Mercer Island FC Newsletter
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  December 2016  

Mercer Island FC Annual Meeting and CoachCoachDinner Appreciation Dinner is November a Huge Success

On the evening of November 13th, the Mercer Island FC board hosted our coaches, trainers and high school seniors at our club Annual Meeting and Coach Appreciation Dinner at the Mercer Island VFW Hall. A great turnout and presentations by Seattle Sounder FC's Jordan Morris (via video) and legendary Seattle Pacific coach Cliff "Uncle Nubby" McGrath made the evening one to remember. On his recording, J ordan talked about his memories of youth soccer with MIFC and Eastside FC. Cliff shared his thoughts on the role coaches play in developing youth players in his typical humorous and engaging way. 

Catered by our club sponsor  Pagliacii Pizza, the evening included drawings for prizes for our coaches, recognition and souvenirs for our graduating high school senior players who've grown up with MIFC, and a brief bit of club business and voting for those officer positions whose 2-year term was up.

MIFC fielded 5 U-18/19 teams this year. 4 of those teams have graduating seniors: 
  • BU-19 MI United - 6 Seniors. Coach Brian McGee; Assistant Coaches Kern & Rory McGee and Mark Hassall
  • GU-19 MI Wildcats - 4 Seniors. Coach Scott Barbara
  • BU-19 MIFC Whitecaps - 9 Seniors. Coach Tom Koning; Assistant Coach Eddie Talerman
  • GU-19 MIFC Force - 6 Seniors. Coaches Per Noren & Jenny Probert
Thanks again to all our coaches, trainers and volunteers for making our players experience such a positive and successful one!!
EYSA 2016 Season Finals Weekend RecapEYSASeasonFinal
Jamboree for the U8's and U9's and the Year-End Tournament for the U10's wrapped up the fall season

It would take more than a rainy weekend and I-90 lane closures to keep our EYSA U8-U10 Recreational League players from playing great soccer and having some serious fun.
Teams from Mercer Island, Bellevue, Lake Hills, Newport and Issaquah clubs converged on South Mercer playfields, Homestead Field and Bellevue's Ringdall Middle School for the U8-U9 2016 Season Finals Weekend and the U10 Year-End Tournament on November 5th and 6th, and by most accounts, it was a great way to wrap up the season.

According to Kendra Campbell, EYSA's Program Coordinator, who worked tirelessly alongside EYSA Director of Referees Ken Robertson, "It was a memorable way to end the year. It was EYSA's second year closing out the season tournament-style, with two days of soccer, and it was awesome! The weekend was filled with great play, lots of smiles, and, of course, mud."
The fields, for the most part, were in pretty good shape for the weekend; any mud only made it more exciting, of course.

EYSA President Scott Gode echoed Cambell's sentiment. "I wanted to give a BIG shout out to Ken and Kendra for all their great work and heavy lifting to make this weekend's set of extra games come off as smoothly as possible!" A lot of work went on behind the scenes to make it possible to schedule competition, staff the event, organize volunteers, schedule and set up the fields, and ensure there were enough referees to cover the games. "I know that many of you gave an extra effort to make things work this weekend, but Ken and Kendra went above and beyond."

And, so did the players and coaches. We saw some great soccer, evidence of hard work and tremendous improvement during the season. The popularity of our sport continues to grow in the Pacific Northwest, and if the smiles we saw this weekend were any indication, that won't be changing anytime soon.

Technical Director Winter Sharpness Training Sessions Now Open for Registration

The Technical Director Winter Sharpness Sessions are back! These sessions are fast-paced, fun filled training environments providing players with activities and games that are purposefully fun while simultaneously developing their fundamental skill base. Your child will learn the ways, and dribbling moves of Messi, Ronaldo, Dempsey, Yedlin, Morris and the like! We are lucky to have Darren Sawatzky, coach of the Sounders U-23 and recently announced coach of the Guam National Football team, actively involved in our camp along with Colin Rigby, Head Coach of the Mercer Island High School boy's soccer team.

We are also providing something for the parents to learn a little soccer too - COMPLIMENTARY PARENT CAMP!  Parents are included (if they would like to stay) and will learn with their own trainer - Free of charge! We would like you to witness the transformation that can be realized in the MIFC player development methodology. Come out and learn the same fundamentals MIFC teaches our boys and girls. We'll teach you how to Dribble, Juggle, Pass and Possess the ball. The only rules are to Have Fun!

For more information and to register for Winter Sharpness or the Parent Camp  Click here to register
Mercer Island FC Teams Enter Washington Youth Soccer State Post-Season Tournaments WYSTournaments

As the fall regular season wrapped up, a number of Mercer Island FC teams were already preparing for the Washington Youth Soccer (WYS) post-season tournaments. These annual tournaments give teams a chance to compare themselves to teams from across Washington state that they likely didn't see in their regular season competition. 

Historically, MIFC teams have well in the post-season with many teams making the semi-finals and finals. Our teams are hoping for similar success this year.  WYS hosts 4 post-season tournaments. They are - 
  • Recreational Cup - competition for Recreational teams U11-18
  • Founders Cup - "Developmental" competition for Recreational and younger/newer Select teams
  • Presidents Cup - "Competitive" level play for experienced Select teams and lower level Regional Club teams
  • WA State Championships - "Highly Competitive" competition for top level Regional Club teams
The following Mercer Island FC teams are entered in one of the WYS post-season tournaments - 

Recreational Cup - 

MIFC United - BU19 - Coach Brian McGee
MIFC Storm - BU18 - Coach Jenny Probert
Founder's Cup - 
MIFC Jedi - GU12 - Coach Emma Nelson
MIFC Lightning - GU14 - Coach Ketu Shah
MIFC Force - GU18 - Coach Per Noren and Jenny Probert
MIFC Arsenal - BU14 - Coach David Addison
MIFC Gunners - BU17 - Coach Greg Snyder
MIFC Whitecaps - BU19 - Coach Tom Koning

Good luck to our MIFC teams in the tournaments!
MIFC Board Welcomes New MembersNewBoardMembers - 

The November Coach Appreciation dinner is also the club's annual meeting business meeting. This year, 4 club officer positions were up for election. By a vote of our members (coaches, assistant coaches and board members), the following officers were elected for two-year terms - 
  • President - Scott Barbara
  • Vice President Select Soccer - Greg Snyder
  • Vice President Competition - Ketu Shah
  • Vice President Referees - Ken Robertson
In addition, at the December MIFC board meeting we welcomed 5 new board members from the ranks of parents who have kids in our programs. We're excited to welcome these new members to the board. 

The following changes to officer positions and additions to appointed (non-elected) board positions were approved at the December meeting - 
  • Officer positions 
    • Secretary - Shelly Johnson* (assumes remaining year on Ada Leo's term)
    • Vice President Recreational Soccer - Nick Roberts* (assumes remaining year on Scott Barbara's term)
  • Appointed Board Positions
    • Past President - Toby Suhm
    • Board Member At-Large - Erik Viafore*
    • Board Member At-Large - Joy Langely*
    • Board Member At-Large - Jody Kris*
    • Board Member At-Large - Fred Buethel
    • Board Member At-Large - Jenny Probert
We'll be updating our MIFC website Board Member page with playing and coaching bios and contact information on all the board members over the next couple of weeks. Click here to go to our Board Member page.

* - new board members as of December 2016
Quick LinksQuickLinks - 
  • Technical Director's Winter Sharpness Skills now open for Registration - click here to register
  • MIHS Boys Soccer tryouts start February 27th - click here for updates
  • Haven't gotten enough Jordan Morris and Sounders FC articles and videos on their successful run to the MLS title? Check these out - 
Colin's CornerColinsCorner

Welcome to "Colin's Corner". Colin is the head coach for Mercer Island High School Boys soccer program. He is also the Technical Director for EYSA, the parent association to the local Recreational, Select and Premier level soccer clubs on the Eastside. Colin's success as the MIHS coach comes from years of MIFC and Eastside FC developing our youth soccer programs on Mercer Island. Colin will be giving a monthly comment on what is going on with soccer on Mercer Island, around the State, country and world. 
Hello Mercer Island soccer faithful. 

As we close out 2016, I thought it would be a good time to talk through some of the special moments from the memorable 2016 year in soccer and raise some eyebrows for what to look forward to in 2017.

2016 may have been the most memorable soccer year of all time on Mercer Island. Our recent partnership with the Seattle Sounders FC and EYSA saw Mercer Island FC bring in a platform and curriculum for player development supported and built by the Seattle Sounders FC for recreational soccer on the Eastside. Wow! We are seeing our professional club support our recreational level soccer. Talk about growth. Speaking of Seattle Sounders FC, have you seen the homegrown Mercer Island phenom Jordan Morris? His rookie season saw him lead the team in goals, win MLS Rookie of the Year, lead the team to championship and show every Mercer Island child what it's like to make it to the top. Jordan is truly an inspiration and we are proud of him. I remember when I first saw him on the practice field at MIHS and immediately started talking to him about what life will be like as a pro. Jordan grew up on Mercer Island, playing for and learning from a rich soccer culture in MIFC and the premier program Eastside FC. Jordan is a proficient goal scorer and has incredible intelligence on the field. Traits he mastered throughout his time here on Mercer Island and beyond. He found skills that differentiated him from others and worked very hard to become the player he is today.

Mercer Island High School had a great season last year for the boys program, going undefeated in league play for the second year in a row. We had a great run in the state tournament, finally losing in the state final 1-0. Our girls program had a monumental year as well, going to the state tournament to represent the Kingco conference. Both our boys and girls programs at MIHS have a great history of playing with skill and style that gets built into our players at a young age. Our recent partnership with the booster clubs and the local youth soccer clubs with MIFC Eastside FC has seen hundreds of players bring the systems of play from their club teams to their high school teams.

2017 will have big shoes to fill with respect to soccer on Mercer Island after such a great 2016, but I know we are up for it. Our MIHS boys teams have some great players returning and an entire program that is ready to work hard to get back to the State tournament and State final. Tryouts for the high school begin at the end of February and the season will go through May. We will be taking our second international trip as a program in 2017, as we take 18 boys to Madrid, San Sebastián and Barcelona, Spain. The trip goers will be playing in a famous soccer tournament in Northern Spain in July 2017. We are very excited for his trip. Our last international trip took us to Lisbon Portugal, where we played games, trained and traveled around the beautiful city. We spent time with Portuguese professional clubs Benfica and Sporting Lisbon and their staff to give the boys an incredible soccer journey. We know this trip to Spain will do the same. This entire high school boys program has a great love and respect for the community they play in and look forward to a great upcoming season.

We hope this can be the year that we get an enormous amount of fan support from our youth players and families. We are working very hard to build an alliance with the soccer community on Mercer Island and it all starts with you, the fans. So come out and give us a wave.

Happy Holidays and bring on 2017!

Colin Rigby
Coach, Mercer Island HS                                                                                
Toby's TakeTobysTake

I'm sitting here writing my last "Toby's Take" column and a lot of thoughts are running through my head. I could probably take up a whole newsletter reflecting on the changes that have occurred with Mercer Island FC since I first checked the box on the registration screen saying I'd volunteer to coach while signing up my then 5 year-old (now 23) daughter. But I don't want to bore you and the newsletter is already stuffed full of articles and information. 

So I'll limit it to one thought - volunteer led, parent involved, non-profit youth sports organizations are the heart beat of a community. I am so proud of the work that the board members, volunteers, coaches, referees, managers, trainers and parents put in for the nearly 1200 kids that play in our programs every year. We work hard to provide an affordable opportunity for boys and girls ages 5-19 to play at whatever level they aspire to. While it's fun to celebrate Jordan Morris and the fact that he got his start right her on Mercer Island with MIFC, the reality is the majority of our players spend their entire career playing in our Recreational program. And that's why we put so much effort into our Recreational player and coach development initiatives - so they get just as much attention as those players that choose to go on to MIFC Select teams or Eastside FC Premier teams. 

I've been asked in recent years why I've continued to be involved in the club when my younger daughter's (now 20) career ended a few years ago. It's because I feel so strongly about the amazing community resource that is Mercer Island FC. It has been my pleasure to be involved with the club for ~18 years and President for the past 5. 

We have a strong board with a great blend of experienced members and 5 new parents with younger kids in our programs. I am excited about the future of the club and look forward to continuing to contribute in my role as Past President. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the club, your kids and you over the years.

See you on the pitch.

Toby Suhm, Past President
Mercer Island FC
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