January 2019
Club news & updates
Mercer Island FC is our community's volunteer-led, non-profit soccer club for kids of all ages. Let’s play!
  • Message From President Greg Snyder
  • Nine MIFC Teams Playing In Washington Youth Soccer Founders Cup
  • Safe Sports Legislation Alert
  • Winter Sharpness Off To Great Start
  • Coach's Pitch: Natalie Woods
  • MIFC Alumni Dominates All Star High School Girls Teams
Message From MIFC President Greg Snyder
Hello Mercer Island FC Families:

Happy New Year! I want to introduce myself to those of you who do not already know me. My name is Greg Snyder and I have been involved with MIFC as a parent, coach and board member for the past 12 years. In that time, I have seen all aspects of the club and both of my sons have grown up with MIFC soccer in their lives.

I am pleased to begin the year stepping into the shoes of Past President Scott Barbara. Thanks to Scott and past board leadership, MIFC is in great shape as a community club with a fantastic base of board members, volunteers, coaches and players.

With the holidays behind us, the club and our teams and players are gearing up for 2019! Many of our select teams are training for Founders Cup and have already played their first group games. Good luck to you all. Other players and teams are playing futsal, indoor soccer, or are taking a well deserved break.

We are excited about the programs we have in store for the new year and look forward to adding to -- and improving -- our offerings. This month players and their parents are enjoying our Friday Night Winter Sharpness Training and Parent Camp which got underway this past Friday at MIHS Stadium in a big way - nearly 80 players and 40 parents participated.

Feel free to reach out to me ( gregsnyder14@gmail.com ) or any of the board members anytime to let us know how we are doing. If you can, please volunteer to coach, referee or help our board. We are a community run club and we want to create the best soccer culture possible for Mercer Island.

See you on the pitch!
Nine MIFC Teams Playing In Washington Youth Soccer Founders Cup
Nine MIFC Select Teams are competing in the 2019 Founders Cup State Tournament. The Founders Cup is designed for developmental level players, including our Select teams, and structures competition with teams throughout the state at the end of regular league play. MIFC competing teams include: G09 Dinamitas (Coach Pintone); G05 Crush (Coach Hill); B09 Maroon (Coach Byers); B09 White (Coach Delafosse); B08 Thunder (Coach Rigby); B07 MI United (Coach Cardenas); B06 Maroon (Coaches Yanez and Morrell); B02 Rangers (Coach Zahajko); and B00 Shadow (Coach Boum).

BU09 White is undefeated in group play so far and sitting pretty. Other teams are in the hunt for advancing out of group play. We'll provide an update on how MIFC teams proceed in the Founders Cup in our next newsletter. Good luck to all through the final week of group play and into the quarterfinals!
Safe Sport Legislation Alert
On February 14, 2018, the " Protecting Young Victims From Sexual Abuse And Safe Sport Authorization Act Of 2017" was signed into federal law. Passed in the wake of sexual abuse uncovered in the gymnastics realm, this statute imposes training and reporting requirements on coaches and other adults who interact with youth athletes as part of any amateur athletic program.

All adults interacting with amateur athletes in youth sports programs are required to complete an annual (online) training program and provide a certificate of completion for the training. Second, any adult who interacts with youth players, including coaches, team managers, trainers and club board members, have a duty to report to enforcement authorities any instance of known or suspected abuse or neglect of a child under the age of 18 within a 24 hour period of acquiring such knowledge or suspicion.The law also requires youth athletic clubs to develop policies and procedures to limit one on one contact during club activities between underage athletes and an adult who is not their parent.

Failure to abide by these requirements could lead to personal liability in a court of law. The MIFC Board will be providing further information and a timetable for implementation to all affected employees and volunteers.
Winter Sharpness Off To Great Start
Nearly 80 kids and a veritable army of parents turned out on a beautiful, clear Friday night for the first session of MIFC's six week program to teach new soccer skills, enhance acquired skills, and chuckle at old dogs trying to learn new tricks.

The kids have fun in small sided games and activities designed to increase their comfort with the ball and to give an opportunity for lots of touches under the tutelage of a truly extraordinary staff of experienced coaches and players.

MIFC VP of Player and Coach Development Aaron Byers works with the parents to educate them on what the kids are being taught and why. The goal is for parents to better understand the MIFC player development philosophy. The parents are doing their best to keep up with the kids -- mentally and physically. Hoping Rite Aid doesn't run out of ibuprofen and ice packs!
Coach's Pitch: Natalie Woods
Go to any field, gymnasium or sports complex and along with all the kids playing sports, you’ll find parents who have taken on the job of coach. Moms and dads don’t necessarily plan on becoming coaches, it just happens. Your child gets involved in a sport and before you know it, you’re coaching their team.
That’s the situation I found myself in a few years ago when my daughter decided to get involved with soccer. Her team needed a coach and nobody else was volunteering. Having virtually no soccer experience, I warily stepped up and made my way through the season, learning along with my young players. But then something surprising happened; I became more confident in my knowledge of the sport and the girls I was coaching listened, learned and actually started to improve.
My reservations about coaching soccer quickly turned to excitement, due in large part to MIFC and the way the club fosters its volunteers. I was given the opportunity to attend coaching clinics that teach proper soccer skills, progression and ways to keep young athletes motivated and challenged. The club also sent out weekly practice plans with suggestions for drills aimed at helping players perfect basic skills. These resources gave me the tools I needed to guide my team through structured and engaging practices, and it turned what initially felt like a daunting task into a fun job.
Three years have passed since I first volunteered to coach my daughter’s soccer team. I told myself I’d coach soccer just one time, but I’ve come back each year to do it again. It’s exciting to watch our young MIFC athletes learn and challenge themselves. The kids bond as a team and become good friends. As I coach from the sidelines, I’m always reminded that playing a sport is also about having fun. I love to watch the girls enjoying the game, giving it their all and walking off the field happy, win or lose.
While coaching soccer is not something I had anticipated doing, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how rewarding it is. It has been fun to be part of such a positive sports experience for so many kids. And because MIFC invests in its volunteer coaches, I know I’m valued. That has made volunteering my time all the more worthwhile.
MIFC Alumni Dominates All Star High School Girls Teams
Many of you know that the MIHS Girls Varsity Soccer Team won the 2018 Kingco 3A League Title, with Coach James Valles named Coach of the Year and an astonishing record of 12-0-0. But what you may not know is that of the fourteen players who earned All Kingco First Team, Second Team or Honorable Mention Honors, twelve played for MIFC over the years -- as Micro, Recreational or Select players (or all three!) -- two of whom played with MIFC for their entire soccer career!

Congratulations to MIFC Alumni Jackie Stenberg (Most Valuable Offensive Player); Scarlett Counihan, Jackie Gilroy, Lanie Martin and Ashley Rudd (All Kingco First Team); Ella Hensey, Nicole Mandt and Emily Yang (All Kingco Second Team); and Emily Arron, Abby Berman, Makena French and Ellie Sulla (All Kingco Honorable Mention). Gretchen Blohm and Amy Braman were also selected to the Kingco First team, but did not play for MIFC in their youth careers.

Finally, we'd like to congratulate Lanie Martin, Amy Braman and Coach James Valles for their selection to the Seattle Times 2018 Star Times Girls Soccer Team - Seattle Times 2018 Star Times Girls Soccer