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TOUCHLINE E-Newsletter of Virginia Youth Soccer Association 

August 2018 Issue

VA NCS STATE CUP The state's most renowned championship series

EXCLUSIVE "Road to Regionals" Media Series When Marketing to Teens: Don't Forget Mom! NEW! VYSA Rebrand, Around the Association and Getting Technical 

Table of Contents 4


Directors Cut When Marketing to Teen Athletes, Don't Forget Mom!


VYSA Reveals Rebrand A new look and feel for the Virginia Youth Soccer Association and Virginia Futsal

Feature Story VA NCS: State Cup and the "Road to regionals" Media Series launched by VYSA


Getting Technical

Around the Association

The Success and Changes of the D-ODP

Happenings from June-August within the state, along with the September Event Calendar




Virginia Youth Soccer Association

Want your event or story highlighted in the VYSA Touchline? Contact Dana Rodriguez VYSA Manager of Marketing E-mail: Phone: (540) 693-1430 x 211


Director's Cut Sponsorship and Marketing Trends By Phil Summers - Executive Director of VYSA

When Marketing to Teen Athletes, Don't Forget Mom! Recent research has shown a significant decline in team sports participation in the United States. Team sports including soccer, football (the American version), baseball and basketball are declining. In soccer, the age where youth players are dropping out of the game is most significant at 13+. The teen demo is where clubs must continue to sharpen their marketing and communication skills. The current generation of teens involve their moms in decisions across a wide range of categories. The selection of which club, league, team to play for are included in this dynamic. Moms are actively involved with the research into your club, coaches, league affiliation and more and will be a huge influence on how a player makes a decision impacting their development. Additionally, moms are more often than not the family financial services department deciding on how to invest the family budget in sports and recreational activities.  Ideally, your club will identify marketing strategies that help both mom and her teen player in the decision to choose your program. Ignore mom at your peril.

Clubs should consider creating a process that allows them to identify what are the trigger points for a player and his or her mom that will help them make an informed decision on a program, team, coach.

For instance, when soliciting players for tryouts include a questionnaire that allows a family to create a personalized “wish list” of the program that works best for them. Go beyond the usual questions regarding playing history etc., and inquire about training, travel and financial boundaries that will help you identify the best program in your club and present a customized option to the player and mom. A player’s mom may be very interested in a high-level team but be unwilling to support the travel involved for a CCL 1


Director's Cut commitment for instance. A club would be better served directing that player to a team with less travel commitments before losing them to a rival club. If a club determines based on the questionnaire submitted by the player that they do not have a program that fits, recommending them to a club that does will score points for your club regardless. “Word of Mouth” promotion of what your club is doing to support families in making the right decision will spread far and wide. Marketing to teens is all about personalization, authenticity and not forgetting to include MOM. Phil Summers is the Executive Director of VYSA and an Adjunct Lecturer in the College of Business at the University of Mary Washington where he teaches courses in Sports Management and Advertising. Prior to VYSA, Phil held senior marketing positions at the National Football League, Sirius Satellite Radio and MSG Varsity.

2018 Spring Virginia National Championship Series: State Cup

Official Turf of VYSA and the Publix Virginia Soccer Training Center 


A New Look and Feel Re-brand for Virginia Youth Soccer Association and Virginia Futsal

Rebrand Reveal


VYSA creates a community to develop the game, unmatched in the youth soccer landscape. Through the creative process of this re-brand, it was crucial that the true identity of being apart of the Virginia Youth Soccer Association was shown. With the two re-brand reveals, it is the hope that our members and audience can see the innovation within tradition. The creation of a visual example of the progressive direction that VYSA takes moving towards the future.




Feature Story

VA NCS: STATE CUP The State's Most Renowned Championship Series

With the number of soccer competitions at state level, it can be difficult to differentiate which events offer the best competition. The Virginia Youth Soccer Association has come a long way since its beginning and initiation of the Virginia State Cup, and has now become a hub for the most elite competition in the state. The VA NCS State Cup is an annual competition for boys and girls teams in the state of Virginia, ages 12 and under to 19 and under. VYSA splits the competition into two events, Spring State Cup (12 and under to 14 and under) and Fall State Cup (15 and under to 19 and under). This seasonal year competition all falls under the United 


States Youth Soccer umbrella. This is a qualifying event for the US Youth Soccer Regional and National championships, making teams eligible to play other state associations upon further advancement.

Road to Regionals Media Series Prior to the US Youth Soccer 2018 East Regional Championships, VYSA launched a media series titled "Road to Regionals". The series highlighted the winners and finalists of the VA NCS: State Cup. "Road to Regionals" allowed club technical staff and players to elaborate on the success of their teams, along with their feelings about regional, and potential national, advancement.

Virginia State Champions: Road to Regionals Episodes 1-5

"I played for Braddock Road Cougars. We won Virginia State Cup U12 - U19, participated in Regionals and, my junior and senior year, went to Nationals.  Our biggest fans were pioneers of women's soccer, Adele Dolansky and Mavis Derflinger. Knowing what they [did] to provide girls the opportunity to play soccer, made it important for me to always work hard and be dedicated to this beautiful game.  Now being a coach, it brings back the memories of me playing in Regionals..." "Road to Regionals" Episode  4: Northern Virginia Soccer Club

- Marie Schweitzer NVSC Assistant Technical Director of Coaching



Getting Technical A Letter from the Technical Director By Gordon Miller - Technical Director of VYSA

The Success and Changes of the D-ODP The Developmental Olympic Development Program (DODP), formerly known as the Academy, is entering its eighth successful year. This VYSA skills-based training program is now state wide, in all five districts, and is aimed exclusively at the 9, 10 and 11 year-old boys and girls who want a higher level soccer experience. As the older and nationally acclaimed ODP program doesn’t begin until aged 12. D-ODP provides these players exposure to a higher level of preparation at a younger age.

The Goal of the D-ODP is to provide players with additional high level training and further soccer development over and above what they receive in their respective clubs. There is a heavy emphasis placed on skill work, individual technical enhancement, and improvisation. We believe the foundation of the game lies in the execution and mastery of the soccer ball. There is no tactic, nor system of play, that covers up the inability to control or pass a ball effectively. The best players in the world are outstanding technical players who spend hours and hours with the soccer ball. Thus, the D-ODP training that the player receives will be reflective of the individual and the ball.

A key point of the program lies in the fact that players can practice with other highly motivated players from outside their club system but within their own district (three locations in the North District, one each in the Central, Southeast, West Central, and West Districts). This way they step outside their comfort zone, yet don’t have to drive too far to do so. The players also get the added benefit of being trained by “A”, “B” and “C” US Soccer Licensed coaches who have been hand-picked and trained by the state coaching staff. These coaches follow age-appropriate curriculum that has been meticulously designed and then passed on to the staff for implementation.


This year, an added feature will be that 2007’s will be eligible for selection into a State pool. This pool will then be brought into the Publix Virginia Soccer Training Center (PVSTC) in Fredericksburg four times throughout the winter to expose them to the larger state ODP training. This additional pool selection will also make them eligible for selection to the Virginia Friendlies at the end of February.

There will also be the added benefit of a threeday region camp next summer where the players will be trained by members of the East Region (the 15 North East states) Coaching Staff and slowly get eased into and exposed to higher level players as well as higher level coaching. Any player who is committed to improving his or her soccer development and is in the aforementioned age groups can register and participate in the 10 week fall and 10 week spring program. Contact Jessica ( at the VYSA for further information. There is still space available .

The Virginia Friendlies is an ODP Tournament where a variety of state select teams travel to Williamsburg to participate against each other. The 2007 boys and girls of our D-ODP will play three small-sided games against other states’ D-ODP programs during the same tournament. Article Photos: 2018 VA ODP Friendlies and East Region ODP Tournaments

P D O A #V


Natural Grass Advisory Group Official Grass Advisor of the Publix Virginia Soccer Training Center

Around the Association District Tryouts and Identification Weekends for VYSA's Olympic Development Programs finish up in August, assessing the top players in the state. Also, changes in the program hope to lower player burnout.

McLean 01 Boys Green, Arlington 02 Boys & 04 Girls participate in the 2018 USYS National Championships in Frisco, Tx. Arlington's 02 Boys win 16U National title! LMVSC 9U Boys and Alexandria 13U & 16U Boys compete in the 33rd USFF National Championship. Alexandria's 16U boys win 2nd consecutive National Title!

WAGS host 1st all female US Soccer D Coaching License Course @ Edison High School (Lee Mount Vernon Soccer Club)

Over 15,000 people and 130 college coaches attend the East Regional Championships held at VYSA's home complex, Publix Virginia Soccer Training Center and Embrey Mills site.Â


S e p t e m b e r

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C a l e n d a r

Around the Association September 1-2 Virginia Cup - Hosted by FC Richmond and VA Legacy Central September 1-2 FSCI 2018 Labor Day Tournament - Hosted by Fredericksburg Soccer Club North September 1-2 Blue Ridge Cup - Hosted by Central Virginia United and SOCA Central

September 1 National League Begins - 9 Virginia Teams selected to compete

September 8, 15, 22, 29 (Game Dates) Virginia NCS: The State Cup

September 15, 22, 29 (Game Dates) Virginia Presidents Cup

September 9 Developmental Coaching Diploma Course @ Rave Training Facility (Beach FC - VA Beach, VA)

September 7 VYSA Award Nominations Due


August 2018 Touchline  
August 2018 Touchline