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PENNSYLVANIA’S LEADING YOUTH SOCCER PUBLICATION fALL 2013

e a s t e r n p e n n sy lva n i a y o u t h s o c c e r

jodi clugston joins ODP coaching staff p.7

Celebrating Champions p.14 Rec soccer spotlight p.9

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Major Events Coming p. 25

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Touchline

CONTENTS

eastern pennsylvania youth soccer

Volume XL | September 2013

14

Published by: Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer 4070 Butler Pike, Suite 100 Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 Phone: 610-238-9966 Fax: 610-238-9933 E-mail: info@EPYSA.org Website: EPYSA.org EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE President: Jim Kuntz Vice President, Travel: Michael Finnegan Vice President, Recreation: John Lenart Treasurer: Nicole Posillico Epps Secretary: Jeff Sommer Registrar: Donna Outt Past President: Bob McDade STATE OFFICE STAFF Chief Executive Officer: Chris Branscome Director of Coaching: Mike Barr Director of Soccer Operations: Frank Olszewski Marketing & Events Coordinator: Kylea Meredith Assistant Director of Coaching: Gary Stephenson Membership Services Specialist: Beck Kleinert Business Administration Manager: Kelly Connor Director of Camps: Sheldon Chamberlain Administrative Services Specialist: Barb Budgick Accountant: Judy Curran Public Relations Consultant: Jim DeLorenzo

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9 TABLE OF CONTENTS

14-15-16 Celebrating the Summerʼs Champions

2-3-4

19

Join FIFA in Fair Play Days

20

Quarterly Calendar

21

Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Player Profiles

23

2013-2014 ODP Tryouts Schedule Announced

25

Four Major National Soccer Events Coming to Philadelphia

27

Donʼt Ignore Recreation Soccer

28

Coaching: First Defending

Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Who We Are

7

Former National Team Goalkeeper Jodi Clugston Joins ODP Coaching Staff

9

Rec Soccer Spotlight: Northern Valley Youth Soccer League & Upper Milford Youth Association

11

Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Honors Four Scholarship Winners

13

Septemberʼs Youth Soccer Month Schedule

TOUCHLINE Editor-in-Chief: Chris Branscome Consulting Editor: Jim DeLorenzo Contributor: Kylea Meredith Advertising Sales Rep: Dan Clark, Pearl Press Liberty, 215-925-4900 x 1544 Printed by: Pearl Pressman Liberty Communications Group, Inc., 7625 Suffolk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19153

Touchline is © Copyright 2013 Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer. The entire contents of this publication are copyrighted; all rights reserved. Articles may not be reproduced or reprinted without written permission of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer. Advertising space in Touchline is purchased and paid for by the advertisers. None of the products or services is necessarily endorsed by Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer or its affiliates. The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer or its advertisers. Printed in the United States of America.

Who We Are & What We Do

W

by Chris Branscome, Chief Executive Officer, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer

e have been fortunate over the past few years to celebrate a number of milestones and achievements for Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer. From our on-field successes in State Cups, Regionals, and Nationals, to our scholarship recipients, as well as our 40th Anniversary in 2012 and the US Soccer Centennial this year, we have had a lot to celebrate. Sometimes we need to celebrate the simple things, the everyday things. Our membership sees shifts, and there are always new members to acclimate and educate. We also have many long-time members and it’s equally important

that we remind or re-educate them too. We want to be sure that everyone involved– players, parents, coaches, officials, friends and colleagues – is aware of what Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer does; who we are, where we are and what we can do for you, as members and partners in our association. We want you to know what we have to offer, what the value of your membership is, and how you can benefit. Therefore, we’re dedicating a portion of this issue of Touchline to refresh your knowledge of our state association. We continue to strive for improvements, even in the slightest way, so perhaps

you may learn something new, or remember something you had forgotten about from this issue. And don’t forget that you can always find the latest information and supplements on our website, EPYSA.org. And as always, we welcome your comments and questions. Please feel free to contact us at the state office. Staff information is provided on page two, and of course their contact information can be found at EPYSA.org. You’re always welcome to stop by and visit us in Plymouth Meeting as well. Here’s to a successful new season of soccer for everyone!

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EPYSA.org

EASTERN PennsylvaniA YOUTH SOCCER

Who we are

Tioga

Susquehana

Bradford

Wayne

Sullivan

Wyoming

Lackawanna

Lycoming

Pike

Luzerne Monroe

Columbia Union Snyder

Schuylkill

lin iff

M

ta

nia

Ju

Lehigh

North Hampton

Daughn Berks

Perry

Being part of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer means you are part of one of the biggest soccer organizations in the world.

Carbon

North Umberland

Bucks

Mo

Lebanon

ntg

om

er

Cumberland

Lancaster

y

Chester Franklin

Adams

Philadelphia

Yorks

Delaware

“By the Numbers” 370+ member clubs 145 intramural leagues 11 travel leagues 8 recreational leagues 130,000+ players 50,000+ coaches, administrators and volunteers

State Office

Governing body of soccer in the US

The largest youth sports organization in the US, which consists of over three million youth players ages “under 5” to 19 within 55 state associations

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7th largest association that provides structure and support within their boundaries

Touchline Founded by a group of coaches, administrators, parents, and players in 1972, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer is a non-profit educational organization, with a mission to foster the mental, physical, and emotional growth of youth through the sport of soccer at all levels of age and competition within Eastern Pennsylvania’s 36 counties. From its headquarters in Plymouth Meeting, the team of professionals in the state office comes from diverse backgrounds in business, education, and sports, but all share a passion for soccer and delivering results for the membership. With experience on the national, regional, and local level, the state office staff provides consul to members on a daily basis. Got a question about player registration or risk management?  From tournament teams, to direct players to background checks or a registration system tutorial contact our Membership Services Manager, Beck Kleinert. Beck will assist travel, rec and intramural league registrars as well as individual clubs and team managers.  She is responsible for the player database and membership fees. Need information on State Cups, tournament sanctioning or other events?  Contact Director of Soccer Operations, Frank Olszewski for questions relating to indoor and outdoor cups, eligibility issues or rules interpretations. Frank also works with disciplinary procedures and is a liaison to our state youth referee administrator. Want more education for your coaches?  Gary Stephenson, Assistant Director of Coaching, is responsible for Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer’s coaching education programs including scheduling courses, coordinating the curriculum, and continuing education opportunities.  Gary also assists with player development and our technical training programs, clinics, camps and ODP. Questions about upcoming programs, special events, and marketing?  Kylea Meredith is the person to contact in Plymouth Meeting, managing Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer’s relationships with our strategic partners like the Philadelphia Union, NSCAA, the Union League

of Philadelphia and others. Her goal is to maximize the participation, activation and exposure of all Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer programs and events.  Kylea also coordinates our TOPSoccer programs, scholarships and outreach.  She and Gary are currently overseeing all of our communications, EPYSA.org and the monthly newsletter, The Post. If you need help with anything related to technical aspects of the game and child/player development, look no further than contacting Mike Barr.  Mike is our Director of Coaching, and a National Staff Coach for US Soccer. He is one of the top course instructors and an authority on youth in sports.  He has assisted nationally and locally in many aspects of curriculum development for players and coaches.  He is available to tutor your coaches and address your parents.  He is also very active with outreach and special needs children. Mike has also developed our Olympic Development Program into one of the best in US Youth Soccer.   Kelly Connor works directly with Barr on the coordination and management of ODP, but also vital to the general business operations of the association. Barb Budgick is the friendly voice who answers the phones and can help you with many things.  If you’re not sure what you need or who to speak with, she’ll point you in the right direction.  If you have an insurance question, like needing certificates for your fields or if you have an injury and may need to file a claim, Barb is your resource.

The staff also works closely with the members of the Executive Board, who are voted into office by the membership at the Annual General Meeting. Jim Kuntz, President Michael Finnegan, Vice President, Travel | John Lenart, Vice President, Recreation Nicole Posillico Epps, Treasurer | Jeff Sommer, Secretary | Donna Outt, Registrar Bob McDade, Past President

There are also a number of committees formed by the membership, as well as arbitrators for dispute resolution within the organization.

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EPYSA.org Members of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer benefit from a wide-range of programming, events and clinics, including: Player Development programs which are dedicated to teaching the game at all levels to all kids, with an emphasis on matriculation and growth. Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer helps teach a healthy lifestyle, with age-appropriate training, developmentally-appropriate training, parent education and academic opportunities. Opportunities abound, from rec soccer to camps, league play, tournaments, clinics and workshops. Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer’s elite-level training and competition for ages 10 to 17 includes the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP); the National Championship Series; the US Youth Soccer National League; and Regional Leagues. Competitive-level training and competition for ages nine to 19 includes travel soccer, state-wide competitions, and ODP opportunities.

For recreational training and competition, for ages five to13, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer offers community-based programs, helps parent-coaches and volunteers, provides coaching education services, competition in the Kohl’s American Cup, intramural and recreational festivals, and clinics. Throughout the year, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer offers a wide range of Coaching Education programs, including: educational theory; physiology, psychology and sociology; guided discovery; age/ developmentally appropriate activity; US Soccer and US Youth Soccer courses. Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer’s staff are all “A” licensed and experienced instructors that train coaches, to train coaches, with free and low-cost supplemental materials available through the state office. For disabled or special needs children, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer offers TOPSoccer programs, including parent and coach training, as well as player training, and competition. There are currently 18 TOPSoccer programs in Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer. TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is a community-based training and team placement program for young athletes with disabilities, organized by youth soccer association volunteers, developed by US Youth Soccer and implemented by Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer, to bring the opportunity of learning and playing soccer to any boy or girls, age eight to 19, who has a mental or physical disability. Through other partnerships, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer participates in a number of special programs and promotions, with added benefits for members, including discounts on tickets, merchandise, and memberships. Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer is actively involved with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Soccer Hall of Fame, the Philadelphia Sports Congress, and the Union League of Philadelphia for special programs and events, as well as other organizations. Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer communicates with the membership in a wide variety of ways, including the quarterly magazine “Touchline,” with articles about youth soccer players, coaches, officials, and alumni, as well as coaching education and event calendars. There are a number of e-mail newsletters, including the monthly “The Post” as well as regular e-mail updates for special events and promotions. There is also the website, EPYSA.org, which is updated daily with news, photos, videos and other information. For further information and updates, or to contact the state office, please visit the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer website, EPYSA.org.

A Quick “Check List” of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Member Benefits ✓ State Cup Competitions (three tiers) ✓ Regional & National competition entry fees ✓ USSF Licensing courses ✓ Director of Coaching Instruction ✓ College Scholarships

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✓ E-College Planning ✓ General liability and accident coverage ✓ Outreach to children with special needs, un-served or underserved communities ✓ Recreational Grants and Emergency Financial Assistance ✓ Discounts from local and national partners & vendors

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Touchline

Former National Team Goalkeeper Jodi Clugston Joins ODP Coaching Staff A native of Red Hill, Clugston played at Upper Perkiomen High School, where she was a NSCAA and Parade AllAmerican during her high school career, and was also a member of the United States U-16 and U-18 National Team. 

O

ne local player who has come up through Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer and the ODP program, Jodi Clugston, recently returned to the Philadelphia area as an assistant women’s soccer coach at Drexel University. This fall, she will also return to ODP, as a coach for Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer. “This is my second go-round coaching ODP for Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer,” said Clugston. “The summer between my senior year in high school and my freshman year in college, Charlotte Moran had reached out to me and asked me if I could stick around and help coach the goalkeepers at the ODP camp. She was like a second mom to me on the soccer field.  I really looked up to her.  “This will be my second year coaching at Drexel,” said Clugston. “After graduating from the University of Virginia, I moved to Texas, where I was an assistant coach at Lamar, and then I was the head coach at an NCAA Division II school (Chowan University in Murfreesboro, North Carolina). I moved back to the Philadelphia area a couple years ago.” Clugston, who graduated from Virginia in 2006, played for two seasons in goal for the Cavaliers before suffering a concussion which would prematurely end her playing career. She made 23 starting assignments, and in her final year of competition, Clugston’s team advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals. In her 12 starts in 2001, Virginia was 101-1. She graduated with a 1.19 goals against average, 72 career saves and is still tied for eighth all-time at the school in career shutouts.

“I played soccer until I was 13 with the Valley Soccer Club, and then I tried out for FC Delco, and played there until I went to UVA,” Clugston said. “I played ODP from age 14 to U19 Girls. I loved playing ODP, I love playing soccer, I just wanted to play - the more competitive it was, the better. Playing ODP gave me a challenge. I had to make the team every

Jodi Clugston year. I always wanted to be the number one goalkeeper, and there were always other girls competing for that spot, I always wanted that challenge. “I started as a club player on the field, and one day my coach asked if anyone wanted to play in goal,” said Clugston. “I played both on the field and as goalkeeper with FC Delco, depending on where I was needed. When I got to college, I stayed as a goalkeeper.” Clugston credits a number of coaching influences on her career in soccer. “Steve Swanson at Virginia played a big part, in my second year there I wasn’t allowed to play any more due to multiple concussions, I wouldn’t be coaching today if it wasn’t for him,”

Clugston said. “And Terry Underkoffle, my goalkeeper coach at ODP, also a Region I coach, he lived three minutes from my house, he coached at my high school and trained me very well. He got me playing at the high school level with the boys, and helped me become at topnotch goalkeeper. “ “And my dad, Bill Clugston, was a big part of who I became as a goalkeeper. He coached my club team (Valley Soccer) until I went to FC Delco.   My father drove me to all my practices, club team and state team.  He watched the training sessions and on days I had off, weekends, or during the off season he would work with me, push me and challenge me to become a better goalkeeper. Without his help I would not have gotten a scholarship to Virginia, and I wouldn’t have made the U-16 and U-18 National Teams.” One of Clugston’s fellow assistant coaches at Drexel University is responsible for her returning to coach ODP in Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer this fall. Don Overmier has been coaching ODP for Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer for 13 years.  “I spent my first two years coaching the boys U12 and U13 age groups, and the last 11 years coaching the girls U15 through U17 age groups,” said Overmier. “Earlier, I played in ODP for Eastern Pennsylvania for one year at the U17 age group.  I wish I had gone out for the program when I was younger but I did not know about it until I started to play on a high level club team.” Starting this fall, Clugston will be working with U16 girls and U17 girls at goalkeeper. “It’s a great age to work with, they are looking to get to college,  looking for anything that will help make them better,” said Clugston. “I want to help them focus their skills, help make them better in all areas of the game, so that they stand out when college coaches are looking at their games.”

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Rec Soccer Spotlight:

Touchline

Northern Valley Youth Soccer League & Upper Milford Youth Association

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he Northern Valley Youth Soccer League was formed in 1993 as a way for Lehigh County soccer clubs and associations to play against each other in a “Rec Soccer” program. “Recreational Soccer” is organized soccer that is open to all players who love the beautiful game. There are no tryouts, no pressure to perform or to win – just a venue for any kids at any skill level to play the game of soccer. No standings – no playoffs, just the opportunity to play. According to Matt Skekel, the current chairman of Northern Valley Youth Soccer League (NVYSL), “Recreational soccer gives kids a chance to learn and enjoy the game and play with their school friends and neighbors. We, as parents, forget sometimes that these players are just kids – and they are only kids once. Letting them play recreational soccer for a few years, and getting a chance to learn and love the game, is such a great thing to see. “ “It is also a fantastic way for older players to continue to play soccer,” Skekel said. “These days, high school kids are forced to choose one sport – with recreational soccer these players can continue to play simply because they love to play. These players are as good as club team, travel or high school players, but have other interests which may not let them devote the time required for these other teams – so they play rec soccer, and are still able to enjoy the game. Others may not be good enough to make one of the other teams – but want to continue playing, and that is something else that rec soccer provides.” Skekel is the Soccer Coordinator and President of the Upper Milford Youth Association in Lehigh County. He has been the chairman of NVYSL for five months, but has been involved with, or on the board, for four years. “Our soccer program began in the mid to late 1980’s. We are a small club, and typically have about 180 kids come out for soccer since I have been involved,” said Skekel. “We have considered having travel teams in the local travel league – but have not done so mostly because there are not enough interested

players from our association and there are several travel programs and club teams in our area to choose from. There are about 20 youth associations or soccer clubs in Lehigh County – most of them have recreational soccer programs. Currently there is only one recreational soccer league in the county, and that is NVYSL. We have 18 member clubs, and last season, which ran from fall 2012 through this past spring, we had over 3,000 participants.” When asked for some highlights of the NVYSL rec league, Skekel recalled that “this past spring, I had the opportunity to coach a U14 Boys team from UMYA playing in NVYSL. On one of the final weekends of the season, the coaches decided to play a mini-tournament between our three teams, where each team ended up playing four 25 minute games,

not play much at all? Or the year at U10 Rec soccer where they played and learned every position and maybe had a chance to score a game winning goal, or make the game winning save as goalie? Seeing kids getting a chance to do these things and walking off the field with a huge smile on their face is absolutely priceless.” In October, UMYA is holding their third Columbus Day Weekend Soccer Tournament, a chance to play in a tournament when, typically, they do not. “In this tournament there are trophies for placing – but the real idea behind it is to just give these kids a chance to play – when most other tournaments will not allow them to be a part of it,” said Skekel. “The best part is that some of the best soccer I have seen at these age levels has been at these tournaments, and it’s just so cool to see the third and second place teams get excited for placing (not just the overall winner). This year we are expanding the Columbus Day Weekend tournament, and partnering with a neighbor club to help host the event.” Rec soccer also has a personal appeal for Skekel.

or basically, two full games. All three teams and parents had a great time – a lot of fun for everyone involved. You can’t do that in a travel league – but you can in rec!” For the future, Skekel hopes to continue the success of both UMYA and NVYSL and continue to grow and develop both programs. “A lot of people look at recreational soccer as a ‘lesser’ program or team – not good enough to play travel level soccer. I want people to see recreational soccer as a place for kids to be kids and have fun playing the game – not only when they win. There are some very good coaches, and licensed coaches, in rec soccer who have so much to offer kids in teaching the game without all the pressures of winning. What is a kid going to remember growing up – the average year in U10 travel soccer sitting on the bench, or playing a position they may not like, or

“I have four children,” he said. “My oldest played four years of rec soccer before going to travel and is now on a very good showcase tournament team. My second oldest played four years of rec soccer and has decided to go in other directions with sports. My third child is playing U10 rec soccer this fall and is very excited to start, and my fourth child is looking at playing U7 soccer this fall. “I firmly believe we put too much on our kids to succeed at a high level so young. Ninety percent will not play past U14 soccer anyways – five percent may play high school and of those, five percent play high school – one percent go on to play college,” said Skekel. “We push these kids so hard that they never get a chance to just be a kid, and enjoy something like high school sports, and as a parent I can’t really understand that. That is why I am such a huge support and proponent of recreational soccer.”

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Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Honors Four Scholarship Winners Each year, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer receives nominations, and seeks out leaders, from those about to graduate from high school. The four $1,000 scholarships are awarded annually to individuals who exemplify strong leadership abilities, maintain high academic performance and seek financial support. Matthew Kleinhenz was one of two winners of the 2013 Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Scholarship. He attended Parkland High School in Allentown, and maintained a GPA of 4.22 and was on the Distinguished Principal’s List for all four years of high school. Kleinhenz was a member of the National Honor Society, National Math Honor Society, National English Honor Society, and the German National Honor Society. He holds the title of BSA Eagle Scout Rank (2012), was President of the Leo Club, Recording Secretary of the National Honor Society, and the Athletic Representative for the Student Senate. In addition to these titles, Kleinhenz was awarded the 2012 Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Outstanding Leaders of Character and the 2012 Union League of Philadelphia Good Citizenship Award. He has volunteered numerous hours of his time through the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project, community service for the Leo Club, tutoring high school and middle school students in various subjects, and service projects for the Holy Trinity Senior

Matthew Kleinhenz

High Youth Group. He played for the Lehigh Valley United 94 boys’ team for three years, the Parkland Trojans high school team for all four years, and was a member of the track and field team for three years. Kleinhenz will attend Lehigh University, where he will study Business. Kaitlin Sauder won the 2013 Bill Whitney Memorial Scholarship. She attended Lancaster Mennonite High School in Lancaster. Sauder has been an active member of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer for 13 years, and played on the PA Classics ’94 Premiere, Lancaster Union, and the CVYSC. She also played soccer for her high school team, where she was a varsity starter for three years and a captain for one year. Sauder was a member of the Student Advancement Committee, National Honors Society, the Leadership Mentoring Program for Middle School students, a second grade Sunday school teacher, and first chair in the orchestra. Academically, Sauder was named to the honor roll for four years, earned Paradise (PA) Rotary Student of the Month in April 2012, and has taken six AP classes during her high school career. She will attend Misericordia University and major in Occupational Therapy. Rachel Stone won the 2013 Charlotte Moran Memorial Scholarship. She attended Wissahickon High School in Ambler. Stone was named to the Distinguished Honor Roll and Honor Roll each marking period throughout high school. She was also a member of the National Honor Society and the French National Honor Society. Stone also earned the AP Scholar with Honors, and Honorable Mention at the Montgomery

Kaitlin Sauder

Rachel Stone

County Science Fair in 2012. She played for the Whitpain soccer team from 20032010 and then went onto to play for the Vereinigung Erzgebirge soccer team from 2010-2013. In addition to playing for those teams, Stone was also a two-year captain for varsity soccer and basketball at her high school. An active member of her church, she participated in a 30-hour fast where she was able to raise $750 for the organization World Vision. Stone was named Editor-in-Chief of her school newspaper, and was a two-year sports editor for her yearbook. She plans to study Journalism at Washington & Lee University. Richard Wood was one of two winners of the 2013 Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Scholarship. He attended Millville Jr/Sr High School in Millville. Wood earned honors throughout high school, and was named the Math and Language Student of the Marking Period, was the junior and senior class Treasurer, Athlete of the Week, and a part of the Distinguished Honor Roll. Wood played for MSC United in his junior and senior year. He was also a member of the varsity soccer and basketball teams, and a captain for both teams. He has volunteered his time helping younger basketball, soccer, and tennis teams improve their skills. Wood has been a member of the Millville Community Fire Company since he was 14. He helped out any way that he could by assisting at their annual carnival in July for 10 days and helping with monthly meals. He will attend Penn State, studying Aerospace Engineering.

Richard Wood

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s i r e b ! h m t e n t o p e M S r e c c o S h t u o Y Week 1:

September 1 - 7

Week 2:

Fun:

September 8 - 14

Whether recreational or competitive in nature, involvement in soccer is easy, affordable and rewarding.

Family:

Playing soccer ties families together as schedules, vacations and family times are coordinated.

September 2: JT Dorsey Foundation Annual Free Kick Street Soccer Tournament, Harrisburg

September 9: U8-U11 Free Players Clinic, Ampro Fieldhouse, Primos September 14: Philadelphia Union vs. Houston Dynamo, PPL Park

September 6 to 10: FIFA Fair Play Days

Week 3:

Week 4:

The relationships and fun generated through playing soccer and their extension beyond the field. September 15: Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Day at the Please Touch Museum, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia

The health and fitness (physical, psychological and social) benefits of playing soccer.

September 22 - 30 Fitness:

September 15 - 21 Friendship:

September 23: 3v3 Street Soccer Night, York September 29: Lebanon Valley All-Star Event, Lebanon Valley

September 18: 3v3 Street Soccer Night, South Philadelphia

 “Soccer Ball a Day” Giveaway -- Register online at EPYSA.org  Win a VIP Experience to a Philadelphia Union Game – Register online at EPYSA.org  Angelo’s Discount Day -- September 18 – 20 percent off an item. Good in-store only and on non-sale items only. Not valid on Team Order purchases. Not valid on prior purchases.  Modell’s Team Week Discount -- September 6 to October 3 -- Coupon available at EPYSA.org  Hersheypark Discounted Tickets -- Ends September 29 -- Promotional Code available at EPYSA.org For more information and updates to Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer’s events for Youth Soccer Month visit

EPYSA.org

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EPYSA.org

Celebrating This Summer’s

CHAMPIONS

This summer, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer was once again well represented by boys and girls teams competing in regional and national championships in US Youth Soccer, culminating with one team -- Lehigh Valley United ’93 – capturing the 78th McGuire Cup U19 Boys National Championship.

The summer started strong, as Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer sent 17 teams to this year’s US Youth Soccer Region I Championships, in Kingston, Rhode Island. Over the three days of preliminary competition, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer teams finished with an outstanding record of 33-10-8, sending nine teams to the semi-finals. At the end of the five-day event over Fourth of July weekend, seven Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer teams came out victorious and continued their journey to the US Youth Soccer National Championships in Overland Park, Kansas a few weeks later. Region I Champions U14 boys Penn Fusion ’98 U14 girls Yardley Makefield Soccer Xplosion U15 boys Lehigh Valley United ’97 (advanced by winning US Youth Soccer National League) U17 boys Lehigh Valley United ’95 U19 boys Lehigh Valley United ’93 U19 girls FC Pennsylvania Strikers

All six Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer teams showed strong play during the US Youth Soccer National Championships held in Overland Park, Kansas. The U14 Boys Penn Fusion ’98 ended group play with a 2-1-0 record granting them third place in the nation. The U15 Boys Lehigh Valley United ’97 were representing Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer as the National League champions, though they played tough they came up short and ended group play with a 1-2-0 record leaving them out of the running for a National Championship title. The U17 Boys Lehigh Valley United ’95 left Kansas with a 0-1-2 record. And the defeating National Champions, U19 Girls FC Pennsylvania Strikers ended their reign with a third place finish. The U14 Girls Yardley Makefield Soccer Xplosion ’98 came to their first ever National Championships looking for a title. They played strong throughout group play and earned a spot in the National Championship final. Eastside FC 98 Red of Washington defeated YMS, 2-1however. Julia Lindsey scored the lone goal for the Xplosion with 10 minutes left to play.

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Touchline Later that day, well over 8,000 fans were on hand as Lehigh Valley United ’93 claimed the 78th McGuire Cup Under-19 Boys National Championship over Chicago Fire Academy of Illinois with a 1-0 victory in front of a live FOX Soccer television audience. The game got off to a quick start, with each team coming within inches of taking the lead. In the early minutes of the game, LVU had a shot roll across the turf before striking the right post and staying out of the goal. Chicago was just as unlucky, as a strike from outside the box beat a diving Logan Keys, but it too hit the post to keep the game scoreless. LVU took the lead when Shane Campbell made a run to the back post and headed in a cross to put his side up, 1-0. Chicago pressured the Pennsylvania side in search of an equalizer, and the Fire was rewarded when they earned a penalty kick with about 15 minutes remaining in the game. However, the shot went just wide to the left and LVU remained in front. Chicago couldn’t find a tying goal in the final minutes, as LVU held on to win the storied McGuire Cup as Under-19 Boys National Champions.

McGuire Cup History

Nothing symbolizes the tradition of youth soccer in the United States more than the fabled U-19 Boys National Championship trophy — the James P. McGuire Cup, which celebrated its 78th anniversary this year as the oldest trophy in youth sports. The McGuire Cup has been played annually since 1935, except for two years during World War II. Did you know that with Lehigh Valley United 93 winning the McGuire Cup this year, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer has now captured the storied McGuire Cup nine times? Here’s the complete list of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer’s winners of the McGuire Cup. •

Lighthouse Boys’ Club of Philadelphia -1938, 1948, 1949, 1957, 1967

FC Delco - 2000, 2001, 2003

Lehigh Valley United - 2013

Overall, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer can boast of 15 (six girls, nine boys) in this year’s “Best 11,” with two Golden Gloves winners and one Golden Ball winner. Similar to FIFA’s all-tournament concept, the “Best 11” recognizes the top 11 performers in each gender age group, irrespective of their position on the field, throughout the tournament as voted by coaches of the participating teams in that age group. The Golden Ball and Golden Glove are awarded to the players in each division who have the greatest competitive impact in the National Championships.

LVU ‘93 Midfielder, Thomas Shiiba accepting the coveted Golden Ball award.

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EPYSA.org In addition to the teams, coaches and players that represented Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer in the 2013 US Youth Soccer National Championships, three of the 88 referees selected by US Youth Soccer to officiate the games were from Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer - Melvin Holmes, Mark Treilman, and Brandon Smith (Pictured from left to right)are all Grade 6 referees. Smith was the referee and Treilman the fourth official in the U14 Boys Final, while Holmes was one of the assistant referees on the U17 Boys final. This was the second trip to the US Youth Soccer National Championships for Smith and Treilman, and the first trip for Holmes. The selection process for referees for the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series is based on performance throughout the series. Just as the teams advance from the state to regional to national level, so do the referees.

The 2013 US Youth Soccer Region I Presidents Cup was played in Manchester, N.H. this summer. 96 teams from US Youth Soccer Region I (East) competed from May 25-27 to earn a spot in the 2013 US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup. The tournament featured 14 Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer teams in the U-12 through U-17 age groups. Seven Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer teams advanced to the finals played over Memorial Day weekend, with four teams coming out victorious. U17 Boys Yardley Makefield Soccer defeated teams from Kansas and North Carolina to go onto the Finals of the National Presidents Cup. La Roca Select of Utah defeated YMS to give them a second place standing. U13 Girls North Union United Strikers came out of group play with two ties and one loss granting them third place in Florida. U14 Girls West Chester United Predators completed group play with a trip to the finals. They were defeated in the finals by SASA Spirits of Illinois. U15 Girls West Chester United Eagles completed the prestigious national event with two losses and one tie.

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JOIN FIFA IN

FAIR PLAY DAYS Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer is proud to support FIFA (the International Federation of Association Football) by participating in the 17th Annual FIFA Fair Play Days, from Friday, September 6th through Tuesday, September 10th, when the world of soccer unites in Fair Play. “FIFA Fair Play Days, coming as it does during our celebration of US Youth Soccer Month in September, is a great way for all our members, players, and coaches to rededicate themselves to the principles of good sportsmanship and good will in all our activities, both on and off the field,” said Chris Branscome, CEO of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer. “Fair play is essential to our sport and to everyone involved in it. This is another way to recognize the good things about soccer, and why we do what we do, and also to recognize that it is truly a global game.”

SEPT. 6TH through

SEPT. 10TH

FIFA has published “The FIFA Fair Play Code” for soccer, which encapsulates all of the sporting, moral and ethical principles for which FIFA has always stood and for which it will continue to fight in the future. The 10 rules in the FIFA Fair Play Code include: Play Fair Play to win but accept defeat with dignity Observe the Laws of the Game Respect opponents, team-mates, referees, officials and spectators Promote the interests of the game Honor those who defend the game’s good reputation

According to FIFA President Joseph Blatter, “We need to cherish and nurture the values of sporting spirit and work tirelessly to keep up the momentum. We are appealing to all soccer fans to help us celebrate the FIFA Fair Play Days.”

Reject corruption, drugs, racism, violence, gambling & other dangers to our sport Help others to resist corrupting pressures Denounce those who attempt to discredit our sport Use our sport to make a better world.

Blatter noted the fundamental role of fair play in sport and the need to apply it to all sporting activities, including children’s activities. “Children need strong values to grow up with, and soccer, being a team sport, makes them realize how essential discipline, respect, team spirit and fair play are for the game and for life,” Blatter said. “FIFA’s Fair Play campaign involves much more than simply promoting fair play on the pitch during a competition. FIFA is committed to encouraging fair play in society too, beginning with our future - with children,” These are the 17th annual FIFA Fair Play Days to be celebrated since their introduction in 1997. In previous years, activities have been held in dozens of countries around the world, from grassroots to top-flight soccer and in many community-based projects. Be sure to check out the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer website at EPYSA.org during September to find a complete list of ways you can participate in FIFA Fair Play Days this year, as well as special US Youth Soccer Month events on the schedule.

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EPYSA.org

Q y Calendar Quarterly September 2013 | Youth Soccer Month 1

Seasonal Year Begins

2

Labor Day (State Office Closed)

8

ODP Tryouts (Various Locations)

9

2014 Horizon Services Indoor Cup Application Opens

29

ODP Tryouts (Various Locations)              

October 2013 1

Fall Registration Payments and Database Due Annual Concussion Education and Training Certification Due

14      Columbus Day

November 2013 4

Board of Directors Meeting

28-29 Thanksgiving (State Office Closed)

*Visit EPYSA.org for additional information.

Your Club Can Become a Philadelphia Union Youth Soccer Partner in 2014! Youth Soccer Partnership Benefits Include: •

• •

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Club recognition as a Youth Soccer Partner on the PPL Park video board during every MLS regular season home game and on philadelphiaunion.com Your club’s jersey framed and on display in PPL Park Access to unique on-field experiences including player escorts, ball kids, watching warm-ups from the Union team bench, and holding the team flags on the field during the pre-game ceremonies

• • • • •

Coaches Clinics (at PPL Park) Coaches Chalk Talks (including pre-game locker room access) Autographed Jerseys, Balls, Pennants Union Player Appearances at your facilities Philadelphia Union Mobile Tour appearances at events of your choice. Includes Union interactive inflatables & promotional giveaways

Visit philadelphiaunion.com or call 877.21.UNION for more details.

Cynthia Sheehy Age: 11

Age: 14

Team Name Fireballs Organization/Club

WHITE CLAY

TOWAMENCIN

Ryan Hannum

Age: 11

Team Name Fireballs Organization/Club

Towamencin

Team Name Comets Organization/Club White Clay

What position do you play or what do you do on your team? Striker

What position do you play or what do you do on your team? Defender

What position do you play or what do you do on your team? Center Midfielder

What is your nickname? Tia

What is your nickname? Adri

What is your nickname? Ryan

Who is your role model? Why? Abby Wambach, because she plays my position.

Who is your role model? Why? All the defenders on the National team because I play that position.

Who is your role model? Why? Landon Donovan because he’s my favorite US player.

Towamencin

What is your favorite soccer team? Philadelphia Union What is your favorite movie? She’s the Man What is your favorite song? We Can’t Stop by Miley Cyrus What is your favorite book? The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks. What is your favorite food? Cotton candy bubble gum Italian ice What is your favorite sport outside of soccer? Swimming

What is your favorite soccer team? The National Teams What is your favorite movie? She’s the Man What is your favorite song? I Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift What is your favorite book? Charlotte’s Webb by E.B. White What is your favorite food? Pasta What is your favorite sport outside of soccer? Softball

What is your pet peeve (what thing makes you mad or drives you crazy)? When people’s clothes don’t match

What is your pet peeve (what thing makes you mad or drives you crazy)? When people ignore me

Iff you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? Barcelona, because Messi plays there.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? Uruguay, because some of my family grew up there, and I like their soccer team.

What do you want to be when you grow up? A meteorologist or a professional soccer player.

What do you want to be when you grow up? A musician

What is your favorite soccer team? Chelsea What is your favorite movie? Goal to Living the Dream What is your favorite song? Cinderella Man by Eminem What is your favorite book? Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows What is your favorite food? Salmon What is your favorite sport outside of soccer? Roller Hockey

Youth Soccer Player Profiles

Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer

TOWAMENCIN

Adriana Fernandez

What is your pet peeve (what thing makes you mad or drives you crazy)? When you tell someone to stop doing something and they don’t.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? Spain, because they have a good soccer team. What do you want to be when you grow up? a professional soccer player

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2013-2014 ODP Tryouts Schedule Announced What is ODP?

Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer is proud to be a part of the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP), which has been in existence since 1977. It was the first program introduced to help identify potential national team youth players through an organized series of trials which began at the district or local level, progressed through the state, region and finally the national level. The current program also serves as a means of development as the players identified are brought together for training and prepared for interstate, interregional and international competitions. The development of the players is taking place rapidly as talented players are brought together for training and competition at all levels. Training and playing with those of equal or greater ability is a tremendous teaching tool.

Advantages and benefits of the ODP Program Identification into the highest youth state level system. Development as a player. The opportunity to train/play with the best players in one’s age group. Quality instruction from nationally licensed coaches, former professional and collegiate players, and current college coaches. Quality competition.

Games against other National State Association teams. Exposure to US Youth Soccer Regional and US National Team coaches. The opportunity to represent one’s District, State, Region, or Country in competition. Opportunity to participate in foreign tours. Exposure to college coaches.

2013-2014 Age Groups ODP age is different than club/league age. ODP age is by calendar year. U-12 players born in 2002-2003 • U-13 players born in 2001 • U-14 players born in 2000 U-15 players born in 1999 • U-16 players born in 1998 • U-17 players born in 1997  U-12 will have four “district” teams in various locations across Eastern Pennsylvania. The four locations along with tryout dates and times are: Lancaster/Harrisburg

Sunday, September 8 at Lancaster Mennonite High School, Boys: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Girls: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, September 29 at Lancaster Mennonite High School, Boys: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Girls: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Delaware County/Chester County

Sunday, September 8 at United Sports, Boys: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Girls: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, September 29 at United Sports, Boys: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Girls: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Allentown/Reading

Sunday, September 8 at Lehigh County Fields, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, September 29 at Lehigh County Fields, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Philadelphia/Bucks County

Sunday, September 8 at Langhorne United (Middletown Community Park), 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, September 29 at Langhorne United (Middletown Community Park), 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

U-13 will have three “district” teams in various locations across Eastern Pennsylvania. The three locations along with tryout dates and times are: Lehigh Valley

Sunday, September 8 at Lehigh County Fields, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, September 29 at Lehigh County Fields, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m

Lancaster/Harrisburg

Sunday, September 8 at Lancaster Mennonite High School, Boys: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Girls: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, September 29 at Lancaster Mennonite High School, Boys: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Girls: 5p.m. to 7 p.m.

Philadelphia Area (Delaware County/Chester County/ Bucks County) Sunday, September 8 at United Sports, Boys: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Girls: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, September 29 at United Sports, Boys: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Girls: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The goal of the U-12 and U-13 Age Groups is player development. By keeping larger pools of players, we are providing an opportunity for more players to participate in ODP, take part in exclusive playing opportunities, and receive coaching from some of the best coaches in Eastern Pennsylvania.

For the remaining age groups, U-14 through U-17, the teams will train at one location. U-14 Age Group (Players born in 2000) will have two teams. U-15 through U-17 teams will have one team. Tryout dates and times are: Sunday, September 8 at United Sports, Boys: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Girls: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, September 29 at United Sports, Boys: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Girls: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Each interested player in participating in the 2013-2014 ODP season MUST register online prior to tryouts. It is not required to attend both tryout dates. To register, and for further information, please visit epysa.org/odp/tryouts.

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Friday, Nov. 8th at PPL Park

ONLY Special Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Pricing

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*PARKING INCLUDED

To order tickets visit philadelphiaunion.com/promo and use the promo code ARMYNAVY

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4 Major National Soccer Events Coming to Philadelphia Four major national soccer events will be in our own backyard this winter as some of the nation’s best college teams, as well as a score of the top coaches and officials, converge on Philadelphia in November, December and January. “In the coming months, all of us at Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer are looking forward to the eyes of the college soccer world, and the soccer coaching world, being focused on our area,” said Chris Branscome, CEO of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer. “For our membership, it is a wonderful opportunity to take part in four world-class events in what has always been a historic hotbed for the game in this country.”

First up is the 2013 Army Navy Cup at PPL Park, on Friday, November 8th. The men’s soccer squads from the United States Military Academy at West Point and the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis will meet for the 80th time on the pitch, in a match that begins at 7 p.m. The second annual Army-Navy Cup looks to continue the success of the inaugural meeting last year that drew an enthusiastic crowd of nearly 4,000 fans. That battle at PPL Park between the Army Black Knights and the Midshipmen of Navy ended in a 1-1 draw, leaving both schools hungry for victory this year. Navy owns a 38-27-14 series advantage against Army. The contest marks the final game of the regular season for both clubs, and Patriot League Tournament implications could be at stake. “There is a special discount price for Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer members, $9 including parking. To order tickets, go to http://www.PhiladelphiaUnion.com/promo and use the promo code ARMYNAVY.” “Philadelphia has become a true soccer hub in recent years, and we’re thrilled to be hosting so many great events in the coming months,” said Larry Needle, Executive

Director of the Philadelphia Sports Congress. “PPL Park and the Union have been fantastic partners in making these events a reality, as well as our area universities and Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer.”  Later in November, Villanova University and PPL Park will host the 2013 Big East Conference Men’s Soccer Championship, with the quarterfinals beginning on November 12th, Semifinals on November 15th, and the Championship tilt on November 17th. In December, Villanova University and PPL Park will serve as the hosts for the 2013NCAA College Cup. This is the 2013 NCAA Division I men’s soccer Final Four and National Championship, and it is set for Friday, December 13th and Sunday, December 15th.

“It is a privilege for Villanova University to serve as host of the 2013 NCAA men’s soccer College Cup,” said Vincent Nicastro, Villanova’s Athletic Director. “This event will bring the elite collegiate soccer programs to PPL Park, which is one of the finest venues in this country. We are confident that the many soccer fans from the Philadelphia region and beyond, including the membership of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer, will be there to support this exciting event.” The 2013 NCAA College Cup is the culmination of the 48-team NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament, which begins on the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. The Semifinals of the 2013 Men’s College Cup is scheduled to play the on December 13th with the National Championship on December 15th.

Tickets for the 2013 Men’s College Cup are on sale now to the general public.  To purchase your seats, go to http://www. philadelphiaunion.com/promo and enter the promo code EPYSCC to purchase tickets.  All session tickets for adults are priced at $65 and $45, while youth tickets (ages 12 and

under) are priced $55 and $35. All session tickets include both semifinal matches and the National Championship match. For more information regarding the 2013 Men’s College Cup, visit www.NCAA.com/ MensCollegeCup.

The fourth major national soccer event coming to the area is in January, when the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City Philadelphia plays host to the 2014 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Convention. The “world’s largest annual gathering of soccer coaches” begins on Wednesday, January 15 and continues through Sunday, January 19th. Convention attendees have expanded beyond the coaching ranks to include administrators, referees, business leaders, players and fans. Already being billed as “Soccer’s Biggest Party,” NSCAA Philly 2014 is scheduled to include a celebration of a year of accomplishments, new developments, professional growth, and friendships. “Our Philadelphia conventions are always well attended, with such a superb convention center and the proximity of all the major hotels making it a fantastic convention location, and with our partnership with Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer, we look forward to an exciting convention experience for our members,” said Joe Cummings, CEO of NSCAA. NSCAA Philly 2014 will also incorporate a full slate of programs from US Youth Soccer, including enhanced youth coaching sessions, and the administrative and referee education sessions that have been a hallmark of the US Youth Soccer Workshop in the past. Additional information about NSCAA Philly 2014, including registration, scheduling and special events, is available at NSCAA.com/ convention. Look to the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer website at EPYSA.org for additional updates in the coming weeks.

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Don’t Ignore Recreation Soccer By Mike Barr, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Director of Coaching

W

ith the advent of director development programs, club academy programs and earlier and earlier ages playing travel soccer, are we facing the demise of recreation soccer in many of our clubs? The free play aspect of recreation soccer, with kids playing a game without a care in the world, no pressure from coaches and sometimes little from parents, could soon be a joyful memory. When did “The Beautiful Game” become a job to millions of children, and a full-time lucrative opportunity to many coaches who have taken the joy away? I can remember as a young coach, when I would draw comparisons between youth soccer and Little League Baseball in coaching courses I taught. I would point out the refreshing aspect that soccer did not create a pressurefilled environment of competition at young ages, or pushing a child aside because he was not good enough. Games were not pressure filled events in soccer at U12, and development was emphasized. Children were not selected for their outstanding athletic ability or size and it was common to see talented seven, eight and nine year olds playing side by side with players who seemingly have no chance to be a superior player. In many cases these children, who are cut or passed over now, when provided the opportunity to continue playing, become at the very least adequate players or in some cases college-level players or above. Unfortunately, we are now the culprit as youth sports moves forward. We are taking the game away from children who just want to play and not

compete in costly tournaments or state cups. We have created a sport with little rules or guidance from the US Soccer Federation and the sport has become more elitist. Small, once-thriving local clubs attempt to emulate the larger clubs and are forced to abandon the rec program in order to maintain travel teams. Unfortunately, larger clubs recruit the better players from the smaller clubs and the smaller club’s travel teams suffer or disband. Children will

With the current age groupings, numerous international studies have found that we have been systematically eliminating the children born in the second half of the soccer calendar year. Imagine the huge advantage a child has who was born in the first half, especially at seven and eight years old. The more mature child receives recognition, better coaching and opportunities not provided the younger birth year child. In some cases, children who are 12 years old may have a maturation difference of four years. Without recreational soccer providing an opportunity to play, there is no chance for that young boy or girl to advance to the travel level. Kevin Rooney, our current U16 ODP coach, recently told me of a player he cut from travel at U10. He described this 10-year old girl as being short and slow. She did not quit, but continued playing recreation that year. The following year she made the team. This young woman is now a member of the U20 National Pool. Imagine the thousands of children who are cast aside or discouraged from playing because of decisions made at too early an age, or the lack of opportunities to play.

soon be leaving soccer at earlier ages because we are eliminating the rec venue where children previously thrived. Another major flaw in the role of younger and younger travel teams is the players they may be eliminating.

I want to see soccer advance in this country and on the international stage, but, inadvertently, are we shrinking the pool of players who may have the ability to play? I want the elite players to blossom and achieve success but we can’t ignore the fact that the path US Soccer has chosen or ignored will have an impact on the majority of children, who at one time played the game for something unique -- they had fun!

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EPYSA.org

FIRST DEFENDING

By Gary Stephenson, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Assistant Director of Coaching

DEFENDING (Exercise 1-1 v 1) Sequence & Progression

The players start at opposite ends of the grid with the defender having the ball. The defender passes the ball to the dribbler and then goes to defend. The dribbler tries to get to the opposite end of the grid with the ball under control. Switch roles after each turn. Encourage the defender to try to gain possession of the ball and not merely dispossess the dribbler.

• Angle of approach • Speed of approach • Long strides early to cover yardage • Short strides once the defender is within three yards of the dribbler • Physical control & emotional restraint • Lower the center of gravity by bending the knees and leaning slightly

GOAL AND COUNTER GOALS (Exercise 2-3 v 3 to 1 goal and counter goals) Sequence & Progression

The team on the attack will always be numbers up because of the neutral player who is only on offense. The defending team will have to make quick and clear decisions on who is to pressure the ball (be the first attacker). Designate one team to be the defenders. They defend the large goal and attack the small counterattack goals. Have the two teams of three switch roles every three minutes. Switch the neutral player at that time also. Use training bibs to designate the two teams. The neutral player must be in a third color.

GOALS (Exercise 3-4 to 2 goals)

Sequence & Progression

No goalkeepers are used in this exercise so as to emphasize the need for proper defensive pressure on the ball. Otherwise play by the normal rules of play for the age group. The small playing area and the small number of players will give the players many opportunities to act as the first defender. Set up more grids if needed to keep all of the players active. Are the players beginning to execute the points taught through the session on how and when to be the first defender?

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• Angle of approach • Speed of approach • Long strides early to cover yardage • Short strides once the defender is within three yards of the dribbler • Physical control & emotional restraint • Lower the center of gravity by bending the knees and leaning slightly forward at the waist.

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