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VYSA HOSTS US YOUTH SOCCER REGION I CHAMPIONSHIPS Over 4500 US Youth Soccer State champions from 15 state associations gathered at the Publix Virginia Soccer Training Center and FFC Park in Spotsylvania and & Embrey Mill Park in Stafford, from June 30 – July 4th, 2017 for the US Youth Soccer Region I Championships! The Virginia Youth Soccer Association was proud to have been selected to host this world class competition as part of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, the country's oldest, most competitive and most prestigious national youth soccer tournament.

The tournament attracted more than 260 teams, ages 12U through 19U, from the 15 Eastern US Youth Soccer State Associations that make up US Youth Soccer Region I (Connecticut, Delaware, Eastern NY, Eastern PA, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, NY West, PA West, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia). The Regional Championships are the second step of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series. Regional winners of the 13U through 19/20U age groups earned a berth to the 2017 US Youth Soccer National Championships that were held July 25-30, at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas. Many congratulations to the VYSA teams that competed in the Region I Championships! We are very proud of all of you! 12U 12U 12U

G Loudoun 05 Red G ODFC Cesena 05 Black B Arlington 2005 Red

16U 16U 16U

G BRYC Elite Academy 01/02 B Arlington 2001 Red B McLean Green 01

13U 13U

G Arlington 2004 Red B Arlington 2004 Red

17U 17U 17U

G Arlington 2000 Red G SOCA Elite 00 B SOCA Elite 00

14U 14U

G BRYC 03 Elite B LMVS Patriots Red

15U 15U 15U 15U

G B B G

18U 18U 18U

G Arlington Red 99 G VYS Phoenix 99 B BRYC 99 Elite

Beach FC Red Bethesda South 02 BRYC 02 Elite Loudoun 02 Red

19/20U G ABGC Annandale United FC 98 19/20U B Loudoun 98 Red


COACHING IS MORE IMPORTANT NOW THAN EVER By: Gordon Miller Technical Director, Virginia Youth Soccer Association Whether running a business or coaching a soccer team, there are many individual characteristics that are ultimately shared, if you want to succeed. While the end goals may be different - profit for the business, as opposed to wins and/or development for the team - the building of relationships is often the key to long term success. Whether it’s a relationship with the customer, parent, player, coach, ref or organization, it ultimately comes down to how you deal with people. While the bottom line is important to remaining solvent, at the end of the day we are in the business of people, and it’s the strength and ongoing nurturing of those relationships that will keep you heading in the right direction. Let’s take a look at five of the key factors when looking for a coach:

1) Recruitment- Identifying and recruiting the right individual to coach your team is key. You want to look for human qualities first and soccer credentials second. Is the person honest? Do they have sound character? Do they have a sense of humor? Are they open, inquisitive and life-long learners? A lot of companies spend a great deal of money on identification of talent and they do it for a reason. Don’t be haphazard in your coach Final day of US Soccer C license course, August 20, 2017 appointment. Just because someone volunteers doesn’t mean they are the right fit. Just because someone played at a high level doesn’t mean they can coach a U11 team. Take care, do your due diligence and listen to what is being said, or not being said, when your coaching candidate speaks. 1) Education-Sport is forever changing. Are teaching methods different today than they were 30 years ago? Definitely! Training evolves. Research makes advances in everything. How does your coach keep up to date with the best practices on age appropriate material, psychology, nutrition, injury prevention and critical aspects like concussions if they don’t take a serious approach to education? Be careful of those who refuse to take education because “they played”. Most of us have to take continuing education in our jobs. Why should we expect any less when they are dealing with our children?

Beach FC hosts US Soccer E License Course, Aug 25-27, 2017


2) Certification-Encourage your coach to get certified/licensed. The VYSA has plenty of coaching courses out there, at different times of the year, for people of all levels. With the new Player Development Initiatives (PDI’s) and the new game formats of 4v4, 7v7, 9v9 and 11v11, the courses are now better suited to address the specific needs of the players who play at these levels. While licensing doesn’t always ensure a quality coach, it does provide an indicator and desire of the individual to better themselves. Could you imagine, in your own job, if you refused to stay current or take the certification that was offered by your company? At the very least, you would be left behind. At the worst, you would be let go. 3) Mentorship-It’s one thing to take a single coaching course. It’s quite another to have a resource, inside your own Coach Shaw works with a C license organization, who will look in on your session/game and candidate with course assignment provide you with honest feedback. Can you imagine how much better we could all be if we had feedback on our training sessions, our game warm-up, ½ time talk, bench management, tactics, game time adjustments and postgame talk? Finding a quality mentor in anything we do is priceless. 4) Retention-You have invested a lot of time in the identification of your coach. As well as the training, education, certification and mentorship, you should now work hard at trying to retain them and continue to build your organization/team. Everyone wants to be a part of something, and when they know that they are cared for and valued, there is a good chance they will stick around. While you are providing them with opportunities to grow as a coach, it’s also important to acknowledge their contributions. Kudos on social media, the gift of a shirt, a public shout-out or a simple face-to-face thank you go a long way in keeping those who care. Carl Gray coaches SOCA E License course


CLUB SPOTLIGHT! Fredericksburg FC FFC STANDOUTS OVERCOMING ACL INJURIES WHILE CONTINUING CAREERS IN COLLEGE By Tom Leiss: Social Media / Press / Communications Fredericksburg Football Club Both Michaella van Maanen and Clara Robbins started their time with Fredericksburg FC when they joined the club’s Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) side for its first season in 2014. They were both already promising young talents that joined the club and used the league as a means to push themselves harder as they aimed to compete at the highest level once college rolled around. The two would then join the club’s youth program after their time with the WPSL team with each eventually earning a call from top Atlantic Coast Conference college programs—van Maanen from N.C. State and Robbins from Florida State. The tandem’s first year of their new soccer journey would get off to vastly different starts. Unfortunately, Robbins’ playing future was put on hold after she tore the ACL in her right knee in March of last year in her final club tournament before heading off to join the Seminoles. The injury occurred when Robbins got tripped from behind while dribbling and fell, twisting the knee awkwardly. As first, she thought something didn’t feel right and she feared the worst, but while at the field, a trainer’s diagnosis gave hope that it might not be as bad as she feared. However, upon visiting a doctor shortly thereafter she received the devastating news that the ACL had indeed been torn. It was a crushing blow, but Robbins quickly realized it was a challenge she could face. “One of my worst nightmares was now real,” she said. “But once I accepted that and decided to move forward, I

realized that I had the best support system from all of my friends and family. I knew I would be in great hands thanks to all of the Florida State medical staff and I firmly believed, and still do believe, that God always has a plan. Those three realizations helped me find comfort and definitely changed my attitude about the whole situation.” Robbins would eventually decide to head to Tallahassee, FL in mid-April of 2016 and get her surgery done by FSU’s orthopedic surgeon. She said the road to recovery started almost immediately after the surgery was completed. “Although there isn't a whole lot that can be done initially, I was given a protocol with some exercises that had to be done 3-4 times a day. As more progress was made, the work became more and more vigorous, but it was exciting.” While Robbins was starting her road to back to the field, van Maanen’s college career got off to wonderful start as she played in all 22 of the Wolfpack’s games, compiling four goals and two assists as a freshman. Following that, van Maanen joined the Seattle Sounders WPSL team in May of this year to help get herself prepared for her sophomore season. Disastrously, her time with the Sounders would come to a halt early when she planted her right leg funny after blocking a shot in a 3-v-3 drill. Van Maanen said she heard two pops and knew instantaneously something wasn’t right. “It felt like I had actually broken my knee because I didn’t feel a connection between my feet/shin/calves and my thigh/quad,” she said.


“However, I knew this wasn’t the case because the pain actually wasn’t that bad and I could walk on it after.

years of eligibility left since she had to sit out her entire freshman season. With the current season underway,

Mentally I was in shock. I had never been injured before and I wasn’t expecting this serious of an injury to ever happen to me.”

Robbins has played in all of the Seminoles games so far, notching her first-career assists in then fourth-ranked FSU’s 4-2 win over Samford on Aug. 24. For van Maanen, the rehab continues as she works toward her goal of a return to the field. It won’t be during this season, but being at “peak” fitness between December and February is the target. Being full cleared by sometime in February is the ultimate aim. The sophomore at N.C. State can’t wait to get back to technical training in a few months and be able to participate in spring games in 2018. The taste or playing her freshman season still fresh on her mind.

Trainers at the field gave van Maanen their unfortunate diagnosis and suggested an MRI, which would confirm the bad news a few days later. Like Robbins, van Maanen headed to school to get the surgery done. She drove to Raleigh, NC, and the surgeon that works with the team did a patellar tendon graft to repair the damage in June. Also like her former teammate, the road to recovery began almost immediately and saw success as time went on. “Right after surgery, I drove to our training room and met with our trainers and did very minimal exercises,” she said. “Slowly, as time goes on you can feel your knee and muscles get stronger, I still feel that growth, and are able to incorporate more exercises. Now, I do rehab 2-3 times a day for a couple of hours including treatment.” For both, a large part of the recovery process was and has been dealing with the process mentally. “I think the hardest part was remembering what it feels like to be healthy and play soccer and knowing that was months away,” Robbins said. “Your mentality throughout the process has to be there,” van Maanen added. “This isn’t an injury where you can take short cuts or try to skip steps. Managing rehab through school is also tricky, as my workload has essentially doubled. There are many hard things that come along with an injury like this as you’re mentally and physically tired all the time.” But the two pushed through those mental hurdles with the simple motivation of wanting to be able to play again. For Robbins, playing again became reality when she was fully clear to return to the field at the beginning of 2017—8½ months after surgery. “I was doing some noncontact training with the team a little before that, but I really jumped into everything right after being cleared,” she said. “I was extremely happy. That was probably the part of the journey I was looking forward to the most.” Due to the injury, Robbins will be a red-shirt freshman at Florida State this year, meaning she will still have four

“I don’t think I’ll be able to process how excited I’ll be when I get to step on the field again,” van Maanen said. “The experience I got playing as a freshman in the ACC was amazing and I know that it will take a lot of hard work to reach that level again, yet I’m excited for the challenge.” Both players had advice for any players on the road to recovery from injuries themselves: “Positivity is key!” Robbins expressed. “A few rough days are inevitable, but being able to push through it and keep moving forward was the most important thing for me.” “Mindset is everything. Having a strong, positive mindset and celebrating the small victories makes the biggest difference throughout the recovery process,” van Maanen asserted. “Also, don’t skip the small things. The rehab isn’t supposed to be easy, but it’s one of those things where ‘How bad do you want it?’ comes into play.”

More about Tom Leiss: Twitter: @TomLeiss Email: tleiss@fredericksburgfc.org Blog: TheSoccerJunkies.blogspot.com Phone: (540) 840-7993 Tom graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1998 with a degree in Communications, concentrating in News-Editorial. Along with working for Fredericksburg FC as the director of social media, press and communications, Tom works in the sports department at The Free LanceStar in Fredericksburg, Va., as well as working as a freelancer from time to time. He has been involved in soccer in the Fredericksburg-area and beyond as a blogger, writer, player, coach, manager, league administrator, referee and fan in his soccer career.


VYSA TEAM CROWNED 2017 NATIONAL PRESIDENTS CUP CHAMPION! On July 16, 2017, after four days of play, champion teams were decided at the 2017 US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup finals in Auburndale, FL. VYSA had 2 teams qualify for this prestigious event. BAC Blitz 16U Girls and VA Rush 04 Girls both earned their way into the Presidents Cup National Championship games through their success at Presidents Cup Regionals held in West Virginia. Congratulations to VYSA’s BAC Blitz 16U Girls on bringing home the National Championship and to VA Rush 04 Girls on qualifying for this National competition. The US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup offers teams in the 13U – 17/18U age groups, the challenge of experiencing different types of play by competing from state to regional to national levels. The Presidents Cup provides teams with a progressive, competitive experience that highlights competition, camaraderie and community.

2017 Presidents Cup National Champions! BAC Blitz 16U


TOPSoccer: THE GAME FOR ALL KIDS! By John Schlenker, FCSC & VSA TOPSoccer Director As the father of three soccer players, I know first-hand how this beautiful game has helped them become the outstanding adults they are today. US Youth Soccer’s mission “to foster the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of America's youth through the sport of soccer at all levels of age and competition” is spot on. Accordingly, I believe the best youth soccer clubs embrace these words and establish programs that truly help make soccer the “game for all kids”. It’s essential that club administrators and boards understand the importance of the word “all” in this mission statement. All means everyone, not just the Messis, Ronaldos and Neymars of the world. Of course, all VYSA soccer clubs have either a recreation or travel program. In fact, the vast majority have both. However, only about 20% of these clubs have a TOPSoccer program. TOPSoccer is an important program for athletes with developmental disabilities. In addition to teaching a critical segment of “all” the game of soccer, it’s also an important platform for nurturing social interaction, fostering confidence and developing communication skills; while realizing the benefits of physical fitness and, most importantly, having fun! TOPSoccer athletes, like my daughter Katie, don’t have many opportunities to experience the inclusive feeling of being on a team or the thrill of scoring a goal in front of their parents. TOPSoccer fills a huge void for athletes with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism and countless other developmental issues. Of course, travel soccer taught my other two kids about competition, commitment and teamwork. I see how the lessons learned on the pitch have transferred to academic and career success. However, their most important life lessons associated with soccer came from being TOPSoccer volunteers. I’m so proud of the compassion they have for others and their ability to motivate people that are differently abled. In many cases, being a TOPSoccer volunteer is just as important to the volunteer as it is to the TOPS athlete. Yes, soccer is absolutely the game for all kids!


BLUE RIDGE SOCCER LEAGUE HOSTS COACHING ED CLINIC By Paul Shaw, VYSA Coaching Education Director A motivated group of over 45 coaches got together in Roanoke, VA to share and further develop their skills for the betterment of the game. Great food was had with an opening lecture then to the field for 4 sessions which were age specific for the guests. In the opening lecture, the role of “deliberate coaching,” practical keys to be a more effective teacher and the role of a coach in handling the millennial generation was discussed. A youth player in the group provided this on the spot feedback for what she sees as the important traits in a modern coach. 1. Strict - hold the team to a standard 2. Understanding - realize when they get it, and push them in new things. 3. Reliable - trustworthy, consistent, and fun The field sessions were broken down into 9v9 and 11v11 to complement US Soccer’s Player Development Initiatives with coaches. Chris McClellan, Director of Coaching and Player Development, Roanoke Star; Edna Crehan, Head Coach, Ferrum College and Paul Shaw, VYSA Coaching Education Director delivered sessions for the coaches. A big thanks to the Executives of the Blue Ridge Soccer League, Roanoke Star for the venue and all those who participated. Plans are in place for spring event. “When coaches come together, all benefit… the players, families and the game.” Paul Shaw, VYSA Coaching Education Director


It's not too late to take advantage of the VYSA Member discount for all 1 and 2-day park passes! Park passes are valid through October 29!

If you’re coming to the PublixVSTC for a tournament, plan a day trip to the park! Check out The Great Pumpkin Fest and Halloween Haunt at Kings Dominion! With the VYSA discount pass: Save $32 off of front gate admission for a 1 day pass Save $74 off of front gate admission for a 2 day pass TO RECEIVE THIS SPECIAL VYSA MEMBER DISCOUNT, YOU MUST USE THIS LINK TO ORDER:

Your two days do not have to be consecutive! Use them anytime!


VYSA TOUCHLINE: ISSUE 24 SEPT 2017  

The E-Newsletter of the Virginia Youth