DICK’S TEAM SPORTS HQ EXPANDS WITH VIRGINIA YOUTH SOCCER ASSOCIATION PARTNERSHIP DICK’S Sporting Goods will serve as Official Sporting Goods Retailer, while DICK’S Team Sports HQ exclusively serves as Official Soccer Management Technology Provider as well as Official Uniform & Fan Wear Supplier PITTSBURGH (February 20, 2018) DICK’S Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS) and its DICK’S Team Sports HQ youth sports specialists announced today a multi-year, strategic partnership with Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA), a member of US Youth Soccer and one of the largest state associations with over 170,000 players, coaches and administrators. Beginning this year with full implementation by September 2018, DICK’S Team Sports HQ will provide next generation technology to VYSA as the Official Soccer Management Technology Partner and the preferred online registration and club management provider. DICK’S Sporting Goods will also proudly serve as the Official Sporting Goods Retailer for VYSA and the Sponsor of the VYSA’s Presidents Cup. “We are pleased to welcome Virginia Youth Soccer to the DICK’S Team Sports HQ family,” said Ed Plummer, SVP, DICK’S Team Sports HQ. “We look forward to supporting this important and well-respected youth sports organization by creating a best-in-class experience for its players, families, coaches and staff.” Additionally, as part of this partnership, VYSA and DICK’S Team Sports HQ will establish a Recreational Player Scholarship Program administered and funded by VYSA providing $10,000 in scholarship awards annually to VYSA recreational players in need. “We are excited to partner with DICK’S Team Sports HQ and are looking forward to bringing state of the art technology platforms to our members,” said Denise Edwards, President of the Virginia Youth Soccer Association. DICK’S Team Sports HQ currently serves youth sports organizations representing over nine million young athletes including US Youth Soccer, Little League, Pop Warner, and National Police Athletic League, among others. More information on DICK’S Teams Sports HQ can be found by visiting dicks.com/TSHQ.
The VYSA and DICK's Team Sports HQ Partnership FAQs Can Be Found Here!
CLUB SPOTLIGHT Alexandria Soccer Association Building on the Success of 2017 Alexandria Soccer Association (ASA) had a busy 2017 and is off to an exciting start in the New Year! As the largest youth serving organization in Alexandria, ASA serves 5,000 children, ages 2-19, in the greater DC metro area. Over the past year, through their new Access4All project, ASA has made great strides in ensuring access to quality programming for all children who want to play. To supplement their core programs (Recreational League, Academy, Tots, Futsal, etc), ASA launched a fully subsidized after-school outreach league at two Title I schools in the Fall of 2017. The leagues brought a full soccer experience to kids after school, complete with jerseys, healthy snacks and safe transportation home. This program removed both cost and logistical barriers for many kids who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to play. ASA fundamentally believes that all children should have the opportunity to play soccer, regardless of family financial status. In 2017 ASA partnered with the city to help create three outdoor futsal courts that are now open for public use and unstructured play. As part of the Access4All Project ASA would like to bring 10 futsal courts to different neighborhoods around the city by 2020. These spaces provide a safe environment for kids to play in the evenings and on weekends. The three courts thus far were created by partnering with the city to add futsal goals and lines to existing tennis courts which resulted in dual use surfaces. We can’t move on to 2018 without a mention of their futsal National Championship! In July, ASA’s 02 Boys Futsal ID team traveled to San Jose, CA (made possible by a lot of team fundraising) to ultimately win the Unites States Futsal Federation National Championship. ASA is so proud of their hard work and commitment to success. This year is off to a quick start with planning already begun for a summer full of soccer camps and three international trips! Along with the recreational camps offered throughout June and July, ASA is offering their first ever Residential Camp, held in Deep Creek, MD. The camp, coached by ASA professional coaches and aimed at 12-14 year olds, will offer a week of soccer, team building and outdoor adventures such as white water rafting and zip lining.
Additionally, ASA is taking kids of different ages on three soccer trips to Spain, Norway / Sweden and Brazil. These once in a lifetime trips are made possible by ASAâ€™s connections with international clubs and offer an incredibly immersive soccer experience. Kids compete in local tournaments, train at facilities such as FC Barcelonaâ€™s Joan Gamper stadium and experience local food and culture. ASA firmly believes that none of what they do would be possible without the wonderful support they receive from the Alexandria community and their ASA family. Thank you to all the volunteers who continue to make what they do possible.
CALLING ALL VYSA U-11 TRAVEL TEAMS! VYSA will be hosting the first
VYSA U-11 Festival in conjunction with the 12U - 14U VA National Championship Series! THE Virginia State Cup! WHEN: WHERE: COST: MORE:
Saturday, May 19, 2018 Publix Virginia Soccer Training Center $150 per team Coaches and Player gifts to all participating U-11 teams
CLICK HERE for complete rules
SPACE IS LIMITED! APPLY TODAY!
A LOCAL PRODUCT GOES PRO By Gordon Miller, VYSA Technical Director Congratulations to Virginia native Sheldon Sullivan on being drafted recently in the 3rd round by the Houston Dynamo of the MLS. Sheldon grew up in Stafford, attended North Stafford HS, played his youth soccer locally and attended the University of Virginia on a four-year soccer scholarship – many years were spent in Virginia. I caught up with Sheldon recently as he prepared for his first professional training camp and gained some insight on at what it took to get there and how it all came about.
GM-First of all, congratulations! How does it feel to be drafted by an MLS club? o SS-Thanks Gordon. I appreciate it. Being drafted by an MLS club was one of the most exciting moments of my life. You never really know if and when it will happen but when it happens you feel relieved, energized, and the reality of it doesn’t sink in for another couple hours if not days.
GM-Did you have any idea you were going to get drafted and, if so, did you know it might be Houston? o SS-I knew a few teams were interested. Multiple teams told me that I would be a possible late draft pick or get an invite to preseason, so I hoped for the best but was prepared to get a call after the draft and be ready to leave. Houston contacted me after the first two rounds and expressed their interest but no certainty on a draft pick. You really don’t know where you will end up during the week of the draft.
GM-Were you hoping it might be DC United to end up closer to home? o SS-My friends and family were hoping that DC United would pick me up and being close to home is always nice. Personally, I just wanted to be on a team that gives their young players a chance to gain experience and develop wherever that may be.
GM-What youth clubs did you play for growing up? o SS-I started playing for my local team in Stafford, and then moved to Prince William Soccer Inc. (PWSI). I finished my youth career at McLean Academy and went on to UVA from there. I have played for a couple other clubs briefly or just for a tournament including Mid County Soccer Association and Ashburn Knights.
GM-You played a number of years, as did your older brother Kyler, for the Virginia ODP program. I see that you will be joining another Virginia ODP alum and UVA player, Eric Bird (Beach FC), in Houston. Do you feel like the ODP program and the coaches helped prepare you properly? o SS-ODP gave a lot of players the opportunities to play with the best players from their state or region. For many of us it’s hard to surround yourself with the top players every week so ODP gave so many of us that opportunity. The coaches knew that they selected the best players so they held everyone to a higher standard that players may not be used to when they are one of the better players on their team. That accountability reached on and off the field where they expected us to behave like a young pro. That included travelling, eating, and communicating with your teammates in a way that a professional soccer player would. Some of my closest friends are players I met from ODP and we still try to push each other and help each other grow.
GM-In taking the next step up the ladder, you followed Kyler and attended UVA. Speak a little bit about your college career and how it helped you. o SS-College was the first time I came to a team and knew I had to earn a spot on the field every single day without anything being handed to me. Being in that environment takes time to adjust and can improve a player’s form by staying on the team all four years. I think I matured a lot as a player and person with the help of my coaches and teammates.
GM-I understand that you played in Portland and other places during the summer months in the U23 leagues. Talk a little about that experience. o SS-My summer in Portland was one of my favorite summers playing soccer. I would recommend it to anyone who gets invited. I didn’t notice it until I was gone but Portland had so many top college players from all over the country. They also introduced me to a different playing style that I enjoyed. The city was amazing and there was so much to do when practice was over.
GM-We know your Dad and Mom very well. In fact, your Dad helped out extensively with the boys ODP. Talk a little about them and how they supported your dream along the way. o SS-My parents were unbelievable throughout my youth career. They never had a problem taking me places (and there was a lot of travelling) and may have enjoyed travelling to games and practices more than I did. They are hands down the most consistent people I know which is something I learned early on. Consistency is one of the most important traits that you need as a soccer player and I had great teachers, which I am so thankful for. Going pro was a shared family dream and I’m just a product of their hard work and sacrifice.
GM-In speaking to younger players out there, how much time would you tell them to practice and how much should be on their own? o SS-Like I said earlier, consistency is the key, which can be every day, five times a week, or even three. The long breaks that come over the summer and winter tend to slow down development but you should be working on your own every week so the development doesn’t stop. I don’t think I can put a time on it because I never practice for a set time. When I was younger I would go outside and play till it got dark or I was tired of losing to my brother, which could last hours (I could only lose so many times before I was upset). The older I got, the more efficient I tried to be so my legs weren’t tired for practice or before a game on the weekend. What is most important is that you are working on what you need to improve on and that you are motivated to become confident on the ball. I’d rather train on my own three days a week with my right foot and a good attitude than practice five days a week on my left foot and not have my heart in it. I’ve been blessed to have coaches that gave feedback on what I need to improve on because I can’t always see what I’m doing wrong while I’m playing.
Thanks Sheldon. The VYSA wishes you all the best of luck in training camp and with your blossoming professional career.
WOMEN AND GIRLS IN SOCCER (WAGS) TO HOST & SPONSOR GRADE 8 REFEREE COURSE! Women and Girls in Soccer (WAGS) announced it will host a Grade 8 referee course March 10 & 11 at Edison High School in Alexandria, VA. Recently WAGS sponsored, in conjunction with VYSA, a USSF E coaching license course with a womenâ€™s only D being held February 9-11, 2018. Following the smashing success of the coaching courses, WAGS seeks to do the same for the referee community. It is universally acknowledged that there are far too few female referees. Our young female soccer players who are considering taking up officiating are lacking role models. This clinic is an opportunity to increase the quantity and quality of female referees in the metro area in a supportive, female centric environment. WAGS as host and sponsor, will reimburse costs associated with the course to females in attendance. Reimbursement will occur Sunday at the conclusion of the instruction. For questions relating to the reimbursement please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The course will be taught by VA/DC instructor Diane Florkowski. LOCATION: Edison High School, 5301 Franconia Road, Alexandria, VA. DATES/TIMES: March 10 from 9:30-11:30 AM at Edison High School's Field and 12-4 PM in classroom 112 and March 11 from 9:30 AM -12:30 PM in classroom 112. Candidates must attend all three sessions completely and complete all the online modules before the clinic to attend the clinic To register for the course a candidate must receive an override code. Email email@example.com to obtain a code.
For more information or to sign up, click HERE About WAGS WAGS is a 501 C (3) charitable organization established in Virginia in 2017. Its mission is to provide opportunities to sponsor, develop, or provide educational and character building programs for the benefit of girls and women through teaching and promoting an interest in the game of soccer. The six unique programs it supports, just for girls and women, promote confidence, strength, character and leadership in a variety of ways, and include awards recognition, coach and referee certification, college scholarships, and worldwide outreach. WAGS is on the web at www.womenandgirlsinsoccer.org.
NEWS FROM VIRGINIA FUTSAL By Krista Lenzmeier, VYSA Manager of Member Services The US Futsal Northeast Regional Championships took place over Presidents’ Day weekend in Atlantic City, NJ. Fifteen teams from Virginia participated in the three day tournament against teams from Maine to Virginia. VYSA teams had great success with four teams making it out of pool play into the semi-final and Championship matches. In the youngest age group, the 9U boys from Lee-Mount Vernon went 3-0 in pool play to advance to the semi-finals. They faced off against the Safira Futsal Academy from Massachusetts, winning 6-4, to move on to the Championship match on Monday. LMVSC faced tough competition in the championship match against the American Futsal Academy after they won their semi-final match 8-2. The game was a very evenly matched and well-played game by both teams. Lee-Mount Vernon was victorious, winning 4-3, and becoming the U9 Regional Champions! Head Coach Stephen Tupy said “The U.S. Futsal Regional Tournament provided a great experience for our players. Not only did it give them the opportunity to play against stellar competition in great facilities, Lee-Mt. Vernon SC 9U Boys Futsal Champs it enabled them to learn from the game in an environment fitted for development. LMVSC is extremely proud of our talented players and how they represented the State of Virginia.”
Alexandria 12U Girls
The 13U age group had both a boys and girls team advance out of pool play to the semi-finals. The Alexandria 05 Boys Red team went undefeated in pool play to play Frederick United (MD) in the quarterfinals, winning 4-2. They dominated in their semi-final match against Safira Futsal Academy (MA) to advance to the Championship match against NEFA-Malwee Futsal (MA). The team meet fierce competition in the Championship and came up a little short, falling 2-3 in the final 3 seconds. Will Hanna, Alexandria Futsal ID Director, said “A tournament like this is both a chance to compete and a chance to learn and we did both. We asked a lot of our players and they rose to the challenge and every single kid left everything on the court. At the end of the day that’s really what counts.”
The Puma Elite 13U girls narrowly came out of pool play on a 1 point goal differential. They dominated in the semi-final match against the Internationals, winning 3-0. Puma Elite met Sole Futsal Academy (PA) in an extremely close Championship match. The score was 1-1 with 30 seconds remaining in regulation, only to have Puma Elite go down in the final 20 seconds. Team Manager Kathy Hunsaker said that even after the heartbreaking loss, the experience was “well worth it, great competition.” Defending National Champions - Alexandria Soccer 16U Boys Defending National Champions Alexandria 16U boys dominated several matches during pool play, and tied Bolts Futsal from Boston 2-2. Even with the tie they secured enough points with 2 wins and a tie to move on the semi-finals. They met fierce competition in their semi-final match against FC Copa Academy from New Jersey, but prevailed 3-2. In the Championship match Alexandria met Sole Futsal Academy from Pennsylvania. The game was tied with 17 minutes remaining, but then Alexandria scored two quick goals to win 6-4 and become repeat Regional Champions. The team will be working hard to raise the money to travel to California this summer to defend their National Title.
“The competition in the Northeast Region was amazing. Every team and player came with their ‘A’ game and were always ready to play. Both the semifinals and finals were the best futsal games I have seen played by our team all winter long. LMVSC and our opponents played with all of their heart and left everything on the court. The players should have left with their heads held high. I know all of the parents were extremely proud of their child and every player was proud of their teammates.” – LMV Assistant Coach Chris Aliaga Puma Elite 13U Girls
Congratulations to all of Virginia’s Futsal teams that competed in the Northeast Regional Championships!
THE 2018 VIRGINIA ODP FRIENDLIES AND D-ODP 7v7 FESTIVAL! ANOTHER HUGE SUCCESS! By Jessica Cottet, Manager of Technical Department Operations Heading into its 13th year, the VYSA hosted the VA ODP Friendlies in Williamsburg, VA. The intent of this event is to provide an opportunity for a number of different statesâ€™ ODP, to play a series of exhibition games against each other. Along with Virginia, we were honored to have back Delaware, East Region, Eastern PA, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, PA West, and West Virginia. We were also excited to welcome Eastern NY and NY West to this yearâ€™s competition! Over 400 games were played at the Warhill Sports Complex and surrounding locations in the Williamsburg area. Four of the Virginia teams (2002, 2004 girls & 2003, 2004 boys) were able to use these exhibition matches to gear up for the 2018 ODP International Tour. Those groups depart for competition in France on March 26th! We were excited to welcome back for the 2nd year in a row, the U12 & U11 Developmental ODP (D-ODP) event. North Carolina, PA West, and West VA joined VA in this 7v7 tournament held in the midst of the VA ODP Friendlies. This event was created to provide these players another chance to progress and gain valuable experience they might not otherwise get. Teams were constructed from all five of our district programs and they were placed on teams with different D-ODP coaches from around the state. We are able to provide them an opportunity to compete outside of their comfort zone while they are given the ability to see what the next level looks like as they begin to enter the ODP. The State ODP players will now head back to their clubs for the spring season. You can continue to follow VA ODP in action while we head to Paris and Bordeaux, France in March and the 2017 East Region Champions (2002 girls & 2002 boys) head to Toronto, Canada in April for international competition! The players will reassemble in May for the East Region tournament and East Region camp which will conclude the 2018 state season.
The official e-newsletter of the Virginia Youth Soccer Association.