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We started our soccer ministry in church parking lots in Southern California with the singular purpose of creating a community of healthy, happy, and high-level soccer players.

Our mission is captured in Psalm 33:3

“Sing to him a new song; play skillfully and shout for joy.”

How we grew

Over the years, Play Higher FC has held thousands of training sessions and ministered many young players in all levels of soccer from youth, university, and professional leagues.

Today, Play Higher FC has partnered with Saddleback Church to become the first bilingual ministry providing high-level training and life mentoring at the beautiful Rancho Capistrano church campus.

Contact Us

Justice Duerksen

Founder and Executive Director of Play Higher FC.

After playing professional soccer in Germany for SV Merseberg 99 and SV Dessau 05, Justice moved back to Southern California to start Play Higher and begin his dream of providing high-level soccer and life training to area athletes regardless of their economic situation.

Justice played collegiate soccer at Seattle University where he started as a freshman and helped lead the Red Hawks to a WAC title and NCAA Tournament second round appearance. He transferred to UC San Diego helping the Tritons to a Conference title and a NCAA D2 Final Four result before graduating with a Bachelor of Science in International Business.

In 2014, Justice began attending Saddleback Church and made the decision to be baptized and rededicate his life to Christ.

Justice is fluent in English, Spanish, and German languages. His vision for Play Higher FC focuses on expanding its programs through church and corporate partnerships globally to increase the lives touched through “The Beautiful Game.”

Betsy Duerksen

Assistant Coach of Play Higher FC.

Betsy comes to Play Higher with more than 45 years of soccer experience as a player, coach, and parent.

Betsy was the Head Women’s Soccer Coach at both Seattle University and the University of Montana where she guided her teams to multiple conference titles and National Tournament appearances. Additionally, Betsy coached alongside future U.S. National Team coach Gregg Berhalter in Cal South leagues where she learned German Youth Federation training methods.

As a player, Betsy attended Boston College on a soccer scholarship where she was a four-year All American and awarded the Female Athlete of the Decade for the 1980s. She graduated with degrees in Human Development and a Masters in Social Work.

As a mother of three children who won a youth national title, played in college, and professionally, Betsy has a unique perspective on parenting kids involved in competitive sports. She is excited to join Play Higher FC and is passionate about the game of soccer and mentoring young athletes in a fun, faithful environment.