MIFC/EYSA Partner with Sounders FC to Launch a New
Coach and Player Development Program
Beta Program Brings World-Class Development Techniques to Youth Recreational Soccer
In August, Mercer Island FC and the Seattle Sounders FC
announced a new first-of-its-kind coach and player development program to support recreational youth teams and coaches. The program, which debuted in beta form for the fall 2016 recreational season, aims to provide MIFC and our fellow Eastside Youth Soccer Association (EYSA) recreational clubs (Bellevue FC, Issaquah FC, Lake Hills Soccer Club, and Newport FC) with enhanced and cutting-edge plans and systems for coach development support, player development curriculum, playing philosophy, player development programs (already offered by Sounders Youth Development Camps) and weekly technical direction (to be provided by Sounders trained Technical Directors).
This program had been under discussion for the past year and aims to replicate across EYSA some of the recent player development successes of Mercer Island FC. With a player development focused curriculum that MIFC pioneered and implemented several years ago, we have produced a number of players who started in our recreational programs and have gone on to play with
top level Regional Club teams such as Eastside FC, the Sounders Academy and other elite programming including Elite Player Development/US National Team pools. On August 22, nearly 70 coaches from across EYSA came to the Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club to get educated on the curriculum and roll-out plan.
For more information about MIFC Coaching and Player Development programs,
EYSA 2016 Season Finals Weekend
Jamboree for the U8's and U9's and the Year-End Tournament for the U10's on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 5th and 6th
To wrap up the fall Recreational soccer season, EYSA will be hosting a fun 2016 "Season Finals Weekend" for the U8's and U'9s, and a Year-End Tournament for the U10's on November 5th and 6th.
Closing out the season with teams playing at least two games over two days creates more of a fun jamboree or tournament-style atmosphere with our soccer community out in force. Unlike our preseason event, however, schedules will be based on six weeks of league play and we are able to pair teams according to their records, allowing for better like vs. like competition. All EYSA U8-10 teams are automatically entered in the jamboree or tournament as part of the regular season schedule.
Coaches have been notified of the plans for the Season Finals Weekend and by now should have made sure families are aware of the Saturday/Sunday game schedules.
2016 Season Finals Weekend for the U8's and U9's
- The U8's and U9's will play one game each Saturday and Sunday, Nov 5th and 6th. A few of the U8's and U9's may have three games to account for odd number of teams. We will try to minimize this as much as possible.
- The U9 boys and girls will be playing at Ringdall Junior High in Newport Hills.
- The U8 boys and girls will be playing at South Mercer Playfields on Mercer Island.
- Games will begin as early as 9:00 am; the last game could be as late as 3:00 pm.
- The U8's and U9's will play 10-minute quarters (40 minutes total).
2016 Year-End Tournament for the U10's
- The U10's will play three games over Saturday and Sunday, Nov 5th and 6th.
- Games will begin as early as 9:00 am, with the last game as late as 3:00 pm.
- The U10's will be playing at Homestead Field on Mercer Island.
- The U10's will play 20 minute halves (40 minutes total).
Fall Technical Director (TD) Academy and Winter
Sharpness Training Sessions Now Open for Registration
Created by Sounders Academy and MIFC Technical Director
Fall TD Academy is a fast-paced, fun filled training environment 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, Renaldo, Dempsey, Morris and the like! Starts Tuesday 11/15 at MIHS Stadium. Click here to register
Mercer Island FC Annual Meeting and Coach
Appreciation Dinner is November 13th*
On the evening of November 13th, the Mercer Island FC board will host our coaches, trainers and high school seniors in our club annual meeting and coach appreciation dinner at the Mercer Island VFW Hall from 6-8pm. The event, catered by our club sponsor
, will include drawings for prizes for our coaches, recognition and souvenirs for our graduating high school senior players who've grown up with MIFC, a brief bit of club business and voting for those officer positions whose 2-year term is up.
In addition to the above activities, we've lined up
TWO guest speakers! Former Mercer Island FC, Mercer Island High School, and Stanford star and current Sounders FC rookie Jordan Morris will talk about his memories of youth soccer with MIFC and Eastside FC
(subject to US Men's National Team commitments). We've also got
long time Seattle Pacific University coach and NW soccer legend Cliff McGrath joining us to share his thoughts on the role coaches play in developing youth players. We'll finish by having them take some questions from the floor. It should be a very interesting evening.
* - we know the USWNT plays Romania that evening and the Seahawks are on Sunday night football, so we've arranged to have a big screen tv at our dinner. The issue will be which one to have on...
Quick Links -
Welcome to the first installment of Colin's Corner. Colin Rigby is the head coach for Mercer Island High School Boys soccer program. Colin is also the Technical Director for EYSA, which is 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.
My name is Colin Rigby and I am coming to you as the Head Coach of Mercer Island High School boy's soccer. The high school boy's soccer program on Mercer Island has had incredible success over the last 25 years. I know because I have been a follower of the team, fan of the team, player of the team, captain of the team, assistant coach of the team and head coach of the team.
On our first installment of this month's issue, I would like to talk about the importance of developing a curriculum and how having a consistent philosophy and playing style helps teams succeed. Mercer Island FC, or Mercer Island Football Club, has been tirelessly building out the curriculum for its soccer players from age 5-18 over the last 10 years. We have been trying to have a consistent message to our youth players and teach a consistent style of play. Mercer Island's curriculum and identity is based on possession style soccer.
Learning the fundamentals at the youngest ages and stressing their success at the most basic level before advancing players to the next level of play is one of the most important pieces to the puzzle. After the fundamentals are built (Technical ability to dribble, pass, receive the ball, turn away from pressure) we teach the intellectual piece of the sport. Soccer is a fast paced decision making sport and we want our players to see the field and the options in a thoughtful way. Each decision a player makes will make him or her more comfortable making that decision or NOT making that decision in the future. The next piece is the physical aspect of the game, we need strong players who are not afraid to use their body in a smart way; after all, soccer is a physical sport. Finally, the tactics are very important as you get to the high school age and having players who have been taught a strategy, formation, and system of play that supports one another on the field is instrumental to progress.
To have the expected tactical awareness, we need players throughout their development journey to have built the fundamental technical proficiency,
intellectual decision making and have the physical attributes to compete.
What I look for as the high school coach is for players who understand the philosophy of possession soccer and have thoughtful decisions when they play. Luckily, Mercer Island FC has built a curriculum that will have players hearing the same message, and playing a consistent style of play, for their youth development on Mercer Island. Our high school program's success depends on it.
Thank you all
Looking Ahead - Upcoming Events
Don't forget to get these events marked on your calendars -
- Recreational U8-10 Post-Season Jamboree / Tournament - November 5th-6th - details in the article above and on the MIFC webpage
- MIFC Annual Board Meeting and Coach Celebration Dinner - November 13th, 6-8pm at Mercer Island VFW Hall. All coaches and trainers should have received an Evite
- Fall Technical Director (TD) Academy Training Sessions start - November 15th, MIHS Stadium - register at MIFC website Registration page
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