THE HISTORY OF SMIA
Founded in 1984 by former professional soccer player Aleks Mihailovic, Soccer Made in America (SMIA) was established to provide individual and collective growth. We are known as one of the first soccer training camps in the country - creating 120 camps for youth soccer players.
The SMIA methodology was designed to provide a foundation for perfecting pure form and precision in movement. We still use our traditional teaching methodology to develop and transform players. Due to our highly respected innovative and proper technical execution, SMIA has sent and continues to transfer players onto the next platform at the collegiate and professional levels. Our community stems from U.S. Soccer to Grassroots. Through our programs, we have been humbled to help players reach their goals in the athletic and academic fields.
Gabrini Green - 1987: 500 excited young children showed up for their first SMIA camp. The poverty and conditions these children lived under were overwhelming. But the smiles on their faces during training sparked another level.
In 1988, Soccer Arts for Education (SAFE) was created by Aleks Mihailovic as a result of the 1987 camp in Chicago's Cabrini Green, hosted specifically for underprivileged children. The SAFE Foundation is a non-profit organization designed to ease financial difficulties (underprivileged players 4- to 17-year-old) with the opportunity to learn, grow and develop with one of the top soccer training programs in the country.
Throughout the years, Aleks Mihailovic and the SAFE Foundation helped thousands of youth players in the Chicagoland area. We guide, support, and fund youth players to participate in professionally managed soccer programs, as well as augment academic scholarships already earned by its older players heading to colleges and universities. A sister program to SMIA, SAFE believes athletic excellence – in this case, achieved through soccer – has a direct bearing on a child’s self-esteem and educational success.