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Soccer Tourney Steers Teens Away From Gangs

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A Northern Virginia gangs task force is getting teens onto soccer fields.
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A Northern Virginia gangs task force is getting teens onto soccer fields.

By Asma Khalid

A Northern Virginia non-profit is bringing kids involved with gangs off the streets and onto the soccer field.

Alberto Flores is at the second annual Northern Virginia Family Services soccer tournament. He used to hang around with a bad crowd, but soccer is changing that.

"This keeps me away from the streets," he says. "And I don’t think about anything negative."

Douglas Amaya says the sport helps him make better life decisions.

"Sometimes associating with positive friends and not negative ones, you make better decisions," he says.

Amaya knows. He was in a gang. And that’s not usual for the kids here today. About 60 percent either were in a gang or are considered to be at risk for joining a gang.

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