun’. Here the coaches are a lot more involved teaching all the players and moving them around in different positions. You can see they care about developing players.”


Brandon K., Soccer Academy parent

"Our youth have enjoyed their programming experience with Heart of the City. The youth appreciate having a remarkable coach that helps improve their skills while still having fun! They are not provided many opportunities to play soccer in a structured environment and Heart of the City gives them that opportunity."


Amy Lomax, Program Development Manager - Boys & Girls Club of Lake County

“I love how all of the coaches work with all of the players. They’ll demo the moves they're working on for that week, and they have the patience to breakdown each movement so everyone understand how to perform steps. Heart of the City has the best coaches that care about making the experience enjoyable and challenging.”


Eunice J., parent from after-school clinic

Check out our new video: Tyrayna's Story

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